T-bone Burnett

Posted on September 23rd, 2008 by george.
Categories: coincidence, enlightenment, epiphany, friends, health, life, photography, travel.

Blue Willie
On the way to the movies tonight, Willie and I stopped to pick up Tony at the nursery where he works.  As we pulled out of the driveway, we stopped, then had to make a three-point turn to go back and close the gate.  The movie was starting in ten minutes, so Willie sped off but quickly got behind slower traffic.  This was good, considering the cop sitting by the side of the road.  “Which way do you think we should go?” he asked.  “Take 95,” I replied, “It’ll be about five minutes faster than all the red lights on Fiske.”  He made a right turn, and we carried on with our conversation about how happiness is a choice; that you must be content with your life exactly as it is, that true joy can never be derived from material things.  Lacey twittered about being frustrated, stuck in hellish traffic in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Ike.  I remember saying a Remover of Difficulties for her as Willie went on about how he wouldn’t be upset if his house burned down.  We were on SR-520 approaching the I-95 overpass to turn south on the highway, when, to quote They Might Be Giants, “then came a knock on the door which was odd and the picture abruptly changed.”
The truck that hit us
Suddenly everything was moving in slow motion as I realized we’d been broadsided by a big yellow truck.  I hadn’t seen it coming; luckily Willie was paying attention and had swerved to the right at the last moment.  This kept us from plowing head-on into the oncoming Ford F-250.  Instead, he t-boned us.  I remember a sharp jolt, then watching the world slide past the windshield as we swung through 270 degrees.  “Is everyone alright?” I asked when we came to a stop.  Grunts in the affirmative.  “Willie, do you want me to call 911?”  “Yeah,” he replied as he jumped out to check on the other driver, whose airbag had deployed.  I tried to take stock of myself as I dialed the number.  Within 30 seconds the nice lady had all the information she needed, and a minute later the sheriff arrived, followed by the paramedics, a truck full of firemen, and a state trooper.  As it turns out, the other driver was within 50 feet of his destination; he was a construction worker working on the surface of the on-ramp.  We were swarmed with men in hardhats, his colleagues snapping photos and asking us if we were ok and what happened.  It added to the official nature of the scene, to be sure.

We weren’t visibly injured, so we called Rene to come pick us up while Willie got GEICO to tow his mangled truck.  Rene dropped Tony off, then drove us to my place, where we picked up my car and drove ourselves to the ER.  We were taken to the back before we even finished filling out our forms (how quick is that?).  The nurses and doctors were very kind, even joked around with us.  Willie and I got the same diagnosis and prescriptions, along with the directive to take a couple days off work to rest and recover.

It dawned on me as I took a hot shower just now that I said the Tablet of Ahmad on the way into work this morning.  I find myself pondering now just how dangerous cars can be.  Interestingly enough, my friend Christy had the exact same accident in the exact same intersection last year, except she plowed into the person who pulled in front of her and totalled her friend’s brand new car (she was designated driver).  You’d think by now they’d install a green left-turn arrow.

As I drove home from work today, I saw a motorcycle pop a wheelie and get up to a buck and change on my street.  I remember thinking about how cool that was.  Nothing like a little wake up call to make you appreciate the unforgiving brutality of momentum, and savor each new moment you’re granted that much more.

State trooper



Comment on September 23rd, 2008.

Nothing like a little wake up call to make you appreciate the unforgiving brutality of momentum, and savor each new moment you’re granted that much more.

Perfect ending to this entry. I am so glad you are OK. Ya Baha’u’l-Abhá!


Comment on September 23rd, 2008.


BONUS! This is entry number 333, the accident happened on September 22nd, and the firetruck that responded to the scene was Engine 44 (look at the photo!). Today has been full of 11s as well, like the two vertical blue streaks in the last photo, created by the police lights.


Comment on September 23rd, 2008.

for a moment in your lifetime that could be taken as horribly traumatic — this is written very eloquently. Glad you are ok!


Comment on September 23rd, 2008.

*hug* glad you’re all ok.


Comment on September 23rd, 2008.

A little healthy respect for toys cannot hurt. Glad you are okay.


Comment on September 23rd, 2008.

