December 18th, 2007


i just got hit by a fucking car

Less than an hour ago. I'm a little shaken, and one of my palms is a little skinned, but otherwise I'm fine. I think. My housemates say I should still go to the hospital tomorrow and get myself X-rayed, just in case. I am going to take off work tomorrow and do just that.

It's funny...I had just gotten off work, and eaten some delicious shrimp tempura udon at a new sushi place, and it was all warm and happy and sticking to my ribs. Right before I got hit I was thinking, with sadness, that I miss human touch. I don't have anyone to snuggle. But it was a good sadness, you know? A wistfulness for all the times I got to hold someone, even for a little bit. I'd just gotten back from a long walk down Wall Street, down the concrete canyon, looking at the enormous Christmas trees and thinking I should make a catalogue of all the big trees that spring up all over the city around Christmas. That maybe I'd photograph them and post them here. I had read some of Jack Vance's Blue World on the subway and been amused by the way all the characters spoke Epic, and the feeling of the book had followed me out of the subway station. If it had been my time, at that moment--it would have been a good time to go. Not because my life was complete, far from it--but because it was a relatively happy moment, I guess, with the hope that it would get better. I've never had a girlfriend, never been loved by a girl, never written a novel or published a video game or started a family--but there was the hope of those things, you know, and I would have died with that hope still with me.

Kevin: I don't know what this means, Mom. I don't know what God is trying to tell me.
Mom: He's telling you, "Merry Christmas!"

But it wasn't my time, I guess. I crossed the street at the crosswalk when the light turned and I looked both ways--I always have, ever since the first time I was hit by a car back in 1996--but the guy was turning around the corner, and it's a good thing he was turning the corner because that means slowing down--guy says I ran right in front of him, just like in 1996 the guy said I ran right in front of him--and it felt like someone had given me a literal kick in the ass, and for a few long seconds my feet were running in the air instead of the ground, and bizarrely enough, this time I was thinking, oh shit, I know exactly what this is. And I wasn't just thinking it, I was screaming it, I was screaming shit shit shit fuck fuck fuck before I even hit the ground, the backpack I was carrying hit the ground first, it broke my fall, it skidded across the concrete just like my knee did when I was twelve, my ass landed next, I was surrounded by headlights and screaming not because it hurt but because I was terrified that some other car wouldn't slow down in time and would run over my arms or legs. I only felt a small dull pain in my ass and nothing in my legs and this fucking terrified me, I thought maybe I didn't have legs anymore, that's what happens when you don't feel any pain. The guy got out of the car and he was crying, he was more freaked out than I was, he told me he wanted to get me out of traffic so he led me to his car--I was surprised I could stand--and we sat there for a while and looked so normal that the ambulance and the cop car actually passed us by when he tried to flag them down. Poor guy was so upset. He was saying, thank God, thank God you're all right, I've never hit someone before, and I said it's okay, don't worry, and it was so fucking weird because you'd think I was the one who hit him and not the other way around.

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The cops and the EMTs were all grimly jokey about it, as I suppose they have to be. The cops asked me if I wanted to fill out a police report--I felt so sorry for the guy who hit me that I said no--and the EMTs checked me up and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital--I was feeling pretty okay so I said no. I guess I should have gone, just in case. I'm taking off work to go there tomorrow.

Shit! The big tech department steaks night is tomorrow! I'm disappointed, but I'm amused by my disappointment. Priorities, Kevin. Priorities.

Garett (the guy who hit me): Kevin, Kevin. You've got an angel watching over you. I'm so glad you're all right. Thank God you're all right.
Kevin: Oh man....(if I wasn't a believer already I'd be a believer now)

My housemate Samantha is all like omg this is so exciting you should get their insurance company to give you money!! o_0 She tells me I should be excited because maybe this means it'll have some kind of grand, life-changing impact on me. I don't know. First time I got hit by a car it had a pretty big impact on me, I guess, but I never really figured it out until maybe a year ago (see this entry if you're on my friendslist). That theory has gone to shit now that I've been hit again. More than ever, I'm thinking, God, I hear you, I'm listening--what in the blazes are you trying to tell me?

EMT: Ohio ID. You from Ohio, Kevin?
Kevin: I guess. I just moved here half a year ago.
EMT: You better be careful crossing these intersections. Out here in New York, man, people see a green light and (makes smacking noise with fist) they just go.
(Kevin and EMT share a grin.)

I keep thinking that maybe I should be more careful when crossing the street, but who am I kidding--that first experience made me scared of jaywalking for life.

It feels so minor, you know. My life didn't even flash by my eyes this time. I feel like a couple days later someone will bring it up and I'll think oh, that. I actually feel more guilty about that for anything else--if a near-death experience won't get me to pay attention to God, what will? The natural thing to do just as I got home was pray--but somehow what came out was not "God, thank You that I'm alive" or "God, please let me be okay," but "God, O God, please restore my dying faith." I...I just don't know.

It's been ten years, give or take a few months, since the last time I got hit by a car and miraculously walked away unscathed (relatively, at least). The scar from the first time took until last year to fade. First time it happens, shame on you, second time, shame on me? God, dear God, I can't believe how fortunate I am to have cheated death twice, and yet I feel so indifferent about it that it almost feels ungrateful.

If this is going to happen every ten years, then shit, I'd be happy to live to see thirty-one.