Friday, January 18, 2008

headlights on dark roads

after a shittyshitty day, my faith in man and good will toward most was restored multiple times yesterday after i was rear-ended at the signal behind pep boys on kirkwood highway.

first restoration of faith: it wasn't a hit-and-run. the guy who hit me dutifully followed me into a parking lot where we did the necessary bizness and waited for the cops to show. the snow continued to fall and a kid walked out of pep boys to a car next to mine. bundled up in a hoodie, only his face was visible. a cluster of scratch hairs on his chin was desperately trying to be a goatee. he looked about 15.

- yo'sup. youse all have a bender? - he asked us. i nodded. where at? - he wanted to know. i pointed to the signal.
- it's really slippery there. be careful.
- fuck yeah.
he walked over to the other car, surveyed the crunched front bumper. radiator cracked? he pronounced the word with an emphasis on RAD as in dude, and he addressed me, assuming the young chick had run into the sad-eyed man in the ratty overcoat and not vice-versa. i shrugged, and he crouched and scrutinised the bumper.
- you kin go to a junkyard, git a bumper for 200 bucks. you know Big Daddy Autoparts? - i shook my head, playing along because the man with basset hound eyes was now taking notes as eminem drew us a verbal map to Big Daddy.

- i wuz there last week. my girlfriend drove into a tree, fucked the bumper, cracked the RADiator. she call me from the acme parking lot. "my chin is bleeding" she say, and i'm all like what the fuck, how is the car? and she driving with my daughter! - he shook his head in mock disgust. i take it his daughter's fine, because there wasn't a bit of rancor in his voice.

- and she's still your girlfriend?

he looks me in the eye and for the first time, smiles. his smile is perfect, genuinely bright and captivating, a renholder smile. i fall in love a little.

- yeah, she still my girlfriend.
he ducks his head shyly then begins to clear the snow off his windows with his sleeve. this the ghetto way - he explains to me, then stops and examines a handful of snow, packs it together and hefts it experimentally. goddam - he exclaims - PERFECT.

bassetman and i are freezing and retreat into our vehicles. my windows fog immediately, for i've a thimble of gas remaining and don't want to waste it idling. 15min later a tap on the window rouses me in my igloo; bassetman reports the cops are still a dozen accidents behind, Nationwide doesn't need a police report to process the claim and am i okay with taking off. i am and so is my wee bladder.

now clear of snow, eminem's car is still parked alongside. i scan the parking lot for the 15-year old man with the world-winning smile, and i spot him lobbing snowballs over a chainlink fence, dodging returning fire from another child-at-heart seduced by the perfect snowball snow.

- i made a snap judgment on him with the first 6 words he uttered - i told my mom last night.

- sometimes you have to, finn - she told me.

- but there wasn't any meanness, or darkness that i saw in him. he was just HAPPY.

i get a marge simpson growl in response. she's not convinced, but she didn't see The Smile.

that was Restoration #2. #s 3, 4 and 5 were delivered from FMC, brian and laf, whose concerns were palpable in their emails and text messages as i shot off brief narratives from the igloo (reason #911 why i love mac).

finally, #6 came compliments of Liberty Mutual rep david spielvogel, who in the process of taking my claim information treated me like a human being and ensured the reporting necessaries were painless, nay, enjoyable.

- spielvogel - i tested the name he'd spelled out for me at the end of our convo - does that mean something? -spiel, like talk, vogel like... person??

- i think it means songbird - he answered.

am i dead?
am i bruce willis wandering amongst the living with a Quest i'm not yet aware of?
and, can i drink a bottle of jameson without any liver-y repercussions??


fatmammycat said...

You can try but I fear you might just be pushing your luck with the last one. (Oh what do I know, misery loves company and I am seething with jealously at the happy drinkers of the world, have at it if it makes you glow. I knew weekends would be the toughest, but in truth it is only Friday evening, Gingerday if you will, that rolls my socks down )

finn said...

loucypher informs me that yes, my farts do still smell so i can say with some confidence that i've not yet entered the hereafter. nor will i be glowing heavily tonite, as that 7am 4000yd practise looms large.

just think how much better we'll feel tomorrow than the whole drunken lot of 'em. how much chipperer, cheerier and nonthumpingheadilier.

fatmammycat said...

I am clinging to that one thought.
CG and I are heading to do a run of Chesterfield Avenue tomorrow morning. If we can stay dry ANYONE can. I think I'm starting to miss red meat too. I'm fairly certain I'd like a cheese burger with lashings of relish and onion and cheese-did I mention cheese, I should mention cheese, I'm off that too, so it should be mentioned.

finn said...

poor pooch; no scraps.

i really don't know what inspires you to crawl out of bed in the morning, fatcat. surely not work?? mashed potatoes and creme eggs and toast perhaps.

fatmammycat said...

I could be just a masochist. I"m starting to think that.

Theo said...

Well, I'm glad you're not stuck in an M. Night Shyamalamadingdong movie.

Brown Suga' said...

Glad everything turned out fine. Hug that kid for me the next time you see him (if he's okay with it.)

Also, second what Teho said.