When I awoke Tuesday morning I had an awful sense of gloom, although I couldn't remember if I had had a nightmare. Like one previous Thursday, I yelled at my alarm for waking me and told it, "I really don't want to drive this morning." Unlike that previous Thursday I decided not to sleep through class and that I should go to class, particularly because I had homework stuff I needed to get done later in the afternoon. The funk I was in had me expecting it to be raining, or at least overcast, when I got outside, but was surprised to find it rather nice and sunny. That lead me into something of a feeling of suspicion and worry, I couldn't scapegoat my funk on the clouds like I normally could. I loathe driving. Various factors have gone into this decision, including the fact that I feel it is a complete waste of time that could be better spent. One facet of this, however, is the feeling of complete and utter dependence on other people's judgment. I've heard people talk about the feeling of control they have when driving, but I don't/can't see it. All I see are the vast number of choices of a large number of strangers (market decisions or fluid dynamics). I'm just a cog in the machine and although I can affect the machine in my choices, I have no ultimate control in. (I'll come back to this.) I've catalogued a long list of potential horrors that might befall me, and TRIMARC is happy to remind every day of how many fatalities there have been this year thus far. I had a close call on the interstate, because I was rushing. I tried to merge into a guy that was trying to merge into me. Both of us caught it and corrected it and things were fine. I was still a bit shaken, but I knew I had a lot of responsibility for that for rushing and I decided, "so what if I'm late" and slowed down. That was all pretty bad, but a nice walk and good bowl of soup later and I was in a reasonably good mood. I forgot my earlier funk, even if that sense of worry continued to nag at me. Following my last class I stood in the garage asking myself where I should go, as is my custom to insure that I know where I am going and what route I am taking. I had several errands I could run, and a meeting I should have attended, but I recalled that nagging funk and decided that I should just drive straight home and curl up with my laptop, do a little homework, then play a little. I was parked in the Floyd Street Garage, and from the Garage to I-65 South is a single left turn. Anyone who knows me well enough should know that I don't make left turns lightly (right merges being another thing I try to avoid). They scare me. I've often gone well out of my way just to avoid a left turn. If I have to make a left turn I prefer it to be a light, and particularly one with a left-turn signal. This particular left turn on Floyd Street has a very clear visibility straight ahead to the train tracks a mile and a half ahead, or so, and the Football Stadium a good two/three miles ahead. I don't remember any car ahead. I don't think I would have started turning if there were any headlights ahead at all, I'm just that anal and at that intersection I know that it is easy enough to wait for that to happen as few people come that direction this time of night on Floyd Street. In making a left turn I should have been facing oncoming traffic and watching it through most of the turn, but I don't remember seeing anything. From what I could tell the SUV's headlights should have at some point been pointing straight at my head, but I don't remember that. All I do know is that suddenly, half-way through the turn, I find myself staring at nothing but ugly green SUV, the thing swerving in front of me, and if I remember correctly, and at this point I'm so confused the memory is highly suspect, just barely missing the car that had been turning in front of me as well. Beat. The awful sound of glass smashing. The next thing I know is the Hindu driver of the SUV telling me, "I was going straight on green. I had the right of way. It was your fault." He would tell me the same thing three of four times more. I'm just in shock. If I had a response at all to his accusations it was, "Whatever". The tone of his voice and the shock were combining to refigure his words in my head to "I was going straight on green. I had the right to hit you. I hit you on purpouse." Everyone keeps telling me that it was probably "my fault" according to "at fault" laws, albeit the official decision has not yet made its way through the State's systems in Frankfurt. My dad told me just to own up to responsibility and "learn a lesson" from this. As far as I'm concerned I can't see how it was possibly my fault, sure I had decisions that led up to the situation and affected it, such as choosing to go straight home and choosing to make that left turn instead of circling around to some other Interstate approach. But the thing that frightens the hell of of me was that ultimately the real control in this accident (and the frighteningly similar one I had previously experienced) was not in my hands, even if everyone keeps pointing to the law and how it was "my fault". How can I take responsibility for an event where I lived or died by fractions of a turn of the wheel in some stranger's hand? The Hindu philosophy here is that we are all individually responsible for everything that happens to us, but I can't accept that. It isn't Pragmatic. Of course, I've spent my whole life being told that responsibility is not what I think it is and has nothing to do with control or fault. If that is the case, sure I'll take responsibility for the event, but responsibility in those senses in meaningless and useless; nothing but a platitude.