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.

9 comments:

Mike Troy said...

Not all traps are bad...

Fool Circle 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!