I went to see RED with a friend today. I enjoyed the movie very much, There was a time I was rather repulsed by the genre, which I would classify as Savvy Survivalists With Superior Skills Scorning the Societal Status Quo. I was once Pollyanna. I had in place a well programmed belief system that America was not only benign, but was The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, a place of Liberty and Justice for all.
Various experiences and events eroded that illusion over the years but it wasn't until my encounter with Meth Lady and The Good Ol Boy Minions that I knew experientially, that America is no such place. My meeting with Meth Lady was of a violent nature. I was proceeding to work at about 35 mph in a straight line when she collided violently and without apparent reduction of speed to the front driver's side of my car. I don't remember being unconcious, but I remember awareness returning so I think I was out. I remember being confused by all the dust inside my car and wondering why it stank. I remember releasing my seatbelt which I did not always wear then. But the paramedics and police who were there VERY quickly (another reason to think I was unconcious) had to turn off my engine. My foot was heavy on the brake and I hurt, especially my arm. The police who came to assist me told me the person who had hit me had inquired how I was, they also told me there were drugs (they mentioned meth) and paraphanalia found in her car and that this was not the first "accident" she had been involved in. They said she was driving on a license that was either suspended or revoked and that she had an insurance slip but that it was undetermined as to whether it was valid.
All this as I was crying in the road wondering what had happened. I remembered seeing her car coming fast in my direction. She wasn't even going to make the entrance of the shopping center she was apparently headed for even had I not been in her path. Indeed her car was far from the entrance and had collided with a palm tree after she hit me. She was standing on the grass smoking and talking on her cell phone. She had NOT been wearing her seatbelt and I saw in her arrest picture that her face was pretty badly lacerated. She WAS arrested and taken to the hospital. I was offered a ride in an ambulance which I declined because I remembered my grandmother's short $900 ride some years before. I knew that I was not at fault but I also knew I couldn't afford an ambulance. I think I was in shock. I didn't have a cell phone so one of the responders let me use his and I called work because Bruce was sleeping and he takes FOREVER to wake up. It's not optional for him. I can't remember if I tried him first but if I did, he didn't answer the phone. So a co-worker came and got me and at my request took me home where I woke Bruce up and told him he needed to take me to the hospital.
It turned out I had a broken wrist and bruises where the seatbelt or the car interior impacted me that turned BLACK. The wrist required surgery and I now have a 2 1/2 - 3" scar on my arm and a screw in my bone. My wrist hurts me to varying degrees and that will probably only worsen over time. I still have memory problems and my even temper is a thing of the past. I actually forgot to mention the memory problems during the binding mediation (which is what my lawyer recommended btw), remembering as Iwas walking out, which struck me as gruesomely funny. The laywer? Well, I contacted a lawyer either that day or the next one. I remember very clearly telling "my" lawyer I wanted to be present for the trial of this woman.
Very long story short:
I did not get to attend the "trial" That occurred within a month of the accident. "My" lawyer was advised of this several months later when I guess he called to find out when it would be scheduled. My assailant did not even have a toxicology test. With a repeat offender who I had heard had been in trouble with drugs since she was in high school and that her problems were apparently bad enough that she lost custody of her child (never confirmed to me, this is just what I heard) But, she is the daughter of a local physician. Go figure! Ain't that convenient?
The woman was convicted on everything she was charged with but the charges were very minimal. Her "sentence" was PROBATION contigent upon her cooperation with the terms of her probation. I asked "my" lawyer why I hadn't been advised of the trial and what my recourse was about this. He said that the prosecutor said he hadn't been aware there was a victim. This, despite a police report that stated erroneously that I had been conveyed to the hospital in an ambulance. So, didn't I have a right to be heard? Nope. And I tried to find a number for the prosecutor in the phone book to vent my outrage. No dice. My lawyer also declined to provide me with contact information. Well. since "my" lawyer told me that her sentence was supposed to be "contingent" on her cooperation with the terms of her probation and since he told me that she a) had fled and had to be captured and forced into rehab...b) had tested dirty for drugs subsequent to her conviction and c) had forged a check, I thought the idea of "compliance" was out the door. But no...None of this affected anything. Had I been at the trial she might have been denied a license for 8 more years than she was (I was not told if her suspension/ revocation was in any way impacted) She had no insurance. So, I had to plead with MY insurance agency for recovery and I feel the settlement was paltry. If I had not carried un/underinsured coverage on my policy I would have gotten nothing. Unless I sued her personally, at which point "my" lawyer said I would doubtless be awarded a judgement (but one that was missing weight due to no toxicology report, etc) BuT I would be unlikely to actually collect anything. Even though a private search told me this woman apparently makes $41k a year. I found that interesting. And, if her rich parents put a car in her name, as long as it is in her name, they are liable for nothing. My insurance company even declined to try to recoup what they had to put out to me. The whole situation is so rife with either incompetence (which I do not for a second entertain as plausible) or outright corruption that I will never be able to regain any sense of the America I thought I knew. And, when somehing like this happens to you, you begin to hear like and very much worse atrocities that befall others.
So now, movies that encourage caution and even paranoia about government and authority dealings are definitely on my menu of viewing. And I know rich people are out to protect their interests and will do so with brutal consequences to anyone who threatens their wealth. Even to a small degree.
And now, after this cautionary tale I will switch gears to tell you A Sweet Ghost Story. So that we end on a good note and that perhaps we can come away wih the thought that there is an authority that supercedes the temporal manifestations of power.
Something in the movie we went to prompted my friend to tell me of a personal experience. Her husband died a few years ago of cancer and she says that every once in awhile she feels him. Usually when she is in bed for the night she feels a presence like someone is spooning her (I had a similar experience once, but no one on the other side of the Veil I could attribute that to) Her experience is recurrent, though not frequent, and so subtle that she has always wondered if she is imagining it. Well, the other night it was added to. She felt that feeling and said she could actually see part of an arm and white t-shirt which her husband used to wear around the house. She also saw part of the side of a face. As she became more aware her visitor vanished. She mentioned the incident to her daughter who felt it was her mother's husband checking on her and comforting her. I also believe that. And I hope I believe such forever.
- I am mundane and magical, Silly and serious. I am an underachiever who suspects that someday in the eternities I may yet blossom and even fruit. I am a collector of spirits and essences, a studier of mood and nuance.I have many many faults and yet I've always been loved. I am a good friend, but I will let you go if you so desire. I believe in Somewhen. I laugh easily and cannot often cry, which I know is a Flaw. Like You, I am a work in progess.