Mar 28th, 2004


On Friday, as the RLA and I were coming home, we missed getting T-boned by a teenager who was racing out of a cul-de-sac without paying attention to the stop sign. We didn't even see him in our rear view mirror, but our neighbor, who thought he was about to witness death and mayhem in his front yard, followed us home to tell us how lucky we were.

On Saturday, as we were parked in a lot behind the comic book store in South Miami, some asshat in a white vehicle parked next to us. Or, more accurately, parked in us. We didn't notice getting into the car, but getting out, at home, we found a deeply creased left front side panel on the PT Cruiser. We know that the asshat was in a white vehicle, because the crease and accompanying scrape on the running board was filled with white paint. A dent that bad should have made itself known with a metal shriek. I'm sure it did.

But this is the Naughts, where it's only what's in it for oneself, and putting a good grand of damage on a stranger's car is inconvenient to acknowledge. So one doesn't. And we, the RLA and myself, were happy and chatting and not paying any attention when we got in the car, and so didn't notice if the car parked next to us was the one that creased us or just an innocent bystander.

So the question is this: Coincidence? Fate? Was the damage to the car inevitable, and we had to make a sacrifice to the gods who protected us the day before? The truth is, if we had been mowed down by a reckless teen, the car has airbags and good side column impact resistance, so we would probably have escaped with minimal damage. But the dog, who rides free in the back cargo area, would have been killed.

The RLA says that kind of thinking is superstitious. Whatever. The universe will unfold as the universe will unfold. We dodged a bullet of one kind on Friday and took a hit, albeit very minor, on the next.

It was a crap day all around, anyway. It was rainy and windy. There were no bargains or fabulous styles at the shoe store, for either me or the RLA, and we left without making a purchase. The stretcher strips were all warped, at the art supply store. They had a sale on colored pencils, and I was able to find all the colors I wanted (I had had a dream about the luminous water in Biscayne Bay and wanted to work with the colors I'd seen) but then, they only had one clerk at the register, and she kept wandering off to check prices for the person three ahead of us in line, and there seemed to be no end in sight to her wandering, so we left there, too, without making a purchase.

But today the sky is clear, and there are farmer's markets to visit, and other art supply stores.