I woke up to the sensation of the tires losing contact with the road. Steven cursing. The car spinning. My eyes never opened for this. I doubt it lasted more than a few heartbeats. Next came an impact. I shouted at this point--whether it was articulate or not I'm not sure. What I was thinking was mostly What the fuck?! Immediately after the first impact came a second. This one hurt. I yelled something again. A short time of confusion and annoyance followed, and then the car finally stopped moving and my eyes opened to rain and a wet divider and the remains of the passenger side airbag and the headlights of oncoming traffic. Luckily we had spun into a wide grassy median ditch, safely out of the way of any other cars. My right arm hurt like hell. ETA: I forgot a telling detail: the burning chemical smell of airbag propellant.
We sat there for a short span of time. Steven asked if I was okay; I said my arm hurt. At this point I thought to test the arm, and determined that it wasn't broken. I suspect I'd had a leg propped on the dashboard, so I was extra lucky that wasn't broken either. Northbound traffic kept moving.
Steven tried moving the car, but it was firmly wedged in the ditch. At this point I called our babysitter with what was probably a shocky warning that we would be late. This was, thanks to DST, at 3:30 am. After that... Reader, I updated Facebook. Yeah. Sorry. But then I thought to call roadside assistance! Steven talked to roadside assistance, and they eventually transferred him to 911. Several minutes and many cars has passed at this point, and finally one person stopped to ask if we were all right. By then sirens were inbound.
Cops and a fire truck showed up to determine that we were neither dead nor drunk nor on fire. I hadn't moved from the passenger seat at all, being a bit shocky, in pain, wedged in a ditch, and having foolishly decided that I didn't need my jacket that night. I got to sign waivers declining a trip to the hospital. The cops seemed a bit bemused by my torn fishnet and shiny glam goth pants. Eventually I crawled out of the car, and some nice officers put us in the back of their cruiser. They took us to the nearest sheltered spot, asked more questions, consulted about tow trucks. It was now 4:00 am and we were on the southernmost edge of Austin, so I decided not to wake up any of my friends. The cops called us a cab. The cab dispatcher said something that translated to "It's 4:00 am on the first Saturday of SXSW. Good fucking luck." And because of those conditions, the cops were getting a lot of calls at this point. So eventually they dropped us off at the nearest 24-hour fast food place and left us waiting for the cab.
We sat there drinking bad coffee listening to the absolute worst canned music selection ever for another hour. The cab was not coming. Steven called them again. Finally I broke down and called my parents, because someone had to relieve our poor babysitter. My parents returned the babysitter and stayed with the kids. At some point I finally checked a mirror and determined that my arm was friction-burned as well as bruised, and that my artfully torn fishnet top now had authentic battle damage.
6:00 am came. The cab did not. So finally my parents came to retrieve us. My father returned us to our house at 7:30 am. I wandered around in a daze, taking pictures of the fishnet pattern burned into my arm. I finally went to bed around 8:00, very gingerly.
Four hours later I got up to go with Steven to check on the car. It had been towed--to where, we're not entirely certain. Hopefully this will be sorted out quickly. Right now I'm upright only by the power of caffeine, and the fact that it hurts like hell to lie down. I did make one sensible attempt to go to an urgent care clinic, but the one that was open was out of network, so I'll call my doctor tomorrow. I did not go to work today.
I am very lucky, not only to not be hurt and to have not injured anyone else, but to have had people to call, people asking if I was okay, and people to email at 4:30 in the morning from the back of a police car.