Lay It On the Road

by Emily Jasper on January 25, 2010

Last year I wrote a blog post about how Quentin Tarantino develops talent. The post was about a stunt driver named Chrissy Weathersby and how she had the opportunity to learn and grow for the benefit of not only her future, but also for the industry. She ended up finding my post and commenting, telling me my assumptions were true.

That’s effing cool.

But not for the same reason you may think. See, I was in a car accident in 2006. Someone had tried to merge where into a lane with a motorcycle he hadn’t seen in his blind spot. He overcorrected.  I saw he was going to be hitting me, and there was VERY little I could so about the situation.

He hit me on the back corner of my car, and I spun out three times. I landed with the driver’s side facing the oncoming traffic. The police officer onsite later told me if I had been T-boned, I would have been killed on impact. I had nightmares for months.

You’ve read this story before, but you never really get over something like that. The worst part about moving to Minnesota was learning to drive in these winter conditions.

I needed a crash course. I needed a roll bar, a cage, anything that would let me crash in safety. I white-knuckle it to and from work some days. There are times that I still have psychosomatic responses to driving, causing pain shooting down my back in the same location of my injuries before.

There are days I wish I could run into Chrissy and say, “Teach me to drive. Teach me to not be so afraid.”

I’d rather approach the problem head on…totaling a car, smashing it to pieces, and walking away from the sounds of creased metal and dry oil. Gunning it and giving a shit about what happens.

Have you seen Talladega Nights? I sobbed my way through that movie. Sure, I laughed at the jokes, but the crashes terrified me. Yet I love monster truck rallies. Give me four-wheel-drive with a machine meant to destroy, and I’m good.

I may be a chick who wants to overcompensate, but a V-8 engine might change my life. A car that comes with a full-body harness seems safer to me, even if there are all kinds of other problems that might come along with someone messing with a stunt car.

If someone who was completely fearless could come along, take me, crash me, and total my life for 30 seconds, I would be thankful.

The idea that everything could be taken from me because of someone else’s stupid decision petrifies me everyday. We may not be able to come with something completely death proof, but I need something to take me over the edge. Something to take me around the accident before and move me past the point of fear.

Hit me head on. With black rubber. Pushing it full speed ahead.