I always get interested in car wrecks, mainly because people like to use the word luck.
I find it incredibly ironic that what has socially earned me the right of being called lucky, has in-turn made me no longer believe in luck.
I rolled a self-built '72 blazer on two separate occasions. (You Kirkwood guys may remember the Orange Goose.) Once, I rolled it 2.5 times down a hill into a dry creek bed, and once I flipped it on Carson Pass. The second time, with my bro in the passenger seat, I remember that moment of accepting my death... only to have nothing but silence wake me up after everything stopped.
We were pushed to the floor, the steering wheel (after punching my wrist through the windshield) was the highest point on the rig after the fiberglass top ripped away. I now have a scar on my wrist from where it was pinned and I remember quite vividly the gravel that made it. Aside from that, we walked with zero injuries. All of our friends were calling us lucky and athletic for having gotten away with it. Since then, I just shrug... wondering how to articulate the death of luck to people who have most likely never accepted death through and through only to be spit back out into the living as if you were the sour-tasting bit death couldn't quite stomach.
That second moment, after the silence, when I yelled at my bro asking if he was okay and he screamed that he couldn't breathe, luck dissipated into guilt. I thought he couldn't breathe because he was in half and didn't know it yet. As it turns out, it was just his seatbelt constricting him. The damage to the rig was so severe, and I was pinned so tightly, that I didn't even release my seatbelt when I slithered out through the seats along the pavement to the tail gate that creaked its opening by a fine man with a crowbar. I also remember his goatee and green hooded sweatshirt.
I'm reaching a point now where Japan's highly-efficient/go anywhere public transportation system is getting old, but man do I get creaped out when I'm behind a wheel. I also think it's about time I grow up and spend the money I have saved on a new rig. But, it sure as hell ain't gonna be anything tall.
While you may consider yourself lucky you didn't leave the parking lot 2 seconds later, I just want to say that many of us have similar experiences that end up denouncing luck.
(Please excuse my taking the opportunity to embelish something that I have been trying to write about for years, yet always end up putting away in an attempt to stop editing. Oh... and the novel in the making is entitled The Rifled Walls of Faith hopefully to one day make it past my obsessive critiques. 5 years to write 80,000 words and it will probably never be good enough. Funny too, the wreck is written within the first of 12 chapters. It's the other 11 that grind away at the finite barriers of language.)