There is a moment, just a fraction of a millisecond, before you get hit by a truck, where you realize that it’s going to happen. You know with complete inexorable certainty that this hit is about to occur, and there’s nothing you can do to avoid it.
I was hit by a truck today, crossing the street in downtown Orlando. (Spoiler alert: I’m OK, just a little sore on the side where I was hit.)
I was leaving a job interview in downtown Orlando, wearing a suit and tie. I was walking with the crosswalk, and a work truck with two men in the cab was turning left onto the street. Even though it’s a clear and sunny day, he somehow did not see me.
I saw him before I started walking, but I had the crosswalk and the walk signal, and I thought that he would let me pass since I had right of way. I thought he saw me, too. I was wrong.
In that fraction of a millisecond when I saw that he wasn’t stopping, I did three things by instinct: The first was to try to cross faster so that I wouldn’t be in front of him. The second was to reflexively put my hands on the hood, as if that would stop the truck. The third, hilariously, was to hop up, so that if I was hit I wouldn’t go underneath the vehicle.
In my moviebrain, I totally saw myself jumping onto the hood like Robin Williams in Jumanji. What actually happened was that the main part of the impact was to my thigh, and the rest was transferred to my hands on the hood of the truck, which jolted my shoulder.
“OH MY GOD, are you OK?” It was the truck driver. Followed immediately after, I heard similar questions from a woman on the corner I was crossing to, as well as some people at the opposite corner.
I hadn’t been knocked down, my clothing wasn’t marked or torn, and for one completely ridiculous second, my biggest worry was that the phone in my front pocket had been damaged. A few timid test-steps right after the impact told me that I wasn’t terribly injured, so I said I was OK, and let the driver go on with his day. We both got good stories out of this one.
I hope he pays more attention to where he’s going though.
Have you ever been hit by a car?