Today started fairly normal. Got up, got lunch with my boyfriend and his dad, played a little RTS, then buckled down and started studying for my quantitative analysis final.
I left the library at midnight.. and then everything went surreal.
The on-campus parking garages work like this: you pull a ticket to get in, pay with that ticket when you’re ready to leave, and then get another ticket that raises a gate to let you out.
I get to the garage, and I’m the only person there. My car is the only one there. No real surprise, it’s still a Saturday night even if it is the Saturday before finals. I approach a row of automated payment machines.. but they all look like this:
“Okay,” I think to myself, “perhaps one of the machines at the other corners of the garage is working.” Did I mention all of the broken machines are making a loud, ominously in-sync beeping noise? It’s the only sound in the garage besides my footsteps. Beyond eerie. Right about now, that something-bad-is-about-to-happen feeling starts to creep in.
I’ve had these “bad feelings” before; the last time I can think of was a year ago in a car with my friends about to cross an intersection. Halfway across the intersection, I blurt out “guys, something is WRONG.” We make it across as they turn to ask me what ridiculous thing I’m going on about now.. right as a truck going twenty miles over the speed limit blows by right behind us through a red light—narrowly missing the back of our car. A year before that, I get the same feeling waiting at a red light sitting in the passenger seat of my best friend’s car. I didn’t say anything then. As we pull out into the intersection, the car in front of us gets T-boned by another car running the red light. A year before that, same thing.. except this time I was in the back of a jeep without a seatbelt on. I knew we were only going a couple of miles down the road, but I still got a terrible, unshakeable feeling as we pulled out of the driveway. My friend was drunk and driving, but at the time I had no idea. He took a blind curve going 65, fishtailed, overcorrected, launched the jeep into the air and we flipped for a quarter of a mile. I got thrown out of the window. I’ll spare you the gruesome details.
Back to the parking garage. I’m starting to just get a tingle of the bad feeling, but I accredit it to my over-active imagination as I’m thinking “This is how a zombie apocalypse movie starts. Or a murder scene. Or a rape scene. Or..” etc, etc. Once I walk to all four corners of the garage and assess every machine is indeed broken, I find a phone for emergency assistance. Nine LONG rings later, someone picks up. Fifteen minutes later, I’m out of the garage and chastising myself for being silly.
Less than five minutes after that, I look over the median to my left just in time to watch a grey Mustang swerve to miss a bike, spin 180 degrees, and come to a stop facing oncoming traffic. Luckily, it happened in a fairly deserted part of town so no one was hurt, but it still puts my studying-exhausted brain into hyperawareness mode.
I’ve got one more stop before home: gas, cigarettes, and RedBull. I pull into an impossibly crowded gas station off of one of the busiest intersections in College Station. Everything seems a lot brighter and louder than usual, but I attribute it to my sleep-deprived brain as I try to rationalize my bad feelings away.
As I’m walking out of the gas station, I notice my car has been snugly blocked in. Great. While I wait, I decide to walk a safe distance away from the gas pumps to smoke a cig. As I approach the curb next to the street, I look up just in time to watch a tiny green car going at least 50mph approach the intersection, at which the light is red. She doesn’t even hit the brakes. A split-second later, she slams into an SUV at a dead stop and sends it flying into the intersection. The hood of her car promptly bursts into flames, and she is slumped over the steering wheel.
Everything after that is a blur. I remember someone starting to scream the car was going to explode. I remember running back into the gas station, finding the fire extinguisher, and then sprinting back outside with it as someone is pulling the girl from the fiery wreckage. She doesn’t look good. Soon, there are sirens and flashing lights all around me and I’m giving a cop a statement. I have no idea if the girl made it.
It’s a bit of a stretch, isn’t it? The whole sixth sense thing. If you know me at all, I’m 100% atheist, 100% scientific, 100% empirical. Zero belief in any kind of religion, supernatural, magic—anything that is not supported by evidence or replicable demonstration. Yet, in light of events, I’m starting to give thought to the whole “precognition” thing. However, by allowing myself to consider the existence of something unprovable—something that entirely defies established principles of science—what right do I have to dismiss theists with the indubitable confidence I have always had? My mind is a chaos of conflicting convictions and principles right now.
Not to mention it’s the one night of the year when planetary revolution brings the earth and the moon to their shortest distance of separation. Tonight, when the moon will be at its biggest and brightest of the year.. and it’s fucking cloudy. Can’t see a damn thing.