Yesterday I got into a very minor car accident as I came sailing back from Walgreen's in a 1993 Mercury Tracer. It was the very first car accident in which I've been involved that wasn't my fault. That's a nice feeling. There is no damage, except to the ego of the 2,000 year old man who hit me. As soon as he saw me with the registration and insurance information in my hand he patted my right shoulder in a familiar way and then implored me gently to see things his way. After a brief examination of the car, I did. He oversold it, though, when he said that he was late "for a class." He was either teaching it, or was one of those inspirational old fucks who never gives up on his degree. Nobody was hurt and I dislike both the police and insurance companies, so we went our separate ways.
As I purchased a $1 scratch ticket from Mass Convenience, the land of the $1.75 can of cat food, I thought about what just happened. The man who hit me was shaking more than a little, which I could tell easily when he did his friendly pat. I was anxiety free, however, which is odd given that any knock at the door (or particularly an early morning phone call) gives me a panic attack. In fact, nothing can give me a panic attack. But a car accident seemed to distract my mind, as I thought about how nervous was the fellow who hit me. I got sort of philosophical, even before I got out of the car. The only thing that would have pissed me off is if he had blamed me.
Is there anything more pathetic than buying one $1 scratch ticket? I suppose there is. Whatever it is, I probably do that, too.
It's pleasant to imagine that high pressure moments make me calm while everything else potentially has me reaching for the Xanax. Bizarro Darren. I'm going to cultivate that romantic image of me as cool under fire. It's probably not true, but if it were not for pleasant fictions I'd be in a rubber room. Instead, there's probably a disturbing pathology at work.
At this moment I'm trying to get the courage up to post part of a short story that I wrote, totally as a joke, that gently made fun of Jean-Paul Sartre's Intimacy. Sartre's story is about Lulu and her husband Henri. It's told from Lulu's point of view, as she talks her husband into sleeping naked, plays with a hole in her blanket with her big toe and considers that Henri, "Loves me but doesn't love my bowels...if they showed him my appendix in a glass he wouldn't recognize it." It's the kind of stuff I love about Sartre.
What I wrote is a short story based on that, where I take Lulu's part and an ex girlfriend of mine plays Henri. I don't think she has ever read this...I'm not sure anyone has but me. And it may not be that funny at all, especially if you haven't read Intimacy. That's my problem. But to hell with it, I'll post it just as soon as I type it in here. We were only together for a few months back in 1998, and it has very little to do with her ("Henri").
So there's something lame to look forward to, dedicated readers.