Monday, January 25, 2010

The accident

So I got in a bit of an accident the other day.

It’s strange how guilty I feel when I think about withholding some new development from the pages of this blog. For some reason, it’s become a sort of confessional.

I’m reluctant to share this one less because it’s a sin and more because it’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done.

My confession: I scraped the port side of my home against a stationary concrete cylinder on campus last week.

But what makes the accident all so much more embarrassing is that I had a female guest in the van when it occurred.

We were leaving the school library where we had gone to borrow DVDs. I drove to a stop sign to turn left to exit campus. One of the university buses pulled up in front of me and parked perpendicularly, leaving a narrow space for a tight left-hand turn.

Here’s my artistic rendition of the scene:

If I was alone I probably would have just waited the 10 minutes for the bus to leave. But because every American male believes he’s god’s gift to driving, I decided to bravely defy the odds by attempting to deftly maneuver my home through the obstacles.

I started inching forward. Within seconds the van came to a halt because I felt my driver-side, rear tire press against a curb. I accelerated hard, hoping to power over the curb. Instead, I heard folding aluminum and pterodactyl shrieks. That wasn’t my tire against the curb; it was my van pressed against the cylinder.

The girl—who will remain unnamed—began giggling nervously. Now that the damage had been done, I tried to advance forth. My progress, however, was checked when I realized I was about to hit the parked bus. I had to reverse back to where I came from, the concrete clawing horizontal white stripes into the burgundy of my van all over again.

By this time, a crowd of students who had gotten off the bus had formed around the van. With each application of the gas pedal—as I pivoted the van against the concrete in reverse now—I’d hear excited “ooohhh’s!’ from the crowd whenever the metal crumpled as if they were responding to upper-cuts thrown in some impromptu street-fight.

Now, my female companion was seized with the sort of laughing-fit typical of insane asylums. My face turned a dark shade of pink and expletives dropped from my mouth like a brigade of paratroopers. Yet—even as my burgundy beauty was defaced—I couldn’t help but giggle a little, too.

For the next few days, looking upon the scratches and dents was as painful as if I was looking upon the burn scars on the face of a loved one. I resolved that I was going to get it fixed no matter what the cost. But as the days went by, I came to terms with the accident and decided that since there was no internal damage, I had to think of these unpleasant alterations as added “character.” Plus, the elaborate burgundy-to-black color scheme makes a paint job all-the-more impossible. Why fret about the look of a jacket that keeps its wearer warm?

The van—I’m afraid to admit—isn’t my only blunder of the week. When the same girl hopped onto my back, later on—under a similar spell of machismo-induced stupidity—I thought I’d impress her by performing a set of squat thrusts.

Because of that—for the past six days—I’ve been hobbling around campus like a pirate on a wooden leg, having badly strained my knee.

I can’t help but think of each injury—both to me and to the van—as scarlet letters that I’m now forced to wear: reminders of my transgressions, or, perhaps, warnings that I’ve stepped off course.

A woman can make a man do crazy things. While long-forgotten feelings awaken and unfurl, other parts fall into winter torpor. An eye’s glint of wildness is lost in the glazed gaze of love. Knees and van exteriors and a hundred other important things are rendered unimportant. That’s because a woman—more than anything—reminds a man that he's alive while making him forget nearly everything else. Especially that he's been ensnared.


Mike Troy said...

Not all traps are bad...

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing.

"That’s because a woman—more than anything—reminds a man that he's alive while making him forget nearly everything else." ... preach

RomanaS said...

Ha ha ha ha LOL!
Hmmmm I smell a future Aseop's Fable in this somewhere. :)
I do like the diagram though. I love how you included the artisticaly drawn crows of stick figures gathered around to gawk at a van stuck against a concrete pole.
I still say putty and a couple of cans of spray paint might help disguise the scratches a bit.

Josh said...

Man sorry to hear about the accident. It sucks to prang your car, especially if there's a girl there with you, and even worse when a crowd of students gathers to gawk at you.

At least you can have a bit of a laugh about it.

I did notice when you changed the banner at the top of your blog that it appeared to be a long scratch along the burgundy beauty, but I though perhaps it was a trick of the light.

Ken said...

Mike-- yes, I know.. Let's just say I'm deeply conflicted.

Fool Circle-- I suppose the same goes for the other sex or same sex partners, yet I only feel comfortable drawing overly grandiose conclusions with regards to my situation.

Romana--Had to look up what Aesop's Fables were. Thanks again for the advice. I think I may know a guy who can help me touch it up for not too much money.

Josh-- ha, no, those are the real scratches. Easily the dumbest thing I've done in a long while. It's all a joke now. Laughter is the best medicine.

Anonymous said...

I found myself hysterically laughing as I read this. Reminded me of how I met my wife (its a long story but it involves me breaking a leg to climb up to her window--thanks Romeo!) Why you are "deeply conflicted" about this girl? It sounds like you really like her, why not be "ensnared" by her?

Ken said...

Anon--I guess I've begun laughing too. Don't even notice the scrapes anymore. Sorry to hear about the leg--sounds like a great story, though.

Anonymous said...

Ken, avoid the question but think about the answer.

And don't be sorry about the leg. You are correct, its a great story and it won me my Juliet.

Chris said...

You should show your Falls colors and cover the scratches with the gray anti-rust spray paint!