Monday, August 17, 2015
Good Cop, Bad Accident, There Are No Accidents
I generally subscribe to a certain kind of chaos theory, as opposed to one of faith that the universe or God has a plan. I believe in randomness, not so much because I'm cynical or privileged but because I don't think certain things have inherent meaning until we thrust form onto them. Does that make sense?
About twenty minutes after I kissed Henry good-bye this morning, told him I loved him and watched him drive off to his first day of school and then climbed back into bed to sleep for a little bit more, I was awakened by the sound of metal on metal -- a sickening crunch that I knew instantly was a crash up the street from me. Sirens began almost immediately, as did the racket of a circling helicopter. I knew that Henry was already at school, but I got up and went out to see what was happening -- a large SUV was on its side at the corner and police cars and men had already blocked off the street and were tending to traffic. It was only 7:15 but already scorching hot, so I turned around and headed back to my house, my heart in my throat.
A little before noon, I ventured out again, this time with Sophie, and made my way up to the accident site which was still blocked off with cops guarding the intersection and the SUV on its side. As Sophie and I made our way across the street, we walked toward a cop, and I asked him what had happened. A woman in the SUV was making a left turn and hit a cop car, he said. Luckily no one was hurt too badly. I expressed relief and told him I had a teenaged driver who had left for school about fifteen minutes before the crash. He said, You know, cars are really safe these days -- they can be in wrecks like what you see, and they're built to take it and even protect the drivers. I felt a smidgen of relief, filed the statement away to share with my friends but perhaps not with my boy. The cop said hello to Sophie and asked me her name. I told him, and then he asked me whether I would mind telling him what was up with her. She has epilepsy, has had it from infancy, so it affected her development, I said. He smiled and told me that his daughter had epilepsy, too, that she'd gotten it from meningitis when she had a cochlear implant put in for deafness. She was physically able but cognitively at the level of a five year old, despite her fourteen years. She was also on two antiepileptics, both of which Sophie has been on and had done an unsuccessful trial of the ketogenic diet. I shared with the cop our story of cannabis oil, how it had stopped Sophie's seizures for the most part after nineteen years and 22 drugs. We looked into each other's eyes and smiled.
A cop and me. There are no accidents.*
*My friend and writer Carrie Link has taught me this.