Friday, December 14, 2007

Post Winter Apocalyptic Rhode Island

The storm of the year is over. I think I have about 8 inches of snow outside my house right now. I was under a blanket on the couch watching the coverage on the news as it was snowing outside. I was listening to the newscasters tell horror stories of people sitting in traffic for 7, or 8 or 9 hours trying to get to their home probably only 20 miles away.

Todd decided to wait out the storm and leave work later. He called me around 8 PM to say he was going to try to go home. By then more than 6 inches of snow had gathered. The roads were a mess, and the plows couldn’t negotiate the bumper to bumper gridlock on every road in Rhode Island. He sat in traffic for about an hour and gave up on it. He parked his car in a lot a block away from the office and walked back.

He and one of his co-workers decided to grab dinner at a local restaurant to wait out the storm. He was talking to me on his cell as he was driving. He said “Oh shit!” and then the phone went dead.

This isn’t the first time something like that happened. When Todd and I first lived together in Boston he was commuting to Providence for work—over an hour away. One night there was an ice storm and he was stuck on the highway on the way back home late that night. He was talking to me and he said “Oh shit” and the line went dead. When he got home a few hours later I was frantic. He told me that there was a major accident in front of him, cars skidding on the ice every which way. He threw the phone down onto the floor of the car so that he could concentrate on driving and didn’t get the chance to call me to let me know he was OK.

I paced back and forth in the living room last night, trying his cell every few minutes. I refused to believe that his last words to me would be “Oh shit.” I needed to find out what happened to him. I turned on the news to see if there were any major accidents near his office. I sat on the coffee table with my face inches from the screen waiting to hear about my husband. It would have been nice if the newscaster would cut the broadcast and just say “Beej, Todd is OK. He’ll call you in a minute, OK?” I wondered if his last words to me would really be “Oh shit.” How uneventful would that be? The love of my life says “Oh shit” and it’s over. There would be no long, drawn out last words like there are in the movies. There would be no “I’ll always love you.” There would be no “Go on without me…” moment, and then I’d say “No man gets left behind” and I would hoist him up over my shoulder and carry him away from the danger. Just an “Oh shit” and silence on the line.

Just over an hour later Todd was safely back in his office when he called me. I reminded him that I was sitting at home wondering what had happened to him. He told me that his phone turned off when he’d dropped it in the car, so it wasn’t ringing with every time I called him.

At the moment of the fateful “Oh shit” he had seen the car in front of him hit a pedestrian. The traffic wasn’t moving very fast, so the pedestrian did survive the accident. I am relieved that I wasn’t that pedestrian’s spouse. Imagine listening to your spouse on the phone saying “Yeah, I am walking across the street right now. The traffic is terrible… Oh shit” then the sound of skidding tires and the line goes dead. All things considered, I am still the luckiest woman in the world.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. See, I can identify with that. One of the reasons I haven't replaced my crashed motorcycle is because when I crashed, I got up, dusted myself off, and called my wife on my cell. Except I was on a twisty little hilly road where I couldn't get a signal to save my ass. So I got through to her juuuuust enough for her to know I crashed...but not that I was okay.

It was about an hour or so before I got hour during which she was thoroughly traumatized. And I can understand that.

December 14, 2007 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Marit said...

Hey, I discovered your blog while writing my own and wanted to let you know I enjoy it! I like to read blogs that make me smile and yours certainly does.

December 15, 2007 at 12:03 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm glad that Todd was ok! That would totally stress me out to hear those last words and then not know what happened.

December 16, 2007 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Gypsy said...

That would have given me apoplexy. I'm glad he's safe!

December 17, 2007 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Augs Casa said...

WOW! I'm glad Todd is OK. I see you're 8" of snow with the 8" on my picnic table. Was quite the story. That's the most snow I've gotten in one day for the past 10 years.

December 17, 2007 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger ME said...

Damn, that kind of thing stresses me the hell out! Glad everything turned out good!

December 18, 2007 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Jansky T said...

Wow! That had to be the worst hour ever.

December 18, 2007 at 2:16 PM  

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