Warning for the tl;dr crowd: you can leave now. My whole life, people who've known me gave fallen into two camps: 1) you are an amazing human being"; 2) you are so cold and odd." I'm sure I am both, but here's why I'm posting this today: My sister and I are driving to my neurosurgeon this morning, for a procedure to stave off another spinal surgery for me. Rush hour traffic on the freeway. I'm driving, far left lane. Suddenly a gigantic 18-wheeler chock full of pallets is 95% in my lane on my right, 80mph. My sister, a Ph.D nurse and professor, starts losing her shit, screaming at the top of her lungs in my little car. It was worse than Prissy and Jack McFarland combined. I never even missed a breath. While keeping up with traffic I laid into my horn, slowly tapped my antilock brakes, and steered slightly left, toward the guard rail. Big rig was less than three feet from the front passenger door; two feet from rear right door. At the last second, Trucker finally corrected and sped off. Sister's still screaming in my ear. I kept driving. Sister gives me odd looks, then apologizes for screaming. I said it's OK. We haven't talked about it since. (BTW, she is one of the best people on the planet, so I'm not slighting her at all.) Same thing happened two years ago. Ten days from my first spinal surgery, I was T-boned by some dude who blew through a stop sign. My first ever accident. I sensed it was coming, and turned enough to lessen the blow a *bit*. Cops, idiot driver, my friends who came to get me, insurance agent, neurosurgeon--all asked why I wasn't frazzled, acting a fool among the wreckage. Intellectually, I understood the question; viscerally, I kind of didn't. But I will give anyone who needs it the shirt off my back, free counseling, a hot meal, and a ride to the airport. I'm the one who gets the 3am call when a student's brother commits suicide, or a friend has a crisis of confidence. There you have it, DL. Am I solid citizen or automaton?
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