This is not the kind of thing you expect to see in real life. Ever. Aftermaths, perhaps, but not the blow-by-blow.
Let’s rewind. I went with a group of friends and new acquaintances to Ein Hod, what was once a Palestinian village and is now an artists’ colony. There is a guy there, originally from Detroit and since then a citizen of the world, who has a brewery. When I say brewery, I really mean he sells his home brew in classic glass Coke bottles. The selection changes…as often as he has a new batch ready. (Highlights of the night were his “balanced amber” and a strongly flavored, though not too heavy stout.) He also sells pizzas, cooked in a tiny gas “brick” oven on hand-shaped doughs and cut into tiny squares. Perfect beer snacking.
Driving back from this bizarre pseudo-utopia of beer and art, we notice this guy on the road. He kind of drives up over the curb, sort of almost hits us, can barely stay in his lane, and is just generally one of those cars that parents caution their children against getting close to. At any cost. Talking, listening to music, watching the road, next thing I know this car has literally driven head on directly into a stoplight. We slow down – as we pass them, they are all getting out of the car, mildly bewildered. The driver’s airbag is poofed. We pull over and get out. Nadav, the only Israeli in our car, goes over to them and is calling an ambulance. (He thinks it’s more important than the police – and the police will eventually be informed anyway. Makes sense.) I follow him halfway, hand on my chest, my heart is beating wildly. I’m having horrible flashbacks and I am shocked. Literally. I feel like my heart is going to explode.
All of the guys that had been in the car are in various states of undress. The driver is wearing white soccer shorts. Only. Most of them don’t have shoes. They are so obviously…fucked up. I’m watching them, and the crowd of people gathered around. They don’t seem phased, really, even though their car is smashed and they’ve just knocked down a stoplight. Some of them are vaguely checking themselves for injuries. Nadav gets off the phone and walks back towards us. “Let’s go.”
“They’re drunk?” “More than that. They’re totally tripping. They’re not all there. They don’t even know what’s going on.” Unbelievable. Unfuckingbelievable.
As we walk back towards our car, I look behind me. The driver is almost dancing, mimicking some bizarre scenario that surely was going through his drug-addled brain before the crash. The downed traffic light changes from green, to yellow, to red.