I was turning left, halfway through the crosswalk right by the kids' school, when I noticed that a woman was just inches from my driver's side view mirror. I recognized her, and recognized that I very nearly killed her. I opened my window and yelled over the sound of my blood in my ears, tears stinging my eyes and choking me, I'm so sorry. My widows are all foggy and I didn't see you. I'm so, so sorry.
And she was okay, and I was okay, but of course we were both shaken up as we silently tallied the list of What Ifs. I'm not really sure what happened: if I just didn't look; if she was in my blind spot; if I looked but didn't see because the kids were squabbling or I was preoccupied. The windows were steamy, and that is probably what happened, but it worries me still that I wasn't paying better attention.
That happens to me a lot. Not usually while I'm driving, luckily, but just in general. I feel like I'm often looking up in a panic at some near-miss of a situation, knowing that I fucked up but totally clueless about what it was, exactly, I did. Or didn't do. It's like I'm not sure what things to watch, and the things that I don't keep in check circle back on me. Mainly I have this sense that I am letting people down. Only no one will really come out and say it, because, you know, I'm going through a hard time right now, and so I'm left feeling that I've been too self-absorbed, or not grateful enough, or too much of a doormat, or maybe just a bad friend, but I'm not sure, really. Maybe it's all just in my head. I know that my very own special breed of low self-esteem sometimes flipflops into an assumption that if something is wrong it MUST be my fault. Which is perhaps about as self-absorbed and egotistical as one human can be.
What can I say? I do try.
I'll be better off in a few weeks when I'm not on such a high dose of prednisone. (It challenges my coping abilities, to put it mildly.) In the meantime I will weigh my words more carefully, I will watch where I'm going, and I will let myself believe in things that astonish me instead of waiting for that feeling of emptiness where there just was something amazing I was holding on to.