El Susto

Each day I describe the accident a few times to family, friends, co-workers, insurance, my doctor, etc.

They ask, “What happened?”

I’ll describe the little I saw. I leave out the sounds (a deafening crash, the popping of airbags, Los Lobos on the CD player, my cell phone ringing, sirens) and smell (something burnt).

“Are you okay?” they’ll asked with genuine concern.

“Yeah,” I’ll say and then sigh. I show them the the marks on my chest and forearms from the seat belt and airbag, respectively. Those scars and bruises are the only sign I was in an accident.

They’ll respond with something like, “well, the important thing is that you’re safe. Your car can be replaced, but you can’t.”

I look okay, but don’t feel that way.

The susto lingers.


9 thoughts on “El Susto

  1. For weeks after a woman rear-ended me, I kept expecting to get hit again. I’ve had close calls before so it’s not as if I wasn’t aware that accidents happen but this was different. I’m over that expectation but there are still moments when I see a car coming a little too close and I get nervous. Hate that.

    I am glad you are okay though. And I hope the fear doesn’t stick around for very long.

  2. i agree with pea. a long time ago now, i got side-swiped by a SUV as i was riding my bike. still now, several years later, if a vehicle doesn’t very clearly look like it will stop at a junction, i feel really nervous.

    also, i once got clipped by a cab coming too close to me and again, for years, cars passing me too closely would really scare me.

    i think i once wrote something about fear being a sharp intake of breath that drew the object(s) of my fear closer to me. i still feel that way.

    i think the only thing that changes these things is time.

    keep well.

  3. Pea and Tank are right. A few years ago, I got hit while I was driving by a girl who was running late for her prom. In her rush, she pulled out of a large shopping center WAY over the speed limit as I was going down the street and hit my car at a 90 angle. The force of the crash pushed me into oncoming traffic and my car was totalled. Save some whiplash, I was thankfullly okay (nothing like an ancient Volvo), but I was so nervous to drive for months after that. I was always anxious that someone was going to hit my car again.

    It takes time. It took me a few months to really be comfortable again, but you’ll get there too. Glad you’re okay though. 🙂

  4. i am sorry to hear you were in an accident Cindylu, but yeah, i agree is a good thing you are okay. my mom has been on two bad accidents (this last time she broke a couple of ribs) but still she manages to get the courage to drive again. get all the help you can get.

  5. Pingback: Lotería Chicana » Blog Archive » 100 things… updated

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