07:07:49 pm on
Friday 12 Jul 2024

21-year Flashback
Matt Seinberg

I had an experience this morning that scared the living daylights out of me. It flashed me back to something that happened twenty-one years ago.

I was taking my usual route to work.

I had just stopped at the bottom of a "T" intersection, when silver Mercedes Benz blew past the stop sign going at least sixty miles per hour! The driver, a man, did not intend to slow down. He came out of nowhere.

I used my horn to wake him out of his stupor, but he was already out of the intersection. I sat there for a moment thinking how lucky I was that I had completely stopped; horrible injuries, to both of us, were sure to happen, if I kept going through the intersection.

By the way, it was snowing at this time. This makes high speed driving even more dangerous. Obviously, this idiot didn't care enough about his life or the life of anyone else.

I flashed back to March 1996.

Twenty-one years ago, I was on my way to a dentist appointment. I didn't take the usual route. I wanted to make a stop and pick up diapers; my daughter, Michelle, was only two months old at the time.

I had a red light. When the light turned green, I looked both ways and saw it was clear. As I entered the intersection, rather slowly because of a dip in the road, I saw a white car speeding toward me. I braced for the impact.

The next thing I knew, I was back where I started, only against a pole. That white blur was Honda Civic that blew the light and t-boned me. There was a crowd around my car. An ambulance showed up and the EMTs took me out of the car. A woman came over and said she would wait for the police, so she could be a witness and give a report of what happened. I thanked her and hoisted into the ambulance.

The EMT contacted my wife.

She met me at was then the Nassau County Medical Center. I was a mess. What I wanted was to take a painkiller and get into bed.

I met with a lawyer a few weeks later, and a year or two later, we settled with the other insurance company for what seemed like a fair amount of money. I think we could have held out a bit and gotten more.

The next quick flashback, I had the other day, showed another accident that was similar to the first one. Again, I was waiting at a red light. When I got the green light, I looked around to make sure it was clear, and began to drive through the intersection.

BOOM! The next thing I know a mini-van hit me on the driver's side, but not going as fast as that Honda. I called the cops and the min-van driver told him she was sun blinded. I didn't believe it, as she had her young daughter with her who was probably bothering the living crap out of her.

I called the same lawyer, but after a while, his assistant called and said there wasn't much of a case; he wouldn't take it. I'm sure I could have found another shyster lawyer, but didn't bother with it.

The message is pay attention when driving.

If there is one thing learnable message from all this: pay attention to everything on the road around you and drive defensively, not offensively. The life you save may be your own.

Have a safe, healthy and Happy New from all us at GrubstreetCa.


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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