Guess who’s back…back…back…back again. Ah, yes. I took a bit of a hiatus.
I apologize, dear reader. But, I promise I have a good story to tell out of this rather traumatizing series of events.
After a freak, bone-chilling snow storm hit Northwest Ohio and Southeastern Michigan, I found myself in Michigan, about 45 miles from my home. I drove home carefully in the thick darkness that is US-23 South, paranoid of deer and snowbanks, listening to Iliza Schlesinger. I made it home close to 1:00am, tired but alive. I even stopped at a supermarket to procure a congratulatory snack (Fruit Gushers; for my foreign homies, they are delicious!). Mission accomplished. I felt like Homer, completed his Odyssey like a goddamn boss.
The next morning I woke up at 7:30AM, dreary but ready to head back to Ann Arbor for my 10:00AM hostess shift. Business as usual. Donned my makeup and my cute little outfit and hopped in my cute little Honda Civic, shiny and a bit frosty, but ready to roll. I was cruising carefully (note: carefully) down the slightly frosty highway. Focused on the road, the ride was uneventful for the first half. The song “Cool It Now” by New Edition turned on while I approached my halfway point, a small Michigan town called Dundee, home of a huge outdoor sporting goods store called Cabela’s, where one can procure roasted nuts and an assault rifle all in one trip!
This next part is important and forever seared into my memory. There is a slight curve whilst driving past the overpass past that exit. There was some noticeable ice on that section of the road. Going no more than 75 miles per hour (120 km/h), I braked to change lanes and avoid that patch. Suddenly, my car fishtailed, spinning out of control. I spun like an old-school top, and smashed head-on into a concrete divider, finally ending up parallel on the side of the highway after my rear right side cracked into it.
My life didn’t flash. I screamed. I gripped the wheel and felt the impact. I was aware and fully conscious, yet out of control. Time didn’t slow down. It just happened. And then it was over. I looked around, audibly hyperventilating, trying to process what the fuck just happened. A man and woman in a teal pickup truck stopped on the opposite side of the highway, having seen the whole thing. A pudgy, bearded guy, possibly in his 40s rolled down his window and called out to me. I said to myself first, “I’m okay? I’m okay. I’m okay! Holy shit! I’m okay?!” I repeated that like it was the only comprehensible phrase I could utter. It truly was at the time.
The couple in the pickup, after seeing that I wasn’t horribly injured and urging me to stay in the vehicle, called the police. A tired, young, blonde female officer approached after about five minutes. I tearfully sobbed to my mother, telling her what happened over the phone. It was so surreal. I had never gotten into any sort of crash before, yet here I was. I was a literal mess. I was shaking, terrified, adrenaline still pumping through my veins. The officer was kind and professional, letting me sit in the squad car while she completed the paperwork and waited for the tow truck to haul my once-pristine car off the side of the road. Dozens of cars whizzed by, nonchalantly. It was like a dream. It didn’t seem real.
I went to the ER after my mother picked me up about a half hour later, in the parking lot of a gas station. Still sobbing and terrified, I began to feel the pain. My neck and my shoulders were stiff and sore. I had a thumbnail-sized gash on my knee, surrounded by a mild bruise. By and large, I came out unscathed. It’s remarkable really.
So, I now have a bit of survivor’s guilt. It sounds quite terrible, but it would’ve been easier if I had died. Now, my family has to incur the burden of the damages. It was almost $400 to tow the car from Michigan to Toledo. The mechanic said there is likely $6,000 worth of damage to the car. I paid only $6,500 for it. It’s a joke. The bullshit, scam auto insurance I have didn’t pay a red cent because of some legal loophole. Luckily, I bought the car from a mechanic/used car dealer who offered to re-buy the now-junked car for between $4,500 and $6,000. So, now I’m back to square one. I’ll have my red 1999 Acura 3.0 for the remainder of the winter because I now have no other options for transportation. Life’s great, huh?
Death is such a good way out of trouble. I don’t want to die (always) but it has always been an option. I wouldn’t consider myself suicidal but it’s on my “lifeplate” constantly. And, it rears its ugly head. I faced death head-on and while yes, I was scared, I realize now that death could be…whimsical. I realize that I don’t believe in God, in any way shape or form. I never have. I don’t believe that any god or spiritual being “saved” me. Nor caused it to happen. It is just action and reaction. We make choices and everything is cyclical. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. There is no God, playing us like puppets on a string. I feel more at peace being real with myself, shedding the lies and mysticism and fantasy and devout bullshit now.
I told my mother tonight that I don’t believe in any god. And it went as expected. She looked at me like I was crazy. Like I WAS CRAZY. I don’t believe in a fictional book that tells about a floating being who controls everything and I’m the insane one. Okay, fine. It’s why exactly I didn’t bring up this topic; I didn’t need not want the judgement.
In the U.S., Christianity is so important, especially in the African-American community. It’s a huge stigma to be atheist. It’s probably worse than being homosexual, to be quite honest. To openly condemn the notion of a “God” or “Jesus Christ” or the stories of the Bible would cause a very visceral and heavily heated response. I don’t want my family to hate me. But, I can’t lie to them anymore.
I’ve never, ever felt any presence of “God” in my life ever. I’ve never, ever come home from church feeling better or more peaceful or affected in anyway. I’ve never prayed and felt comfort. I’ve tried, believe me. I truly have. But, I can’t force myself to believe in what I think is honestly bullshit, used to control the minds of the weak and weary. When you have nothing, you grip onto anything to bring you peace and comfort. And that’s what I told my mother. If it brings you peace and comfort, I will respect it, but just respect my decision to not believe. And also, don’t think my “faith” is just being tested or that it’ll come back. No, it was never there. I never bought into it. It’s a myth. I will never buy into a myth. To me, it’s idiotic. Especially for black people to be Christians when that same religion was used to justify your enslavement. Was used to control you. Was used to make you feel less than. I mean, come on. Like I said before, when you have nothing, you’ll grip onto anything that gives you some bit of comfort.
So, that was the last 36 hours for me. A few profound revelations and the fact I need to leave this place ASAP. I don’t need to be pressured to be someone I am not. I don’t need to return to school. I don’t need to do anything but live my life the way I want to live it, in order to not only survive but thrive.