Today’s Brushes with Death

Today was a crazy-pants, near-deadly driving day.

First, I was headed down Coldwater Canyon on a quick jaunt to a friend’s house just south of Ventura Boulevard. After I’d safely crossed an intersection, some jackhole in a super-sized SUV with tinted windows and paper plates decided at the last (im)possible second to turn left in front of me to enter a strip mall.

Thankfully, I was:

  • Alert
  • Wearing big-ass Doc Martins, and
  • In possession of fantastic reflexes

I slammed on the brakes hard and fast enough to stop my car within perhaps a couple of inches from plowing into the side of that SUV. It’s funny how we instinctively know when to throw everything into that brake. It took every ounce of leg strength to halt my sedan.

So. Damned. Close.

My heart ka-thunked the rest of the way to my friend’s house. I remained shaky for a little while after I arrived until the adrenaline eventually cooled.

Later, I was to meet with friends who were visiting this weekend from San Francisco at a local restaurant. I figured I’d just take an Uber. I’ve had very few bad experiences with ride sharing.

Less stress, right?

Easy Peasy…Queasy

The driver who picked me up kept glancing down to her left side. I craned my neck to see that she was holding her cell phone in her left hand. I asked her not to look at the phone. I told her the restaurant was a straight shot down the road we were on, and then we’d turn right on the destination street.

Yet she continued to glance down at her phone surreptitiously every few seconds. I kept thinking about what happened to me earlier today with that SUV driver. If someone pulled something like that on this woman during our short drive, we’d not just be toast, but crispy-fried, Belgian roadkill waffles sprinkled with gravel granola.

As we drove, I kept looking on the Uber app for a way to report the driver in-route, but I didn’t find anything. I should have just demanded she stop and I get out. Nothing is worth that kind of risk. But we arrived pretty quickly. When she dropped me off, the app prompted me to rate her, and I reported her. They refunded my ride. To think, this driver supposedly had a 4.72 rating out of 5.

I Live, Obviously, But…

Thankfully, I’m home safe and glad the day is drawing to a close. Today is the Baron Samedi’s Day. Maybe the ghede just needed to dangle a bit of danger in front of me to remind me that every moment of every day is both precious and precarious, even when we feel like we’re in the driver’s seat.

Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday tomorrow! As usual, I’ll be writing.

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