The other day, I was out and about in the Goddess’ chariot, far from the fortress, when I entered a roundabout and saw a blue car approaching from my left —

— I noticed it wasn’t slowing down — matter of fact, it was already right — riiiiight — in front of me and I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding, dude” when —

— my seatbelt tightened as we collided and the Fiat’s bonnet crumpled alarmingly towards me and I thought, “The Goddess is not going to like that” —

— my point-of-view skewed rightwards as the cars separated, the other car spinning off the road while the Fiat came to a complete stop, at a right angle to its original direction only moments earlier —

— and I thought, “Un-fucking-believable,” angry that I was involved in an accident, and in the Goddess’ chariot to boot.

I got out and ran to the other car which was already swarming with concerned motorists. The other driver was alive and moving — “I’m so sorry,” he said — and my anger disappeared. The road seemed crowded with pedestrians — every second or third one asking if I’m okay — and when I returned to the Fiat to try and get it off the road — a guy with calm efficiency told me he had it under control and why don’t I go and sit down on the verge over there.

I sat down on the grass as a half-dozen people pushed the chariot to the side of the road, others directing traffic, strangers brought together in that moment to help out, clean up, and keep things moving and safe. I was alive. So was the other driver. Things could have been so much worse but we both walked away from our vehicles that day.

Yes: unfortunately, the Italian stallion is no more:

Italian Stallion 2005–2014

I look at the picture and I’m grateful for engineers and crumple zones. Grateful to the motorists who stopped and helped that afternoon, foremost Phil who took charge. Grateful to Woody the police sergeant who attended the scene. And grateful to still be here.

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