All The Times I Could've Died, But Didn't.
I was working around the clock and my health was suffering. Too many screens, too many spreadsheets, too much sitting. After a particularly hellish week, it was a Friday afternoon and I was exhausted. I got into a car accident on my ride home, rear-ending a stopped car that was in a traffic jam on the highway. Thankfully, I survived and the two people in the other car did as well.
I was driving to a golf course for a round of golf with my boss and the owner of the company I worked for. A deer jumped in front of my car at the last moment. I hit the deer at approximately 30-40 mph, it helicoptered, and died on the side of the road. I surveyed the damage to my car (there was a big dent in the hood and the bumper, deer blood on the hood and deer fur stuck in crevices). It appeared to me that it was safe to drive. I made it to the golf course, played the round, and then put in a full day of work at the office. As I was leaving work, I thought that it would be wise to take a closer look at the damage to my vehicle. I struggled to pop the hood, as the knob used to pop it was being particularly difficult.
After about 10 seconds of struggling with it, I eventually got the hood open. While the dent was significant, it didn't appear that any of the vital parts of the vehicle were impacted, so I decided that it would be safe to drive home. I dropped the hood and assumed that it was closed. NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING!
I was about 10 minutes into my commute, cruising at a safe speed of about 30 mph, when suddenly, the hood of my vehicle opened up and slammed into the windshield, blinding my view of the road. Thankfully, the windshield didn't shatter, but the hood didn't go down.
Terrified, I slammed on the brakes, and thankfully, came to a complete stop without crashing into another vehicle or careening off the road. I was on a two lane road with cars driving in the opposite direction on the other lane and there was barely a shoulder to park the car. I got out, pulled the hood down, and drove at 10 mph to the nearest gas station.
Upon further inspection, the deer's impact had caused the latch that holds the hood down to get bent out of shape. This was the reason that the hood flew open.
When I got to the gas station, a concerned motorist, who was stuck behind me for miles asked me if everything was ok. I said "NO! Everything is not ok. I hit a deer, the hood flew open, and I can't afford AAA."
The good samaritan had some velcro in the trunk of his car. We used the velcro to secure the hood, which allowed me to drive the rest of the way home at 30 mph without having the hood fly open.
I was living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. My beloved New York Giants were preparing to play the Washington Commanders in a football game in Washington D.C. My friend Philippe and I bought some cheap tickets on StubHub, but they were actual tickets, not digital tickets, so I had to drive to Washington D.C. to pick them up.
During my ride to D.C., a blizzard hit the area. On a particularly dangerous stretch of highway, cars had come to a standstill, and I must have hit a patch of black ice while driving between 30-40 mph. As I was approaching the stopped cars in front of me, I hit the brakes, but the car didn't stop. I kept pumping the brakes, desperately hoping the tires would catch a clean stretch of pavement. I was about 10 feet from impacting a stopped car in front of me when I veered off into the shoulder and thankfully, came to a complete stop without hitting anyone.
My relief was short lived, however, as a young woman behind me slammed into me from behind. She must have hit the same patch of ice that I did. Thankfully, we both escaped the accident with minor injuries.
I took a helicopter ride that left Northern New Jersey at sunset and flew over the Statue of Liberty. It proceeded to fly over Wall Street, and then up the East River. We glimpsed the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, and the Queensborough Bridge from above. The pilot navigated the helicopter above Central Park. At this point, the sun had set completely, and the city was completely lit up. Central Park was like a black rectangle in a sea of lights. It was incredible.
As we were making our way back to the heliport in Northern New Jersey, we were flying over the East River when the helicopter suddenly lurched downward sharply. All of us passengers were belted into our seats tightly, but we could feel the tension and knew something was amiss. Thankfully, the pilot was able to navigate the helicopter back to safety, and we made it back to the helipad. I spoke with him afterwards about the flight and he said, "Every flight is an adventure. I'm just grateful that we were able to get back in one piece."
I was riding my beloved electric scooter to get lunch. I came to an intersection and a van blew a stop sign. I had to jump off of my scooter to avoid the van. Close call. I don't know how the food delivery drivers in cities do it on a daily basis.