“Dear Person I Hit With A Car, I never learned your name. I’ve always referred to you in my t…”

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Dear Person I Hit With A Car, I never learned your name. I’ve always referred to you in my tellings as “that drunk guy crossing the road at 2 AM.“ I still remember the sickening thump and the shape of something, which was you, going over the hood in the misty darkness. When I realized what had happened I felt my life collapse. I thought surely I had killed someone and would be facing long years behind bars. So much for my ambitions, friendships, all my hopes. And as I left and ran over to you, lying in the road but conscious, I felt relief. And I’m a little ashamed that my relief was not only for your sake but for mine too. You were surely hurt, but not gravely. I felt the weight of my life‘s future collapsing like a black hole suddenly expand outward again. I said some words of concern to you, but I never even heard your voice. Only your mumbling and groans. When the ambulance came, when the people who owned the vehicle I had driven came, I was not handcuffed or even checked. I lost a work opportunity and nothing else. And yet sometimes I would think bitterly on it and wonder why it had happened to me, and that it was your failings and bad decisions that led to it. Memories of thoughts like that shame me too, even if they were for only a second when they came, for in such thoughts you transformed from a human being into some obstacle on my path. They told me that you were alright and that I had no need to see you, either in the hospital or the court. Sometimes I think I should have insisted on a face-to-face apology. Sometimes I think my privilege insulated me. But now, years later, I know that chance has long passed. So wherever you are, if you are still around, I hope you’re doing well. Here’s to you, and the drivers who know when to turn on their fog lights.

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