I wasn't sure what had just happened. I initially thought I hit the guy in front of me - but I came to a nice easy stop, I couldn't have done that - then I realized that I was the one who was hit. A delivery truck just came along and read-ended the hell out of my car. I didn't know just how hard I was hit until I got out and looked at the damage. Ouch.
I never did find out what the guy was thinking - he came out to look at the damage, made no response at all to my attempt to start a conversation (a pleading, yet friendly, "What the fuck!!????"), and then walked back into the cab of his truck, where he just sulked and put his head against the steering wheel. Not a word to me. At least he stuck around for the police to get there. That took an extremely long ten minutes. The policewoman took my story, took his story (presumably), implied to me that she took my side (completely 110% the other guy's fault we agreed), and told me where I could pick up a police report. At a precinct in Midtown. Monday to Friday. 9 to 5. In person. Bring ten dollars. Check or money order, no cash. Highway robbery, I tell you.
There was nobody in the car with either of us and nobody was hurt (well, my neck was a bit sore, but it's all right now), so it could have been worse. Oddly enough, knowing that I wasn't at all to blame kept me from being angry. If I had anything to do with the accident, I would have been unhappily beating myself up over my stupidity, but as it turned out, I was fairly calm and accepting of my fate. Time for a new car, I guess.
Maybe. The insurance guy is going to come look at the car to see if they'll consider it totalled. I always thought of a "totalled" car as one in which the occupants had to be sawed out of seconds before the gas tank exploded. Or something like that. Certainly not one in which the driver got out fairly unhurt, and then drove the car eight or so miles home under its own power. But the car is a 1999 model with 152,000 miles on it. It's considered "totalled" if fixing it would cost more than 75% of the car's worth. And I'll find that out sometime this week.
In the meantime, I rented a car (which was actually the most annoying part of this whole story, but it's also boring, so I'll spare you) and went off skiing this weekend as planned. Fun fun time. A truck may have crushed my car, but it couldn't crush my spirit!!
Dealing with rental car companies and insurance companies and police precincts might, though. And if they don't crush my spirit, then auto dealerships certainly will. I'll keep you posted.