Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One $1 Scratch Ticket

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.

4 comments:

Chica. said...

You've heard that anxiety is adrenaline that's pumped up for something to happen right? Maybe since you get attacks all the time that made your body prepared for the accident?

BTW--I'm so glad you're okay. I did get your email, but I've had a bad week and haven't gotten around to replying. I promise to soon.

Linda said...

I can't wait to read the short story, Darren. Should be fabulous, given your way with words..

I'm glad you weren't hurt, either, in the accident.. Do Tracers have air bags??

luv,
Linda

Apocalypse Cow said...

well, you may just be wired differently. My wife is similar, she was once a firefighter, and dealt with situations that would have had me screaming like a 4 year old girl, but a kitchen full of dirty dishes overwhelms her and she doesn't know where to start.

I hate car accidents. I'm fine until the other person gets angry, then I turn into a very very bad person. One woman who experienced this was in the Fresh Pond Mall parking lot, outside the Whole Foods, a parking lot hard to get around in, and always full of self-absorbed pseudo earth lovers. We both backed out of spots across from each other, and bumped bumpers. I got out first, as I have my information at hand, and was assessing damage before she got out. Two little scratches on her bumper, three on mine. My car was older, with more scars on it, but these were certainly not the first scratches on hers.
She gets out of the car, and I greet her with a "Sorry about that, I think we were in each other's blind spots." She responds with a very agressive "What were you doing? Didn't you see me? What the hell is wrong with you?" That triggered a response that is best not repeated, and I probably couldn't, as I only remember bits of it, as I had gone into a blind rage.

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