This is just stupid.
The Engineer’s office just moved, so instead of driving halfway around the Capital Beltway to some office park in the asshole of creation, he will be working downtown, near the subway hub. Boy Scout that he is, he asked if I would drop him at the subway the first morning, so that he’d be sure to be on time, after which I gather he plans to figure out the buses. So I poured cold water on my head and off we went.
I get to the nearest station by driving north on the four-lane divided that passes one side of my lot and hanging right at a signal in the middle of the nearby garden apartments. I don’t do it in the mornings, usually. This morning there seemed to be a ridiculous number of people turning right a block before the signal, into a side street lined with parking bays, meaning people who lived there were trying to get out of their spaces, well, bottom line, bottleneck. I crawled forward inch by inch, riding the brake, until the last blivet in front of me managed to get himself into the side street (I later figured out this was an evasive cut-through used to avoid the traffic signal, because, horrors! How can you ask people to wait at a signal?). I took my foot off the brake and started to roll forward at about sven miles an hour, and
PRANGGGG!!! some random gobshite in a red pickup truck takes a right turn out of the left lane, athwart my bows, across the part of the asphalt I am already rolling into, his passenger-side rear tire hooking my front bumper so that it flies up in front of my eyes and then clatters back into the roadway.
I exit the car, shaking like Hitler in the last scenes of Downfall.
The Engineer gets out of his side.
The other driver gets out.
It is the ninety-three-year-old geezer who lives next door to me, the family who had the Oak of Damocles until I implored them to take it down, the ones that leave nastygrams on cars parked at my curb, yup, THOSE PEOPLE.
What have I done ever to them that these bozos have it in for me?
I don’t drive a lot; I’m a timid driver with bad eyesight and I know my limits. I haven’t been in a real accident — two cars moving, BANG! — since I was on my learner’s permit and an old babe in a beater sedan with four bald tires and a dead dog in the front seat passed me at forty in a 25-MPH zone over a double yellow, just as I was turning left. It was too eerily similar for words. (Yes, a dead dog. It’s a long story.) It just did for me. I tried to dial my auto insurance company while the Engineer called the cops, I got a non-working number message because my hands were shaking too badly to dial the number right, I finally got a robot that I started to scream at and then a live person on whom I melted down, and then the cop showed up, took information, handed the geezer a summons for making an unsafe turn, and loaded my bumper into my hatch.
Fortunately I can still drive her. I mean she goes. I’m not sure about me. No one hurt; that’s pretty big.
“I’m really sorry,” the old geezer kept saying.
“Maybe his family will stage an intervention,” mused the Engineer as we went the rest of the way to the Metro station.
I came home and drank an IPA, I don’t give a fuck what time of day it was. The adjuster is available on Wednesday to look over poor Lua-Vanessa Aspasia Himmelblau. As I understand it, the geezer’s insurance carries the full liability.
I’m going to go lie down now.