Sorry about the salty windshield. This was some hundreds of miles into a hospital run with one of my parishioners after a rare Winter storm in the mountains here. We’re making the final descent into the Nantahala Gorge.
Pictured is me slamming on the brakes, just squeaking in between the guard rail and the otherwise certain head-on collision. The driver wasn’t going fast at all, perhaps just ten or fifteen miles an hour. It wasn’t a sudden thing. It was like he was determined to be a danger to himself and others, you know, entitled to do so. Little did he know that I make a thing of asking my guardian angel for protection.
Perhaps he was drunk, off his meds or some such thing. But he was just a little too stubborn. I was honking at him but he seemed to be purposely ignoring my difficulties in avoiding him. He looked to be in his late sixties.
I had just had another incident hardly a minute before this just over the same hill, just some hundreds of yards away, with a woman who also looked to be in her late sixties and who also seemed to have the same belligerent determination to cause death and mayhem, you know, like she was entitled.
She pulled out directly in front of the tractor-trailer with heart-stopping slowness and determination, just like the guy described above, and, like him, continued going no more than ten or fifteen miles an hour. It was not a sudden thing. It was like she had waited for the circumstances to be what they were. I had stopped completely and pulled over as far as I could so as to give the tractor-trailer guy a bit of an option should she brake-check him. He waved, thankful that I had done this. It’s quite a few miles of double-yellows. I wonder if she kept everyone trapped behind her at such a slow speed. She was yelling and gesturing at me for having gotten out of her way, apparently upset that she and everyone else was still alive.
I gotta wonder if this man and woman had been having a fight. Were they married? Was it road rage against each other which turned into road rage against everyone?
Situational awareness is a service to self and others as it looks for ways out of potentially bad situations instead of letting them get worse. This is a courtesy, and can spell the difference between life and death at any given time.
Are we aware of the situation we are in what with all of eternity before us?