Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Run On (from the U2B Files)

It started off as a simple accident. But I guess “things spiraling out of control” is my specialty.

It was Thursday morning and I had to go to work. Since I had spent the night at my chick’s apartment, I was granted with both being able to sleep in a little (she lived closer to my job than I) and the delightful opportunity for different scenery on the drive in.

I worked in northwest Washington, D.C. In an area called Tenleytown, which housed rich jerks and most of the student body of American University. To get there from where I was currently, meant going through downtown Silver Spring, Md. (Singular, not plural. Silver Springs is in Florida. I swear to god if I have to correct one more person on this, I’m going to trail off with a vaguely threatening mumbling….)

I was on Piney Branch Ave., at the intersection with Fenton Ave., in the left lane, about four cars from the light. I was sick of sitting there and must have been really inpatient to get to work*, so I decided to cut across with a left turn into a parking lot that I knew joined up one block down with Fenton in the direction I wanted to go. Without hesitation, I grabbed the steering wheel forcefully in my hands, and accelerated my car into a left hand turn.

There was only one problem.

In my haste to make the turn, I had not properly judged distances between, say, my car and the car in front of me. Very improperly, would be a better way to put it. Didn’t judge at all would be even better. I hit the car in front of me would probably be the most accurate statement.  My front right fender nudged the left rear fender of that car. It didn’t stop my momentum, but it was jarring.

Oh well, I thought to myself. ‘Tis but a scratch. I have no desire to stop to assess the damage with this person and it’s probably not a big deal anyway.

Let me pause here in the story to tell you a little bit about me and cars. My car’s name was “Keep Getting Caught”** and unlike most boys with their toys, I have absolutely no respect for my vehicle. In the slightest. If my car was sentient and had the voice of, I dunno, Anthony Anderson, it would have called the cops on me years ago for domestic abuse. I think I get it from my father. We both drive our cars until parts fall off and the car dies like the Bluesmobile at the end of The Blues Brothers, (Look it up kiddies, best Saturday Night Live movie ever.) When people try to play chicken with me when it comes to changing lanes, slowing down, speeding up or anything else that could cause accidents and dismemberment, I just laugh at them, partly because my car is a piece of shit and I don’t care what happens to it, partly because I’m crazy and may have a death wish and partly for some third reason to be figured out later. So my scraping another car was just something to take in stride, as far as I was concerned.

Seven seconds

As I drove through the parking lot, I figured that even if I did pull over to exchange info with the guy, he didn’t have enough space to pull over to talk.  No harm, no foul. Then I took a peek in my rearview mirror. The other car had managed to use the space I had just taken up to reverse and pull into the parking lot behind me. It wasn’t over yet.

I had no intention of stopping for whoever this was, I had a shitty job to get to and I knew the streets of Silver Spring like the back of my hand (Funny story: I constantly forget that I have a tattoo on the back of my hand.) I decided to make a run for it.

Fifteen seconds

I negotiated the parking lot speed bumps without slowing down and exited onto Gist Ave. Seeing a break in the cross traffic, I tried to lose my pursuer by making a quick left onto Fenton. One block later I made a right onto East-West Highway. I knew that the light at the intersection of East-West and Georgia Ave., was annoyingly long, convoluted, poorly placed and resulted in a lot of backed up cars. I figured I’d lose the guy there.

Twenty nine seconds

So far, it had been less than a minute and my heart was pounding. I’ve eluded cars while on foot, rollerblade and bike, but rarely by motorized vehicle. I had no idea who the person/people were in the other car, but I knew that I had already made my stupid, impulsive choice of how I was going to handle the situation. I had to run on.



TO BE CONTINUED…



*That’s the only explanation I can think of. I must have REALLY wanted to go to work, or something.

**Because I never do.

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