Every now and then something happens that reminds me of my own, and others mortality. It freaks me out. Last night was one of those instances. There were five of us in the car and we pulled up to our destination pretty sure we'd be looking for parking for hours. The driver, Gina, is blessed with being Italian and thereby always getting the best parking spots, or as she likes to say "Italian parking spots". I was beginning to believe all the hype of being Italian with this parking spot on a Saturday night. It was right in front. So we filed out of the car and were waiting on the sidewalk for Gina who was still in the car. We were talking about something or another - probably the validity of this whole Italian parking spot business - when we heard a crash. Not just any crash. I metallic glass loud bang clearly coming from the other side of our car that was not in view. And the first thing that ran through my mind was that Gina was dead. I thought a car had sideswiped as she was getting out. And then I looked on the street and couldn't see a car, and everyone we were with was panicking...like WTF just happened. Running to the car. I was still standing shocked on the sidewalk and there was a crowd growing on the other side of the street and I kept hearing, "Oh my God" and shocked murmurs.
I finally snapped out of it enough to go see just WTF had happened. Mind you, this is only like 10 seconds later. And I go around the car where the rest of the group is and see a biker moaning and standing up and Gina staring with wide eyes. She's alive! Holy shit, it was scary. I immediately scan the area for damage to people and property and someone grabs the bike out of the street and someone on the other side says "This is the second time I've seen that this week!" The guy must have been going fast, and with perfect(?) timing, Gina had opened her door, sending him to the ground and her door back way farther than it was even supposed to go. Crazy stuff.
The biker gets up holding his head, muttering about a concussion but he seems...okay. People okay - check. I walk over to him with authority like some sort of doctor or something and check his pupils. Thank you ER and Grey's Anatomy. I "assure" him his pupils are the same size and ask him basic questions and ask about his vision. He seems to take stock in what I say and is like "that's good". Eh...I wonder if I should have told him I don't actually have a PhD.
Anyway, long story short, the biker eventually moseys down the street with his uninjured bike, amazingly. Assuring us all he's okay. (I so hope that's true!) And meanwhile at the car, the new problem has arised that the door no longer shuts. It's a regular old competition between all the men to see who can get it shut. Lots of slams - resulting in the door bouncing back. A metal on metal sound that clearly illustrates that this door is effed. The valet guys come help us and after 30 minutes of failed attempts at realigning the door, we finally reach the conclusion that it has to be tied shut so the car can be driven home. The problem with that is all the interior lights staying on will most likely drain the battery over night.
Gina finally speaks up that she has triple A so we call them to see if they can have better luck with the door. They don't and they end up just retying it and showing her how to disable the battery overnight. We are trying to convince Gina that the night is clearly over - seeing as it is now 12:30 and her car door is not lockable. She doesn't bite and insists on at least getting a drink. What a trooper. I would have not been functioning after the whole ordeal. Actually wasn't functioning for a bit there, and it didn't even happen to me.
Anyway. How easily that could have been a car. How one second we're all joking and laughing about Italian parking spots and the next, something like this happens. So fast. Just unbelievable to think about. And things like that do happen. That's the crazy part. I mean luckily everyone is okay, but I can only imagine a fraction of how people feel when something so out of the blue happens. Eh.
So this is a friendly reminder to check and double check when opening your door to the street. Sheesh. What a night.