I just read Bo's salami deific encounter blog and was reminded of a time when I was given a sign from God myself. Now many of you are already thinking I'm going to be an asshole in a little bit or drop a zinger in the last sentence of the blog. Word of honor, I'm not. Just because I'm agnostic as hell, don't go to church, and am more often annoyed than inspired by people with an outspoken faith doesn't mean that I can't have a higher power say, "Hey, dummy, wake the fuck up!" at some point in my life.
I was 18 in my first year of college and we were leaving to go to South Padre island for Spring Break in the morning. We had 4 1.75 liter bottles of booze in a cooler in the trunk (2 bourbon and 2 vodka) and we were on our way to buy our illegal intoxicants (100 hits of dancing test tube LSD, a quarter ounce each of meth and coke (for crank-a-cola), 20 hits of baby dome MDMA, and a huge sack of weed). Now this wasn't just for the two of us, we had a shopping list for 10 people and were going to be gone for a week. Yes, the 1980s were rife with debauchery.
Texas was just about to enact the mandatory seat belt law. Most people don't remember, but before wearing a seat belt was mandated by law, nobody wore one. If you put one on, the driver might get his feelings hurt. "What's wrong, man? Don't think I'm a good driver?"
Texas was trying something extra too. One year before the law became mandatory, they enacted the "Voluntary Seat Belt Law." Everybody was supposed to wear one to get used to it. You couldn't get ticketed (or even pulled over) for not wearing one, but it was rumored that if you were pulled over for a minor infraction, you might get a warning if you were complying.
As we were pulling out of the driveway with about $3,000 in cash of drug money, the DJ on the radio said, "I hope everybody out there is complying with the voluntary seat belt law..." in a sarcastic tone. I look over at the driver (Brian) and without a word we both click our seatbelts into place. Now be aware that we'd never worn a seatbelt in our entire lives. We just did it for a goof.
Less than 60 seconds later, we got in a massive head-on accident. We were going about 50 mph and an oncoming car went right over the double yellow line and nailed us. Brian didn't even touch the brake. The force of the collision ripped the rear view mirror off of the windshield and imbedded it in the dash. Even with my seat belt in place, my knees went through the glove compartment and I had moderate injury to my chest and lungs from the shoulder strap. Brian, however, was fine.
The car was a 1984 Prelude. It protected us pretty well, but it was utterly destroyed. The offending car was an 1985 Volvo. I didn't really get to see the driver. He was apparently pretty fucked up though. The first ambulance was there so fast that it seemed that they must've been right around the corner. They stuffed him in and took off.
One EMT stayed behind with a radio to triage for the next ambulence on the way. He was running around, "Who else was in the car? Who was in the car?"
I raised my hand, "I was."
"Where are you injured?" Giving me a visual inspection.
"I think I'm okay." I was so keyed up on adreneline that I didn't become aware of my injuries until he was long gone.
"Were you the driver?" He was calming down.
"Where's the driver?" Getting excited again, looking in the front seat of the ruined car.
"He's over at the 7-11 calling his mom."
"Oh..." He looked almost disappointed that we weren't totally fucked up. I realized that he wasn't accostomed to people walking away from major collisions. He looked at the carnage of the Prelude and just assumed that he'd be sticking breathing tubes into somebody in just a minute or two.
In my deranged, adreneline juiced teen brain I determined that I'd received a reprieve from the great beyond. By coincidence, Karma, or Devine intervention, a voice on the radio had compelled me to take a simple action that had either literally saved my life or at least prevented serious, permanent bodily injury.
If ever I'd been directly addressed by the devine, that was it.
When the cops pulled up, the whole intersection was a miasma of booze vapor. The collision had broken 3 out of the 4 bottles of booze. When the cop asked Brian for his ID, he saw a huge handful of 100s in his wallet. He never said anything about either anamoly. More Devine intervention.
Yes, we still bought our drugs. Yes, we replaced our booze. We took my car to South Padre. We got deranged, layed, sunburned, and made it home safely (although without as many neurons as we left with).