A Random Image

He’s seen fit to spare me again, woo!

I felt creased as I was leaving the house this morning. A recent burst of creativity has me feeling energized and spent all at the same time. I vividly remember that as I was starting down the mountain, I thought to myself that I could use a couple taps to the head to bring me up out of myself and fully into the day. After all, nothing like a good beatin’ to get you going. Just ask my kids.

I’m sure there’s some idiot out there that took that remark seriously and is now questioning my parenting skills. Welcome, lunatic. I say those things to crank yo gears.

It started raining sometime early this morning; I know this because I was up into the wee hours, alternating studying with sanding and painting and drilling. Perhaps I should take a shop class so as to perfectly marry all of the above. I’d take auto shop rather than wood shop just so I could sing “GO-OHHH GREASE(D?) LIGHTNING, YOU’RE BURNING UP THE QUARTERMILE….”

Started out a gullywarsher….that lasted all of twenty minutes before subsiding into a lazy drizzle, the kind that loosens all the trapped oil from the roads without completely vanquishing it to the shoulders and medians. The kind that lulls drivers into a lazy complacency and a security that their cars, just as always, will stay fixed and steady on the road until they reach their destinations.

My first reaction upon seeing an accident, a wreck, whatever-you-choose-to-call-it is almost always (and without much rate of failure), “Oh poor [fill in name of car here] driver.” Part sympathy, part concern, part hedging my bets against the universe flinging my and my car toward the same fate.

The mountain highway I travel each day is like this: Two lanes down, two lanes up, standard-issue grassy center median. On the way down there is a foliage-covered cliff face traveling sharply up a wall of pretty and friendly greenery. To the far left, beyond a miniscule barrier, lies more tree-covered mountainside, a steep-faced, trunk-encrusted invitation to death, seatbelt or no.

One-third of the way to my destination, there was a taupe-colored Lumina that had tired of the journey; it lay on its left side, like it had rolled over cleanly for a nap, wheels facing the side of the mountain, top turned to me. The wreck was so new that there were no emergency vehicles there yet, only a pained-looking man with cellphone to ear who I assumed belonged to the SUV canted — pulled off quickly, it seems– at the roadside some eighty yards up.

The look on his face settled unease on me.

Another mile up, and here was a vehicle that decided to pull out the stops, to not go half-assed, to raise its chassis to the sky in some odd supplication: “Take my driver, please!”

There was a paramedic truck; it apparently beat the state troopers. There was a red pickup, shiny and new. There was some yayhoo in a yellow safety-taped slicker waving orange flags to beat the band. This apparently fucked with the eyeballs of the driver in a navy Sentra to my right. Said eyeballs then fucked with driver’s brain. Said fucked-with brain then gave the erroneous command to veer unnecessarily into my lane sharply and reactionarily hit the brakes (rather than the thinking man’s option: Speeding Up) when observing that I was two licks from ass-ending him/her.

I did what I’ve been taught is proper in such situations: I sent the car to the left, and my wheels –given the rate of travel– were immediately inclined to suck the whole fucking plastic-and-rubber-and-fiberglass (plus an eensy bit of metal and glass for flavor) contraption off of the road and into the median.

I am calm in times like these: “Nerves don’t fail me now,” and they didn’t. The median grass was tall enough to not be slick, dense enough to slow me a bit and offer some traction. However, I was still traveling fast and concerned that I’d flip the sweet Saturncar if I hit either roadside shoulder again too quickly. That, or do a Thelma and Louise –without the benefit of sistah-from-anotha-mistah companionship– off the mountainside.

I simply wasn’t dressed for the occasion of a dramatic exit. Plus, I had no Rachmaninoff or Faure for cinematic effect.

There was also the issue of coming to a complete stop and getting stuck in the median. Frankly, Gorgeous Reader, I can’t afford the tow. I’m still one car payment behind from when I bought books at the beginning of the semester. GMAC be damned.

/COMMENCE ASIDE/ I’m convinced that most people have accidents because they become too relaxed in the following notion:

“I have insurance. Insurance will fix or replace.”

Me, I don’t have the time or the funds (deductible, tardy rental delivery/reimbursement, etc.) to lose to that mindset. I try harder to grease out of tough situations, knock wood. /END ASIDE/

I swung back up onto the roadside and into my rightful lane after what I believe to be about 120 yards (luckily, luckily, luckily not encountering any turn-arounds or severe ditches in the interim): Thank you, accommodating green Celica. Fuck you very much, burgundy Whatevercar. You will both be adequately compensated in the afterlife, as Jesus is my friend and not just the friend-of-a-friend.

The rest of the twenty-minute drive was uneventful. I thought the usual thoughts, turned the usual turns, I got on with my get on. The adrenaline bath happened upon exiting my car.

