Takes a Lickin’

Takes a Lickin’

I am back from my trip to Seattle, and once I have developed the photos I took (with a crummy disposable camera,  so don’t expect any works of art)  I will do some blogging about the trip and my brother Steve’s ordeal.  For now, I’m happy to say that Steve has made very significant improvement and – barring unforeseen complications – will be out of the hospital within the next couple of days. . . although he still has a long road ahead of him before he is fully recovered.

So does my car, as you can see in the above photo.  When I headed off to Seattle on Wednesday, the last I had heard from State Farm Insurance is that my car was almost certainly totaled (from my accident this past Saturday) — not exactly bad news since we were already thinking about replacing it, and being done with it altogether would have made things simpler. Would have.   But then came the bewildering news one day later that upon closer inspection,  State Farm had ascertained that my car in fact was not totaled after all.   (If I had been home at the time to take that call from State Farm, I probably would have asked what the person had been smoking when they came to such a lame-brain conclusion.)  So suddenly instead of car shopping, we have to get this bucket of bolts fixed.

Then the next day, the knife twisted a bit more when my cell phone rang and it was someone from Gentile Honda, the place we had it towed to be repaired.   It turns out that to do some of the necessary repairs was going to mean going through the trunk – which was impossible because the trunk was so crammed with stuff.  (Actually, the guy might have used a more colorful term than “stuff.”)  And indeed,  my trunk is packed about as tightly as one of those cylindrical canisters where you unscrew the lid and a stuffed snake explodes out of it.   There were two boxes of music books, a box of opera librettos,  an old stereo receiver,  a box of 50 “O the Joy” booklets –  and that’s just the top layer!  It was like a block-wide flea market in there, and I half-expected to come across an old newspaper emblazoned with the headline “McKinley Shot!  V.P. Theodore Roosevelt rushes to Washington”  in there.   When I explained that I was in Seattle at the moment,  attending to my hospitalized brother,  he asked if someone might be able to clean out the trunk for me.  After I quit laughing several minutes later,  I explained that I couldn’t think of anybody I so intensely disliked that I would saddle them with such a miserable task.  (And actually,  I don’t think any of my close friends or nearby family members are stupid enough to take on such a task.)

So the task became mine- and rightfully so- and that’s why at 4:00 this afternoon,  I drove to Gentile Honda to get the trunk emptied out.  Except that the only green Honda on the premises was one that was completely missing large swaths of its body, plus all of its front lights, plus its license plates.  It looked like it belonged on the set of some science fiction thriller where the world has been decimated by nuclear war. I drove around it a couple of times,  truly convinced that this couldn’t possibly be my car.   (I’m not being facetious here.)  But then I spotted a to-go container from Chipotle Grille right inside the back window- and then a pile of ten cassette tapes on the passenger seat- and I knew that this pathetic looking wreck was indeed my car.

So I dutifully pulled up our other car next to it – opened up the trunk of the Honda – and started hauling stuff as fast as my weary bones could manage it.  I thought about being ruthless with discards right then and there, but with a Racine Symphony solo appearance that evening for which I still had to get ready,  I knew there wasn’t time for careful discarding. So that fun will have to wait for another day.  In the meantime,  the back of our other vehicle is now crammed with what had been in my trunk. . . perfectly respectable things like scores to the Schubert Mass in G major – or my battery-powered metronome-  or a long-lost pitch pipe.  But when I started pulling out things like four brightly colored, foot- and-a-half long  plush crayons (decoration for my studio)  or a brightly-colored children’s xylophone, that’s when I started to concoct my cover story.  “O no, sir.  This isn’t my stuff.  This car belongs to my cousin who’s in a mental hospital out of state. I’m just doing a favor for him by cleaning it out for him.”

Actually, my car is scary on several levels. . . but one of the scariest things about it is that my car is basically the most private space I have. . . pretty much untouched by kathy or anyone else. . .  and how messy or clean it is depends entirely on my own efforts.  (or lack thereof.)  So if one wanted to somehow ascertain my own Messiness on a scale of 1 to 10,  there’s probably no better way than to look inside my car. . .  and once you were done vomiting, you would probably be tempted to call the Dept. of Health and lodge a formal complaint.

So anyway,  that’s my car.  Probably just about any other kind of car would have been totaled,  but I am blessed (or am I cursed)  to drive a Honda. . . one of the toughest cars out there . . .  and at the rate it’s going, that beat up ol’ Green Honda will outlive us all.