This morning I was thinking about the lizard brain we all have, and how nobody really knows its capacity until something happens that kicks it into gear. Now, when I say “lizard brain” I am really saying “that-part-of-my-brain-that-takes-over-to-save-my-ridiculous-life-when-I-inadvertently-put-myself-(or-someone-else-puts-me-)in-a-precarious-position.”
I was thinking about an instance when I saved my own life but it took me a lot of time thinking later to realize just what had happened. Driving home from work, headed east on a seven lane street (three going east, three going west, one in the middle for turning), I was catching the tail end of a yellow light, and I was in the middle lane of my three heading east. In the turn lane at the light was a huge P.o.S. T-bird convertible and it turned right in front of me. I can only assume the setting sun was in the driver’s eyes because when he saw my car coming, they got very wide and panicked.
There was really no possible way to avoid the accident. If I kept driving, I would hit the side of his car. If I tried to go around him to the right, he would hit my car, driver’s side.
And then the lizard brain took over, and I performed a maneuver that would have fit right in at Indy. I remember looking at all the options in a split second, and cranking the wheel hard to the left; simultaneously speeding up and steering around the T-bird to the left, passing into the turn lane. I even remember my brain calculating that I had plenty of space/time to get into that lane to avoid hitting anyone else, and then getting back into my own lane. And as I passed the T-bird, the expressions of avoided doom on the faces of the passengers in that car were absolutely priceless.
Oh, and all this while I was on my cell phone talking to my son.
Yeah. Everyday miracles. That’s what life is about.