23 June 2010

May 2010 iv | Hulk Smash

It gets way worse than bad hair.

9 May 2010

Jesse & I went on a shopping excursion. We were six days from Emmy time and neither of us had anything to wear. We decided to go to the NapaPremium Outlets. It was on of those days when Jesse was really excited to be going for a drive and when I was surly because I was going to have to shop. As we pulled out of the parking spot, Jesse asked me for the GPS.

But I didn't have it. I hadn't even thought to grab it. I thought he knew where we were going. Apparently Jesse had asked me to grab it but I didn't hear him. Neither of us thought to drive back home and get it. We just hit the road and I used my phone to get directions. I give you these details because they prove to be important.

I snooze in wine country. And I was on my way to being asleep when Jesse asked me if he should turn or go straight. I opened my eyes and saw no signs. I repeated the last instructions I had given - which were to stay on "so & so" until "blah blah." So he stayed straight. But "so & so" turned. Heading straight meant we had actually gotten on to a road for which we had no use. Naturally that would not have happened if I had grabbed the GPS. Jesse was telling me exactly that as he prepared to turn onto a side road.

He signaled.

He turned.

I grabbed my door.

My brain said he's looking at oncoming traffic but there's a car next to us. It's going to hit him. We have to stop. They have to stop. We can't stop. They're going to hit him. And just like the previous time when I had been hit by a car, the thoughts were quick. I had just enough time to brace, yet still process I was not about to be affected. I think all Jesse knew was the crash.

We collided.

The double yellow lines the other driver crossed. The road we were intending to take.

Henry's Bumper.

My car that had been on the right side of the road was then on the left, in a ditch. It didn't happen in slow motion - Jesse was moving too fast for that. He was furious, which I took to mean that he was not hurt. I assessed him as his mutterings grew into a crescendo. He put Henry (poor Henry!) in park. He killed the ignition (little guy was still running), he took off his seat belt and got out of the car. I knew he was not going to check on the driver - he didn't even check on me. Jesse was furious.

Using some NC-17 language, he inquired why the other driver had hit us, how she could have thought we were pulling over when our left blinker was blinking. I watched from the car. I saw her husband get out and thought what any rational news person would have thought: the husband has a gun and is going to shoot Jesse for yelling at his wife. It happens to lots of people, so why not us. My dad actually was shot for cussing at a woman. And what he said was not nearly as rude as what was coming out of a shirtless(?) Jesse. I did my best to diffuse. I started by getting a pen, notebook and camera out of the car.

"Are you guys okay?" - Danie
"$@%$&^(^(^*%##^" - Jesse
"Yeah we're fine. You?" - The husband - who I was glad to see was not brandishing a weapon.

While the front of my car was in a ditch, the back was blocking the road. Jesse tried to lift it by himself. And then "Danielle can you help push?" He always calls me by my full name when he wants to tell me it's imperative that I listen and not question. I pushed from my door - kind of what I perceive to be Henry's armpit. Some other drivers helped too. We stopped short of where Jesse had launched his shirt. He thanked the people who had helped. One told us he had called CHP. And just as quickly as they appeared, they vanished, leaving us and them. I still hadn't ruled out a weapon, so I suggested Jesse take a walk while I called our insurance company.

The insurance company told me I could call them once we were situated. I was going to have to go talk to them. I gathered my paper, pen, ID, insurance card & phone and went over to them. I assumed it wasn't their first crash, since they knew all the insurance company needed was license plate information.

I noted theirs and went back to my corner, where parents needed to be called and pictured needed to be taken. Jesse, having no more use for the Hulk, was back to being Bruce Banner. He kept apologizing and I found myself smiling. We were okay. I told him he could have been t-boned if he had turned sharper. I told him we had good insurance, that we hadn't done anything wrong and that Henry would either be fixed or totaled and that we could handle either. We didn't have anywhere we needed to be and no one had been shot. Most importantly, I asked him why he had taken off his shirt. He had no answer. So we sat and waited for the highway patrol.