Sunday, August 12, 2007

Strange Day

What started out to be a calm Sunday visit to the convalescent center to see Christopher following his hip replacement surgery turned into a grueling ordeal when my car was rear-ended on the Garden State Parkway by an SUV. In the end, four cars were involved in a chain-reaction fender bender.
I was on my to Cape May Court House to see Christopher this morning when I stopped at a light - one of three lights on the entire stretch of the Garden State Parkway. As I slowed to a stop, I heard a loud screeching and heard a bang and my car jostled violently foreward. I was okay, but really shaken up. I got out of the car and noticed the occupants of three other vehicles behind me doing the same. The New Jersey State Police came and took our information, then told me and the driver of the SUV behind me to pull over while he attended to the other two drivers.
Turns out the driver of a white van started the chain reaction when he slammed into a green pickup truck, which in turn hit the SUV, which in turn hit me. Kind of like a multi-vehicle clusterfuck. The family in the SUV behind me was from Montreal. As we waited, they began speaking some foreign language, and I know it wasn't French. I heard this language before and asked the driver his name. He replied it was Vahan, an Armenian name. When I told them I was half Armenian, the whole family became excited and began speaking Armenian to be. "What are the odds?" Vahan said, indicating two Armenians, one from New Jersey and the other from Canada, would be part of a car accident. After ten minutes of discussing our family trees, the Armenian-Canadian family and I were allowed to leave. I went to the convalescent center and saw Christopher about 45 minutes late.
Damage to my car: zero. Incidentally, I was the only one driving a car. Everyone else had larger vehicles. Vahan's SUV was a rental and had a badly smashed bumper and rear door. The gods were with me today.
Christopher was doing well after his surgery. It'll take him another week of therapy before he can go home and four more weeks before he can return to work. He was in good spirits and appreciated the visit. He showed us the incision - metal staples banding raw flesh. It looked really nasty, but inside him is an artificial hip that'll help him walk better, which is a miraculous thing.
I ended the day with a boat ride on the back bay with my lkandlord and friend, Sam and my dad. Sam cranked the boat up and we took off, boat rocking, waves splashing and salty sea spray drenching us. A harrowing experience, especially if you're not used to boating, but exhilerating nonetheless. We were all drenched and salty after that. As we tied Sam's boat to the dock, I vowed a newfound appreciation of dry land.

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