Back to Save the Universe

I was almost hit by this guy during a high-speed police pursuit.

Basically, I was driving northbound on the 5 when I saw the line of police lights in my rear view, so I pulled into the slow lane and reduced my speed to about 50 mph. I neglected, however, to see that the lights were chasing the aforementioned white truck with the gun-wielding driver. In order to avoid the slowing traffic the guy ended up swerving across three lanes of freeway to scrape by the front-left corner of my Jeep (literally less than six inches away). It was terrifying, to say the least. I reacted by cutting halfway onto the shoulder as twelve to fifteen police vehicles zoomed by me at scary-fast speeds.

I finally made it off the freeway and pulled over to wait for my heart rate to slow. I was immediately taken by the fact that my body was completely adrenalized; that is, all of my senses were heightened, the world seemed in sharper focus overall, and my mind was completely clear of all extraneous thought except for the singular focus on not crashing and/or dying.

It was all very primal and cathartic, and I was immediately reminded of the lyrics to Radiohead's "Airbag."

In a fast German car / I'm amazed that I survived / An airbag saved my life

I've known all along now that the song is written specifically about that post-automobile accident moment where you realize that definitively, yes, you are alive and the resulting surge of adrenaline/endorphins that alters your brain chemistry just enough so that you feel something close to a religious experience while you sit on the side of the road trying to gather your thoughts.

An interstellar burst / I'm back to save the universe

Now, I can say that I completely and fundamentally understand the exact set of feelings that this song is meant to evoke.


1 comment:

punch-drunk said...

I had that same moment after the accident I was in a month or two ago. Once I realized we were all still alive and well, it was almost euphoric. Until the coldness set in as we stood on the side of the freeway, waiting for the tow truck.

Glad you're alright.