As we are turning over a new leaf, facing 2012, I have every reason to happily leave behind three accidents and four surgeries within the last eighteen months.
None of the accidents were my fault. The first totaled my Toyota Camry even though I counted on it until death do us part. I was idling in the heavy Friday afternoon traffic of Los Angeles, bumper to bumper for a mile or so. A jolt sent me flying over to the car ahead of me. Damage at both ends. Could this be real? Stupefied, I asked the culprit:
“Why did you hit me?” as if we were having a children’s fight.
“Don’t worry,” he replied,“ I have insurance.”
What about the negotiations, the loss of time, the search for a new car, the haggling over the price, the waiting periods, the extra expense, the few rental cars I had to deal with for one reason or another? No compensation for those, of course. At least there were no medical bills. I was OK.
I finally settled down with a new Camry. A month later somebody hit it in the parking lot of an apartment building. I wasn’t in it. Fortunately he had left a note. I went through the same rounds, disengagement from regular activities, dealing with two insurance agencies, mine and his, loss of time, change of schedules, escalating aggravation, you name it.
The third incident, a month ago, was a complete shock. I was in rehab, after knee replacement surgery. I had to park my car at a friend’s house, for convenience, but it happened to be on the pathway of the wind that made havoc in Pasadena and the vicinity. I was too drugged to realize my car was in danger. A week later I woke up to the fact that my Camry might be damaged, since my friend showed no interest in shuttling me back. Another kind soul took me home. The living room window was shattered, courtesy of my neighbors who promised to fix it. I also learned that shingles from the roof of my friend’s house had fallen onto my car. To think that she had secured my car behind her locked fence for safekeeping! I guess when calamity strikes it ignores all boundaries of courtesy. My car was taken to the shop again. I now deal with the staff on a first name basis.
Am I surprised? Countercurrents happen to me on a regular basis. In fact I get suspicious when a stroke of luck hits me. In 1964, after several attempts, I finally managed to secure an entry visa to the Soviet Union. My visit coincided with Khrutschev’s demise! This is one of many such memories. Wind damage pales in comparison to being caught in the jaws of political upheaval in a foreign country. I left Russia without untoward incidents then. I thank the Lord now for escaping wind damage without being caught in it.
Driving a Mercury Grand Marquis, courtesy of the rental company, I feel like a small fish in a big pond. It’s big for my size. It doesn’t fit in my garage. I put the brakes on when I took it home. I could not disengage them the next morning. I knocked on two neighboring doors across the street, hoping to get assistance but received no response. I walked back dragging my ailing leg, and prayed for some miracle so that I could make it in time to my medical appointment. Then I pushed the first button in sight. The brakes were released.
Yes, 2011 was characterized by certain calamities, intermingled with better days. I hope 2012 will allow me the completion of my second book, without unpleasant interruptions.
Good bye 2011 (without tears).