Sunday, August 29, 2010

Time Doesn't Exist When You're Paranoid

Gonna Drift into that Void...

So I did something stupid.

Feel free to rip me to shreds... as long as you've never done anything stupid.

I went to the grocery store -- not my usual grocery store, but the one painted to look like tinker toys. Usually when I go to the tinker-toy store, I park on street level. But it was crowded, so I had to go down into the garage. Where I parked next to a pillar.

When I came out with my groceries, my mind was going in a million directions. I had a thousand things to do. I wanted to get home and make dinner. I wondered if there was time to go to the gym.

So I backed out. And turned the wheel hard.

A second later, I heard a crunching sound.

Because of the pillar. In the place I never park below the store I rarely go to.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

And I pulled forward, fearing the worst.

Got out to look at the car. There was a big, ugly dent in the front fender. And what looked like dozens of streaks of white paint.

It looked horrible.

I stood and stared at the bumper, which had been pristine (although dirty) five minutes before.

I wondered how bad it really was, trying to figure out if the bumper had become detached anywhere.

And how much it would cost to fix it.

And whether I needed to call my insurance company.

A guy came over and looked at it with me. He told me about how he'd backed into a pole himself a few months back. "Maybe you can just bang out the dent and repaint it," he said.

He walked away and I kept staring at the dent, feeling stupid.

And then...

I heard a "pop" sound. And the dent in the bumper reversed itself. So all that was left was the white paint. Dozens and dozens of stripes of white paint.

And I licked my finger and ran it across... and the white paint came right off.

So I drove home and got some paper towels and very gentle spray cleaner. And more than 95% of the paint came off.

I'm left with a few small scratches and a very small area where the paint from my car was peeled completely off.

The next day, I told the story to someone. At the end I shook my head, remembering how stupid and horrible I felt at the time... and how lucky I was that it turned out not to be so bad.

In a split second, I realized that this was an important metaphor -- a sign from the universe. Message received.

(Thanks to Peter's Power Pop blog for the song and the cool-ass video -- perfect for the waning days of summer. Wish I could claim the retro-cool points, but I'm one of the people who'd never heard this until yesterday.)


Ed said...

You didn't see the movie Starstruck with me? At that theater on Thayer Street? I don't know who else I would have gone with.

Alex said...

Ed, I don't specifically remember that, but it sounds like something I would have done. Was this song in that movie?

Ed said...

I guess I don't know. They sang a lot of songs in that movie, and it was their hit, so I just assumed.

Robert said...

Thanks for the reminder of this great pop gem.

Mike said...

While cosmetically your bumper still looks all right, it may no longer provide you with protection next time you hit (or someone hits) that bumper.

Yes it sucks to have to spend money on checking out your bumper, but you may be putting your safety at risk if you don't.

Alex said...

Mike -- okay, I will. :)