In early July 2018, I was driving home from work talking to Greg (my now husband) on the phone – through Bluetooth. It was after 5:30 PM in the afternoon which meant traffic was a shit show as it is always in my area. As I was coming up to a stop light, there was an abrupt change in traffic flow where the two lanes on the very left (there were four lanes going in the direction I was headed) suddenly went into one lane – the one I was in. The most left lane did not end, but some smart cop decided it would be a great idea to pull someone over on the furthest left lane immediately following a stop light. What the hell dude? I thought cops were taught to pull people over on the side of the freakin’ road – not right in the middle of it.
This abrupt blockage of the furthest left lane meant drivers in that lane were speeding up and to cut people off right before they ran into the cop car. Yup, I live among some of the best and most polite drivers. I realized and saw what was happening ahead of me about two seconds before things in my lane became fucked and traffic suddenly stopped. Now, while I do have cerebral palsy I have been fortunate enough to have fairly quick reflexes in my legs when it comes to driving. So once I realized traffic was going from 40mph to 0mph I slammed my foot on the brake – as did all of the drivers in front and behind me.
I heard a loud thud and felt my car lurch forward a few inches before coming back to stop again. For two horrifying seconds I thought I hit the person in front of me but then I happened to glance in my rearview mirror and saw the same horrified look I just had seconds earlier in the drivers face. “I’ve been hit,” I interrupted Greg. He chuckled, “What?” “Someone hit me in my back. Rear ended me,” I exclaimed followed by his shocked “oh, shit.”
You see we were both incredulous at what was happening because I had just been in another accident exactly 2 ½ weeks prior to this day where someone had T-boned me in a parking lot (I recommend reading about this first accident to understand my state of mind on this day) and had just gotten my car back from the auto shop on Monday. This was now Thursday – only four days later.
I told Greg to hold on while I hopped out of the car to see if the lady was all right. Physically she was okay but apparently this was her first accident ever and she was shocked that she had hit me. Well lady, you and I both. I also checked that I didn’t hit the car in front of me – which I hadn’t. This turned out to be a four car accident. The car immediately in front of me had hit the car in front of them, but I was able to stop quick enough not to hit the car in front of me. Thank goodness for small favors, eh? I got back into my car just as I noticed two other cop cars were parked on the right side of the cross street we were stopped at. They immediately stopped traffic and were directing all four cars to cross the lanes and park on the side of the road of the cross street.
As I was a following their directions, my… slight meltdown (for a lack of a better word) began. I told Greg they were making us move to the cross street and could he please come, right now. After telling him where I was he said he was leaving immediately and hung up. Somehow I ended up in the front of the line of all four cars pulled over on the side plus three cop cars. I shut off my car. I have no idea why did this because it was another blazing hot day and when I shut my car off I shut the AC off. As I was rummaging through my car to get my drivers license and insurance card, I realized my registration wasn’t in my car. Whenever I take my car into an auto shop and leave it there for more than a day I always take out all my personal information. Since I had just gotten my car back on Monday, it had slipped my mind to put my car registration back in the glove department so it was sitting in our home. Right where it belongs, obviously.
I started freaking out. Even more. I was afraid I was going to get a ticket for not having my registration in my car as I should have. I immediately called Greg back and he answered. I quickly explained I didn’t have my car registration, it was sitting on the chair in the living room, and could he please bring it with him so I didn’t get a ticket. He responded with “Hello? Hello? Are you there?” I said his name even louder and repeated everything I had just said even louder then waited for his response. He hung up. I stared at the phone in disbelief for a second before it started ringing with his number. I picked it up and heard him saying hello again. At this point I was beyond frustrated and extremely freaking hot. I started screaming into the phone “Greg! Greeeg! I need my fucking registration! Can you hear me? What the fuck! Please bring my registration!”
I hung up the phone heaving because obviously he couldn’t hear me and I was flabbergasted as to why not. I was contemplating what the hell was going on when I happened to glance at my side mirrors and saw two male cops, one on each side of my car, slowly inching their way up to my front windows. I tried to open my windows before realizing, like an idiot, I needed to first turn on my car. So I turned on my car and rolled my driver-side window and passenger-side window down. I made eye contact with both cops, one after the other, and was surprised to see they both had very wary and hesitant looks in their eyes. Now I was very confused, but still flustered and pissed. “Yes?” I snapped while trying to keep a patient tone in my voice.
One of the cops asked me if I was all right. Huh? I told them both I was fine but that I didn’t have my registration because I had just been T-boned two weeks prior and had just retrieved my car from the auto shop on Monday and had yet to put my registration back in my car so I didn’t have it. I told them I didn’t want to get a ticket. I realize how upset and somewhat desperate I must have sounded at this time. They both gave me reassuring looks and told me I would not be getting a ticket and I did not do anything wrong. They asked me if I needed help for which I accepted a female cop’s help in filling out my paperwork while I sat in my car. I have a difficult time writing unless I’m sitting at a table or in front of a flat surface.
As I sat my car waiting for Greg and contemplating why the cops approached me as if I was some wild animal who could pounce at any time, I suddenly realized that while Greg obviously couldn’t hear me screaming into my phone, the cops probably heard my screaming from outside my car because I was that out loud. I chuckled to myself and shook my head thinking about how the cops must perceive me as some crazed a little woman who had lost her shit – yelling at God knows what in her car.
Anytime the cops approached me they were very cautious and it amused me. It was as if they were taking extra precautions and seemingly afraid they would unknowingly push another one of my buttons that may make me go off the edge that I was clearly right next to. Well… Crazy, disabled woman is not exactly the perception I enjoyed giving off but I will definitely take it over being blatantly disrespected.
Greg arrived a few minutes later and parked in front of me. I had expected the cops to give him a hard time and make him leave since he was not part of the accident and probably should not have been at the scene. But he hopped out of the jeep and immediately stated that he was there for me. I have never seen cops look so relieved. It was the as if they were thinking “Oh, thank God, you’re here to handle this crazy chick. Please, please do something.”
I got out of the car just as Greg approached my door and he enveloped my sweaty body (I had turned the car off again – I don’t know what was wrong me but I obviously wasn’t in my right mind in those few minutes. I don’t know why I kept turning off my car when it was so fucking hot outside) in a warm hug.
I had to take my car in and get a rental, again, because apparently the lady’s car had slid under my bumper and caused significant damage. It wasn’t until Greg was driving us home (he suggested I leave my car at the nearby shopping center and not drive for the rest of the night since I was still shaken) that I realized when I had turned off my car the first time and had tried to call Greg about my registration – my car and phone only half way disconnected from the car Bluetooth. So while I could hear Greg through my phone, he couldn’t hear me because my phone was still partly connected to my Bluetooth and I had turned my car off. Fucking technology.
I don’t enjoy dealing with cops because they usually judge me based on my physical disability and the way they treat me is almost always negative. However, their treatment of me this time was pretty damn entertaining to me. I always tell people I am a little crazy because I do silly and ridiculous things but this time I really did appear crazy and I think it benefited me :-). Good times for everyone.
Until next time
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