Will I Ever Get There...
I am sure I have forgotten something, you always think that don't you. Its part and parcel of going somewhere. I mentally checked my list and completed it just as I pulled into the petrol station. Back in 10mins, said the notice. The next one on route was 40 miles down the road so I waited.
Sure enough 11mins later I was on the road again and 1 minute later I pulled into the layby. Off with jeans and on with the skirt, of with the jumper and on with blouse. Putting on the makeup was a nightmare as everyone whom had a car decided to drive past.
That shaver wants throwing away as I thought as I viewed the results. But never-the -less I convinced myself I was Georgina. Put on my favorite driving shoes and set of to the new city of Inverness where a fun time was waiting.
I lit up a cigarette and remembered that I had forgotten to bring a drink. I will just have to suffer.
I was happy and contented with things in general as I approached the
Dunbeath flyover, never liked this bit as I find the drop spookily inviting but drove on in my usual careful manner. This car doesn’t have enough oooomph to get up the other side and had to drop into 4th then 3rd to get there.
I wonder whom I'll meet at my first T-Group meeting. Not much on the road I thought when this truck appeared around one on the many bends the journeys has. Behind the truck was a trailer which wasn't in view until the truck straightened out of the bend...
What happened next keeps happening everytime I close my eyes.
More and more of the trailer came into view I glared at what I first thought was another truck overtaking only to realise that the truck was no truck. I said, possibly out loud, "unreal" the thing my mind tried to grapple with, was the trailer, detached from it's towing truck was filling my side of the road...
I was traveling uphill at about 40mph the oncoming truck about the same only this trailer was overtaking and heading straight at me.
In a split second I had to make a decision either hit the truck which hopefully would slow down realising what was going on, hit the trailer which was out of control or hit the oncoming 'bend' signs, concrete pillar and crash barriers. In a flash I swung onto the grass covered stoney ground and headed straight at the signs/pillar/barriers.
Just before impact with the latter I threw myself across the passenger seat still strapped in, closed my eyes lifted up my legs and BANG.
The car stopped in an instant for a second I realised I did not make the latter as the dashboard appeared unchanged.
I sat up in a bolt with my hand tearing of my wig, no time for pain, my skirt was off
Before I even looked around, on with my glass covered jeans, off with the top, on with the jumper and climbed onto the passenger seat...
I could here people approaching "Are you all right they screamed, are you all right".
I reached onto the remarkably intact dashboard for the 'wipes'. "Give me 5 minutes" I screamed back, "give me 5 minutes".
I used 4 wipes before I was happy with my efforts. The intense concentration, focusing on what I was doing as more people approached, gives me a minute I shouted give me a minute...
I either got through to them or what they saw strewn all over the car made them feel uncomfortable. By the time I stepped out of the car I was him again. I checked in the only remaining mirror that all traces of Gina were gone before I faced what I thought would be 20 or so people.
They had all dispersed, gone back to their cars and continued on their own journeys.
After my S.A.S. style transformation from one sex to another, I looked around and took in the situation, my thoughts on the impact were correct, it was that runaway trailer that had stopped me. The car never hit anything...
The car looked as if had been parked there, just of the road and parallel to it, amazing. I walked around the perfectly parked vehicle noticing the numberplate hanging by 1 screw instead of 2. Even as I write this I still cannot believe how calm and collected I am/was.
Turning to view the drivers side it became apparent that a bit of filler and masking tape was not all that was required to rectify its previous looks. Firstly the drivers side needed to be there...
Instead the car was what I would call 'inverted'. On closer inspection the first point of contact was the front offside wheel. Apart from it not being connected to the car anymore its tyre was ripped and the wheel hub itself was crushed in, now that wheel took the brunt of all that inertia. The bottom part of the wing wasn't there exposing the door pillar and it's attached door which I hasten to add was now filling the place where I was sitting. *If I hadn't dived over.
The rear side panels continued to enhance the rest of the cars new looks, which included sharing its glass with the interior as well as the surrounding road surface. I shuddered at what I saw, keep it together I thought keep it together. As I peered in the driver of the truck came over "that was close" he said. "Yeah" I replied struggling with the statement. He looked a friendly sort of guy with his nervous narrow smile. "Called anyone yet" he asked "no, but will do" I replied. I reached inside the car for my jacket which held the phone in one of its pockets, gotcha!
I found at this point that I could not remember how to use the thing. I pressed buttons but no joy, it'll come back to me in a mo.
I could hear fluid dripping, petrol, I had just filled it to the brim. Sniffing around told me it wasn't petrol, but the ignition was on and maybe I have lost my sense of smell.
Turning off the ignition I spotted a sock, the other was on my foot. I'd only put 1 on. My tights could be seen in these slippers a slight panic enveloped me. The truck driver's mate sauntered over, "close one" he said, and again I replied "yeah" and again struggled with the statement. My panic was beginning to build, is all my makeup off...
"I was off to Inverness" constructing a survival plan 'on the fly'. "Hope my guitars o.k."
"You a musician then" I knew an impromptu gig was out of the question "yes" I replied.
I dragged out the guitar case opened it so the driver and his mate could see the instrument. I should have spent more than a millisecond looking it over but I think my distraction/survival plan worked...
"I'll get all my stuff out, you call the police" I said thinking the word police would also act as a distraction. I carried the guitar and it's case about 20 feet or so from the car, went back to the passenger side opened up my case and made room for the clothes which were very recently being worn. I shook of most of the glass but needed to keep it all below seat level. The wig covered in glass still had the hair clip attached and possible some of my hair but I just stuffed it all in, shoes, perfume, anything that would give me away.
As I put on the other sock my right arm told me I was not unhurt, small smears of dried blood also came into focus. Nothing to worry about I thought just small glass abrasions and a banged elbow. I dare not go to hospital with what I was wearing underneath.
The police arrived from 4 different stations along with C.I.D., scene examiners and motor vehicle inspectors. I felt less vulnerable. A car pulled up alongside the wreck I was emptying, "you O.K." at last a friendly face the radiographer from our local hospital and a member of the theatre group I am involved with. We chatted for a while until the policeman gestured he should move on. "I will see you at rehearsal on Sunday" I said, within earshot of the driver and his mate, as a backup to any reason why I should be wearing makeup. Us thespians are a strange lot.
I contacted my wife as my memory returned on mobile phone operation and she arrived sometime later crying, as I was being breathalised in the police car. The recovery vehicles arrived and the scene was well photographed and measured, and proceeded to remove the offending trailer from the field where it came to rest.
This was Friday 5th October 2001. Now the paperwork begins...
Looking back at the events of last Friday, I am staggered at the trouble I went to under such adverse conditions to keep my identity secret. It is with this in mind that this site needs to expand in all aspects to rid the world of its prejudices, preconceptions and especially fear.
* This may have never got written!