Day 231-ish: The last time you changed your mind about something important


I could feel my eyelids drooping, a combination of the time and the heat in the car. I looked across to see the sign letting me know that Oxford services was coming up.

“I could push on…”

I shook my head and flicked the indicator down to come off. I hate driving tired, especially in winter. Dark nights and long hours do not make for a functional me. A good, responsible decision.

I parked up, went inside. Stood in the queue for Subway for a while, looking at my fellow late night travellers. Man speaking angrily into his phone, still in his business suit ranting about the roadworks.He was declaring his hatred for everything to do with them, clearly continuing a conversation that had been going on for a while. I could imagine the harried wife on the other end of the phone, in her dressing gown. Probably enjoying a large glass of wine to deal with this angry man.

I paused, then decided I couldn’t take his ranting any more. I looked down the frontages to see that there was no queue at Burger King, so decided to move over there. The young lady behind the counter looked at me with a sad smile as she took my order. At this point I was too tired to ask her what was wrong. I just headed back to my car with my burger and my coffee, both piping hot.

I got in and started my engine, feeling the rumble pass up through my body. I pushed my foot down onto the clutch, rested my hand against the gearstick… Then stopped the engine again. I thought I’d just give it twenty minutes or so before I moved on. I could still feel my eyelids relenting under the weight of the day, so I forced the food into my face before closing my eyes for ten minutes.

I woke up disoriented, but relaxed. Now, now I could continue on. I started up the car, waiting for a little while while the condensation disappeared from the windows. I was on my way again.

The car ate up the miles easily and I quickly reached the roadworks the shouty man had been going on about, all the traffic being forced into one lane down from three. I pulled in and sighed, accepting my fate to be stuck in traffic. I saw the van pull in behind me, coming to a stop.

Everything stayed like that for a moment.

Then, time slowed. I heard the bang and my eyes flashed to the rear view mirror. I saw the van jump into the air and realised there was nothing I could do. I braced up, then the van hit.

Time rushed back in quickly after that, leaving me with my head spinning and traffic streaming past. If only I hadn’t stopped…

So, here we are. The reason there have been no posts for the last two days are because events occurred as I describe them here. However, everyone involved is okay, just shaken like a cocktail in a James Bond film. 

Once again, I return to a favourite theme of mine. That small things we choose to do affect other things in our lives. In this case, even swapping from the Subway queue to go and eat at Burger King affected the events that occurred later on. I wanted to show that, and hope that I have. Changing my mind about continuing on, about where to eat… It all led to that moment.

Just to reassure, I am okay and intend to be back on track by tomorrow night. Wish me luck!

The Idiot in Tin Foil

3 thoughts on “Day 231-ish: The last time you changed your mind about something important

  1. Take it from a guy who’s had to drive across his country at least three times. (I’ve honestly lost count.) I’m glad you’re okay. But if you have “droopy eye” pull over. I don’t have details of your encounter, but as well rested as you were, driver distraction on the part of whoever hit you probably had a lot to do with it. (Cellphone, radio, navigation, droopy eye). I’m glad you’re okay. I’m glad it wasn’t worse. I’m glad you’re back here writing about your experience. I only mention what I mention because pushing on could have gone far worse. You’re here, and that’s a win in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

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