Saturday evening after my wife got home from work, my oldest son, Andy, and I headed off to the local grocery store. After gathering the agreed upon supplies (I didn’t forget anything) we set off for home. Everything was pretty normal.
The subdivision we live in is located on a fairly narrow street just off of a soon-to-be expanded highway. So, we turned onto the road and continued on our way. Less than a quarter of a mile down the road, I noticed an SUV stopped in a driveway on the left-hand side of the road. The truck was facing the road as if it were going to pull out, but it was a few feet from the road with no driver. Still, the positioning was odd. I continued on with my attention somewhat held captive by the vehicle.
At this spot on the road there is basically no shoulder on either side. In fact, each side is pretty much a ditch with some overgrowth. Along the road at sporadic intervals are mailboxes. Directly across the road from where the SUV was parked was their mailbox. It turns out, the former occupant of the SUV is standing in the road, at his mailbox, looking through his mail.
I caught sight of him a split second before I was on him; in fact, I barely had time to swerve a bit to the left. I missed him. I barely missed him. I looked back in my rearview mirror and saw him casually turn around to regard us as we went on our way. I looked forward and drove. My heart was pounding, and I was lightheaded. After attempting to explain to my son why I had just swerved and uttered something clearly unintelligible, I began to collect my thoughts. I very nearly killed someone.
Since that happened, roughly 90 minutes ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about it. I’ve been thinking how drastically my life could have changed had I not missed him. How would my family’s lives have changed? Does the man who was standing in the road going through his mail have any clue how close he was to being killed? I think about how each of us may miss death by inches or seconds each day, and I wonder how I’m not obsessed by such thinking on a regular basis.
It’s really weird having knowingly very nearly killed someone.