For weeks, I have been trying to to compose not only myself, but this narrative. This tale began as a tragedy, wherein a valiant comrade falls on the field of battle, with the fate of the world riding on its wheels.
I take you to a perfectly ordinary Thursday evening some weeks back. It had been a long week, one filled with thirteen paper cuts, a gallon of spilled milk, and a windshield covered in whatsit. I was driving home, minding my own business, when a pedestrian entered my field of vision, at the corner of the street. Being a person who dislikes having person added to my windshield, I stop. The person behind me, without even a drop of whatsit to obscure his view, did not.
In the middle of the street lay the shards of my tail light. My bumper had ripped away from its fastenings, the cover to my hood was crumpled, and I knew that even though its heart was still beating, the insurance was going to send my car to the morgue.
Dutifully, I moved out of the intersection. I’d like to say that I was filled with compassion and kindness toward the person who had just murdered my four-wheeled friend, and I just did.
Saying it not the same as being, however.
I was not feeling much in the way of happiness or kindness. I mostly was looking forward to rolling into a ball and turning into a puddle of pain. I was overdue for a good wallow, after all.
Before I could do that, I had to exchange insurance information, and be polite. Probably I should also avoid reaching into the man’s chest and pulling out his still beating heart. Mostly, because I was wearing work clothes, and heart goop would never completely wash out. I’ve seen CSI.
Because blunt-force open-heart surgery was off the table, I was left with only one option. I had to be civil.
Under the facade of civility, there are many words I said with my outside voice, and a whole other words I said with my inside voice. The man apologized profusely, and told me he had plenty of insurance, and they would take care of everything. I mumbled something like, “Thanks,” without a trace of sarcasm font. My inside voice said, “Your insurance will total my car, and I’ll get almost nothing, no matter how much insurance you have. Thanks for stealing my car.”
I got back into my car and banged my fist on the steering wheel in a gesture of futile frustration (OW), and my face started to get a head start on that puddle of pain business.
I am going to leave you here for now. I know you’ll be ok, even if you’re left with the horrible thought that I am going home to check into the Pouty-ness Hotel. Next week, things look up with a surprise guest and an adult beverage. You all come back now, ya hear?