Tonight I came the closest to death I've ever been.
Work was delayed ten hours and didn't start until around 11:30pm on Tuesday. I then worked all through Wednesday right up until Thursday until 10:30pm. So, basically, a 47-hour workday with only a three-hour nap in there somewhere.
And a six-pack of 5-Hour Energy.
To say I was tired and not looking forward to the 2-1/2 hour drive back to Boston this evening was an understatement. I considered grabbing a local hotel for a few hours, but have learned the hard way that I need to power through. So I picked up two bottles of Mountain Dew and away I went.
I was beyond exhausted, but the caffeinated fizzy water and constant stops at toll booths kept me going.
And then it happened.
At three minutes until midnight just before crossing the border from New Hampshire to Massachusetts... a car facing the wrong way, stopped dead in the middle of the highway. No lights. No blinkers. Just a dark automobile angled across the road, centered in the middle lane.
In my lane.
And here I am going 70 miles per hour under the cover of darkness.
In a Prius.
A Prius which would have been utterly destroyed if it had hit the car at that speed... probably taking me with it.
Fortunately, the full moon illuminated just enough of the car before my lights reached it that I saw... something. It was just enough warning to give me time to brake and swerve out of my lane... hard.
It felt like the Prius went up on two wheels.
I thought I was going to tip over.
I struggled to keep control of the car as I started skidding off the road. After what seemed like an eternity, I gained control and managed to stay on the highway.
My wits, however, went out the window back in New Hampshire.
Needless to say, I had no problem staying awake for the remained of my drive into Boston. The adrenaline rush was a bigger wake-up call than all the Mountain Dew on planet earth.
What if there hadn't been a full moon?
What if I was glancing at Google Maps on my phone instead of focusing on the road?
What if there was a car next to me and I couldn't get out of my lane?
The list goes on and on.
My guess is that somebody from the opposite direction fell asleep at the wheel, then tore through the median until they came to a stop on the opposite bank of oncoming lanes. So crazy.
And now I sit here in my hotel room where I had hoped to get four hours sleep before flying back home. Except, obviously, sleep is impossible now. Despite being so tired that my brain feels mooshy and I want to pass out, I won't be getting any sleep tonight.
So I ordered a sandwich from a local restaurant that delivers until 2:00am.
I went with the highly risky choice of egg salad, which I would usually avoid like the plague because nothing good can come from a delivery egg-salad sandwich at this hour. At least health-wise.
But clearly I am indestructible, so why not?
Boy I hope nobody behind me crashed into that car. I saw police cars headed to the scene, so hopefully everything will be alright.
NOTE: I have blog entries I've been writing all week... but I couldn't get them to send from the work site so I'll post them when I get back. None will be even remotely as exciting as this one, however.
UPDATE: Well, that was disgusting. If I don't end up with a scorching case of diarrhea, I will be very surprised. And now my hotel room smells like the entire city of Boston farted in here. Not one of my smarter moves, that egg salad monstrosity.
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Insane! Glad you are okay.
Good to hear that you could avoid a nasty accident. Phew!
Wow. Glad you’re okay man. From the near accident. I can only hope that you’ve recovered by now from the egg salad.
Wow! Glad you’re okay, Dave. I had a nightmare similar to this just last week. Couldn’t sleep the rest of the night.
Yikes. Glad you made it through that safely. Did you call 911 afterwards to report the vehicle even if cops might have been on their way? My wife had a similar potential incident with a deer struck in the middle of the road. Fortunately someone had moved their car off the side of the road and were pointing their headlights at the deer so it was easier to see in the dark but still a pretty close call for her.
i was reading this and my stomach ached as it tightened during the car in the road story and what ifs. then i got to the last paragraph about the egg salad sammich and the entire city of boston farting in the room and i am literally laughing out loud. thanks for bringing me back to happy!
Holy crap! I’m glad you are okay! Did you call the highway patrol to report the vehicle?
Something similar happened to me (though I wasn’t as close to death). I had picked my brother and sister-in-law up at the airport around 1:00am and drove them back home (about a 1.5 hours drive). We were on the expressway, came around the corner and there was a taxicab that had somehow ended up perpendicular to the inside median – basically blocking the whole fast lane. It’s lights were on but you couldn’t see them well at that angle. Thankfully this was a section of the road with light posts so we had ample time to get out of the way but it was still weird.
So glad you’re ok. I think we have all had moments like that. Mine was in college when riding my motorcycle. Someone had spilled oil onto a road on the UF campus I used to get to work and the, oh so unintelligent physical plant workers did nothing about it. No signage, no kitty litter, no cones. I almost laid out my bike and would have ended up under a 20ft box truck if I had.
Hopefully the adrenaline will wear off soon.
Don’t scare us like that! I’m shaking just reading about it. So thankful you made it through unharmed.
Frightening! I hope they aren’t dead but am more glad you aren’t! The fart P.S. made me laugh.
Wow – so glad you are ok. But stop being all Jeff Bridges/Fearless and doing crazy stuff like eating delivery egg salad
that sucks! glad you’re okay…i hate driving late at night (just sunday, we were coming home from FL when i saw 3 groups of deer along I-85 between montgomery and atlanta…all were right on the shoulder, just a couple feet from cars going 80 mph+), because i always worry about falling asleep, a trucker falling asleep, or a deer jumping in front of me.
Hey Dave. Just a quick sympathy note from someone who lives right the NH/Mass border off I-95. (Were you on 95 or 93?) I’m glad you’re okay. Life is very tenuous. — Steve
I-95… so… right by your house!