The thing about a good adrenaline rush is that it very much mimics a good drunk. If you’re sitting down for either one, you don’t realize to what degree you’ve been affected until it comes barreling down on you when you rise to a standing position. When you’re throwing a drunk, the sauce travels with no compunction or argument toward the lower extremities and is locked down in your feet, shins and calves by the bend in your legs. Alcohol simply cannot battle that ninety-degree angle, so it doesn’t even fuck around with trying. Once you excuse yourself from the table and rise to hit the head for a little bladder relief, you free up the channel and it’s anybody’s game–you wobble near-immediately.

With adrenaline, it’s just the opposite. It floats innocuously about the head and shoulders (less thick musculature to rattle up there, you see) and upon rising the puddled ring of it falls in a wet, jellied curtain down, down, dowwwwn.

That, sisters and brothers, is why I stepped out of my vehicle, bent quickly and cleanly at the waist and efficiently ejected the contents of my stomach, i.e. my breakfast, on the yellow stripe of my parking space. Glory hallelujah. The only time I’ve done it cleaner and quieter involved a foul popcorn-chardonnay combination, my stainless steel kitchen sink and me asking my roommate, “Nobody heard, did they?” You see, there was a potential new beau in the next room who’d brought sterling roses to our little dinner party. Luckily, I’d already digested the almond torte eaten some seven hours earlier.

That was not the case with this morning’s meal. The Total flakes and already-congealed milk departed gracefully. The honey-almond granola I’d sprinkled atop it put up a bit of a fight. Damned surly granola.

15 worked it out »

  1. Sgt. Mac 11.5.2003

    Next time you drive to work, take a brown paper vomit bag, a pair of booties and a shovel….Might also try a garden hose to spray off that parking space…lol!

    PS: I’ve seen those burgundy fucking whatever cars….ROFLMAO!

  2. Leslie 11.5.2003

    I think Sgt. Mac has the right idea!

  3. Gary 11.5.2003

    Jett, three words: Drive a Hummer. The other drivers will puke their breakfasts and also excrete yesterday’s dinner all over their Rich Corinthian Leather at the mere sight of that grillwork headed in their general direction. The road will be yours.

  4. Jett 11.5.2003

    Gary, you buyin’? Because I know how much those bad boys cost….and recall that I mentioned being behind on a car payment now.

  5. Skillzy 11.5.2003

    Bummer about your breakfast, but at least you (and your Saturn) made it OK. Someone once called me “one of those Saturn people” and I guess I am one. It was obviously the combination of your leet driving skillz and Saturn engineering that won the day. w00t!

  6. Jett 11.5.2003

    Hey, Saturn sends me and my brood to a ballgame every year. FOR FREE!

    Plying me with the American pastime and meat sans charge does, indeedy, increase my degree of loyalty.

    That, and it’s a good fucking car.

  7. GAry 11.5.2003

    Hey which would you rather owe one payment on, a Saturn or a Hummer? All dreams cost the same…they are free, so dream big. Also, when you are talking about “good fucking” equipment wouldn’t want big good fucking equipment?

  8. Skillzy 11.5.2003

    hmm, when I think of Hummers, vehicles are always the second thing that pops up.

  9. Wendolene 11.5.2003

    Jett, I love you. You’re talking about car accidents and puking and I am just thinking about how wonderfully your words flow together and how I just want to keep reading forever. I wonder if you’re as awesome in real life as you are in my brain. I imagine you are.

  10. Thank God you’re okay.

    The adrenalin bath effects might last several days . . . . take it easy until they subside. (They never subside in L.A.) Get a deep and good night’s sleep tonight . . . .

  11. Sgt. Mac 11.5.2003

    Perhaps you could put all these wonderful stories and flowing words of Jettsuperiom into a book and sell it.

    With the 50,000 grand in Royalties you can by the Hummer, and haul your Saturn down the mountain to work, where you can dodge the Burgunucukers.

  12. Joe 11.5.2003

    I’m glad your okay!!! It’s like that in Tucson as well, the oil and comfortable surroundings (or familiar) after or during a rain seem to insure plenty of accidents. I always drive slow as hell on days such as this. And as for beating your kids, I say shit like that too and it drives Josie nuts because she is so sure that somebody is going to think I’m being serious and call the cops. I haven’t vomited in ages, I hate that worse than just about anything other than country music. Glad your safe.

  13. waistdog 11.6.2003

    Sadly, even the mighty Hummer, can roll on it’s head, as evidenced by the one parked on it’s roof just up the road from here.

    It doesn’t matter how big, scientific, or Volvoesque a vehicle is….with an idiot driving…it’s going to crash.

    Glad you’re ok Jett.

    Life on Adventure Mountain, sounds fun.

  14. melly 11.6.2003

    This one time, on the way home from school, I was eating an ice cream cone, and it started melting fast, and then next I looked up, I wasn’t on the highway anymore, but instead a nice grassy patch fit for a breezy afternoon picnic.

    I finished my cone, and drove over the grass to the access road.

    That was some really good ice cream.

  15. John 11.8.2003

    I managed to do a 360 at 45, smile at the people behind me as the rotation faced the car to them and proceeded to continue driving.

    Snow and my old 79 Merc. Capri did not mix well. It didn’t like rain either.

    I have one question. What does taupe look like? I am color ignorant, yes.


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