Saturday, July 17, 2004

In the Wee Hours, Pt. II

There was a strange buzzing in my dream. It made no sense at all, really--there was no reason that the parking garage in my dream should have been buzzing. But it buzzed and buzzed, and then buzzed and buzzed some more, until finally I started to seep back into a state of semi-consciousness.

But I could still hear the buzzing, coming in short spurts like an insistent bumblebee.

I rolled half over, opened one eye a narrow slit.

The buzzes were still coming.

My hand reached out, sliding against the parts of Sean that were entangled with me. "What's that?" I asked in a slurring mutter.

"Mmmph.", was his reply.

A few more buzzes asserted themselves before Sean finally raised his head the smallest iota. "It sounds like the doorbell.", he mumbled sleepily.

Yes, it did. Why hadn't I thought of this before? Of course. It was the doorbell. I looked at the clock. A digital "4:28 am" flashed at me in red L.E.D. Why was someone ringing our doorbell at 4:30 in the morning?

"You'd better go down." I offered.

Sean looked at me blankly. "It's probably just some kids..." he protested. The buzzing continued.

"So. Go down and be 'Old Man Hussey'."

He swung his legs over the bed, waiting to see if the buzzing would continue. It didn't.

But the phone rang.

Sean disappeared to answer the phone while I lay, trying to bridge the gap between consciousness and unconsciousness.

After an eternity, he reappeared in the bedroom, pulling shorts and shoes and a shirt from various parts of the bedroom. "What's up?" I asked.

He sighed tiredly. "It's the police. Someone hit my car. I have to go down."

I looked at him blankly. "Did they stop?"

"I'm not sure. I guess so, or they probably wouldn't have known it just happened."

"So they hit a parked car?"

"I guess. Go back to sleep. I'll be right back."

"Wait. Do you want my camera?" I stumbled into the hallway, groping around for the table where I had last seen it. "Too bad your digital is still in the shop."

Camera in hand, Sean began his descent. I lay with my arm thrown over my head, not asleep and yet not not asleep, either; until Sean's footsteps on the stairs and the great groaning creak of the door announced his return.

I opened one eye the smallest bit in an attempt to appear lucid. "How bad is it?" I asked.

"Pretty bad. It's not driveable."

"It's not? How could it not be driveable? What?"

"The side is scraped up pretty bad, but it's the rear drivers'-side tire--it's bent in at a really sharp angle."

"Your wheel is bent in?"


A beat passed.

"What happened? Was the guy drunk?"

"I don't think so. He said he swerved to miss a raccoon and lost control of the car. He scraped up our neighbor's jeep a little bit, too. He was parked right behind me."

"A raccoon? He hit a parked car because he swerved to miss a raccoon?"

Sean nodded helplessly.

"Did he have insurance?"

"Yeah. I've got all his info here."

"What kind of car was it?"


"His car. What kind was it?"

"Some kind of camaro thing. Let me see..." Sean flipped through the papers in his hand. "A 1981 Chevrolet--"

"Some guy in a twenty year old car hit your car?"


"Oh. My. God. I bet he has really crappy insurance! We're so screwed!"

"It says....some kind of crop insurance."

"Some kind of crop insurance?" I flopped back onto the bed. "Oh well, I guess we'll get it sorted out..."

"Yeah, that's what I told them. No one was hurt, we could deal with it tomorrow. A bunch of our neighbors were there. The guys across the street called the police for him. And the woman next door--you know, the one with the other Beetle?--she said she heard the whole thing. The screech and the bang and all that."

Eventually, we fell into an uneasy sleep. We awoke around 8:00 (Or rather, Sean did. I slept for some time after that.) so Sean could help Super-Moglia move (Super-Moglia because, my GOD, you should see the man move stuff! He is an icon for movers all over! His picture should be displayed on the sides of moving trucks, him smiling a wry and ironic grin while making a little A-Ok symbol with his index finger and thumb. Moglia loves to do cutesy little things like that.) to his newest digs.

Since I was now providing transportation for Sean (who still hasn't learned to drive a stick), I got to see our poor little wounded Gunther firsthand this morning. And let me tell you, you have never seen anything like it. The front of the car? Pristine! The front drivers'-side of the car? A mere scrape! The rear drivers'-side of the car? A more severe scrape, but that's it. The rear drivers'-side tire? FUCKED. And I do mean FUCKED in the most FUCKED sense of the very word, "FUCKED". The rim has a giant piece missing, sloughed off like extra reptilian skin. The wheel well is scraped and dented. And the tire--oh, the poor tire. It's bent in at a most unfortunate angle, looking not unlike Joe Theismann's leg all those years ago.

How the feat of leaving almost the entire side of the car unscathed while mashing in the wheel like a bendy straw was accomplished, I have no earthly idea.

I have a terrible feeling that it's a terminal injury, and that the insurance company will try to say that it's not a terminal injury, just because the car is so new. (Gunther is a baby still--only 7 months old!) But a tire at that angle just screams "BENT FRAME" to me.

For now, Gunther the Passat is very, very ill. I will keep you posted as to his condition as more information becomes available.

Freaking 4:30 am.

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