I came within a hair of an accident last week. On the way in to work, the roads were slick with snow, and I was going down the windy road to Natick, when this car pulled out right into the street, and stopped in my path. I was going too fast to stop, so I swerved left to get around him, and barely avoided hitting him. But the swerve put me on a collision course with a car coming from the other direction. With the slick road, he couldn’t stop either, and when I turned my car just kept sliding forward.

At the last second my wheels caught the road and I veered right, just missing him. I got back onto my side of the road and was fishtailing around before I regained control. The whole rest of the ride in my heart pounded, I thanked God even though I don’t believe in him, and the rest of the day I felt wasted.

It wouldn’t have been too major of an accident; I wasn’t going that fast. But sliding head-on toward that car, with nothing to do but hope (and maybe pump the brakes?) — when you’ve led a charmed life, those moments of true panic stick with you.