OMG…how is it possible that I’m the one with crazy traffic and you’re the one that gets smashed into?! I’m so glad you all are okay. Rest and relax, dear brother!


Comment on September 23rd, 2008.

tanks be to God! hehe.

Glad youre ok G.


Comment on September 23rd, 2008.

Khodah rahm kard — God was merciful.

Or, what Patrick said. :)


Comment on September 23rd, 2008.

Man. So incredibly happy you’re ok. Much love!


Comment on September 24th, 2008.

Proof once again that God answers prayers!!! Your mother and I pray daily for our children’s safety. Love you! DAD


Comment on September 25th, 2008.

Crazy! It sounds like it could’ve been a tragic ending. Luckily you’re all ok. I’m curious to know what the diagnosis was though. Was it chronic coolness? Awesomeness of the left ventricle?

A week ago I was in a bad accident too. A guy ran a red and totalled a total of 3 cars (his, mine, the guy next to me’s) and hit a pedestrian. The pedestrian jumped up on the hood of the car and rolled over the roof and I think he saved his life by doing that. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure he’s a ninja.

Another pedestrian who had been in the intersection approached me in my bewildered state after the ambulances left and said that my most likely car saved his life because I was hit instead of him. He also said that the EXACT same thing had happened as he was crossing that same intersection three months ago. That man is meant to live!


Comment on October 21st, 2008.

Way to turn a scary experience into an affirmation of life! Perfectly timed with your REBIRTH Day. I was thinking of you and was about to call when I got the text from you that night. I felt the grip of fear we feel when someone we love is in danger and in the next moment I felt the release of relief as I realized you were basically OK. May God continue to keep you safe through all the dangers you face, and enable you to serve Him ever day of your life.


Comment on November 8th, 2008.

Dude… I’m late to the party here – just read this, and man… I’m glad you are OK.

I’ve decided to get back into the blogosphere again, both reading and posting. Seriously…. glad you’re alright. :)

Toast for brekkie » Another accident

Pingback on March 15th, 2009.

[…] I lifted my foot from the accelerator, unsure of what to do.  I remember thinking, “If I were I doctor, I would be required by law to stop.”  As distance grew between us and the accident, I saw the driver of the economy car get out and walk to the rear of his car to see what the heck had just transpired.  I considered calling 911, but most times I phone in accidents they tell me I’m the fifth caller.  Within a few seconds we made our turn into “Fantasy Adventure Golf.”  I sat in the car for a few minutes while Lorenia patiently talked me through it. […]


Comment on February 25th, 2010.

The response level to local and national disasters is noble but it’s a damn shame that so many citizens take advantage of the sad situations.

I mean everytime there is an earthquake, a flood, an oil spill – there’s always a group of heartless people who rip off tax payers.

This is in response to reading that 4 of Oprah Winfreys “angels” got busted ripping off the system. Shame on them!


Comment on February 25th, 2010.

Encuttcet, I’m thinking you’re a spambot, since you came from the RIPE.net domain, but there were no spam links in your post (unless CBS news contracts you now), so I allowed the comment. I don’t know what it has to do with this particular entry, but I will say this: the percentage of people who game the system after disasters is probably less than 1. I’d even venture that the percentage doesn’t change much between normal and disaster periods. It’s definitely nothing to be overly concerned about, and no reason to stop disaster relief.


Comment on February 25th, 2010.

After rereading this post just now, I realize that my original intention was to muse about the causal nature of our seemingly linear temporal experience. For instance, if Tony hadn’t forgotten to close the gate, if I hadn’t suggested we take I-95, if we had passed that slow car…none of this would have happened. The dependence of cause and effect is marvelous. If we hadn’t had the accident, though, this post wouldn’t exist. Maybe any one of us would have had a worse accident. Who knows? Each subsequent moment downselects from infinite potential events to one outcome, which itself becomes an initial condition. I can’t hope to wrap my mind around it.


Comment on February 25th, 2010.

I should also say thank you to everyone, a year and a half later, for your outpouring of support. I love you all.

Marjan: points for the funniest comment. As usual.


Comment on February 25th, 2010.

Yes, this is my fourth comment in a row. But just to add to the coincidental nature of all this…a phalanx of police and fire engine sirens screamed by just as I made the last comment.

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