Or, is it an underpass? Whatever it is, there it was, and I was nearly part of the graffiti sprayed on it. Splayed on it?
I was on my way home – or, I was on my way back to Aftermath where I am minding the estate and Judah whilst my dear Lady A visits relatives. I wasn’t going to go to the gym today. I was going to stay in all day and read but, well, the truth is, all the cool people I follow on Twitter started talking about getting on Ello – which is some cooler, hipper, prettier, artier version of Facebook apparently – and, look kids, I am only just managing to sustain the delusion that I am semi-popular on Twitter. The thought of having to struggle to maintain a presence and cultivate friends on another platform – I had to get the hell out of the house. So, before my drive back, I’d spent two hours at the gym; one hour on cardio equipment and another hour in the sauna and showers. Usually my loitering in the sauna and showers is in pursuit of inappropriately young or married men, but, today, I was attempting to convince myself the injury I had done to my right hip was muscle-strain and not incipient need for hip-replacement surgery. I regret to inform you that I found no relief – neither trashily erotic nor pain. My hip (and entire right leg) hurt and I am sitting here, alone, typing.
So, did I mention my car nearly found union with the concrete wall of an overpass? Or, is that an underpass?
After the gym and its reminder that not only am I unattractive to the inappropriately young and married men I prefer who are all- no doubt- already on Ello (not to mention the appropriately aged Latin fellow who seemed single and completely ignored me) but I am also approaching (okay, okay – HAVE ARRIVED AT) the age where my loved ones (i.e. the Medicare death panel) will need to decide if I am worthy of joint replacement or should just be put down (I vote for the latter), I decided I needed a visit to my local, independent bookseller, The Curious Iguana, where I spent twenty minutes chatting with people who would NOT choose to put me down and picked up three more books for my ToBeRead pile.
I love my bookstore people, but, how many hours a week can I spend there? And, honestly, how much energy can I invest in the fantasy that they – like my TwitLit friends – make me a worthwhile person because they like me. What, after all, do they really know about me?
So, I’m driving back to Aftermath, and I almost careened into an overpass. Or, is it an underpass? Whatever it is, I almost hit it.
I was seventeen months old when my father died on a September 17 many decades ago by driving into a telephone pole. It was not his first accident. It was not the first time he had fallen asleep behind the wheel. It was not the first time he had been drinking and driving. He was, I have been told, terribly unhappy, tortured, and far too sensitive for the world in which he lived, the world he had made for himself.
It was many decades later after long, sad blank years during which I had grown increasingly, piece by piece, atom by atom, unhappy, felt tortured by loss and failure, and believed myself far too sensitive and nerve-ending-exposed for the world in which I lived and had made for myself that I first wondered whether or not a man who repeatedly drove into things could possibly have meant to do it on purpose.
It was the first time I thought of following in my father’s tire-tracks, speeding into something, wondering whether or not I could manage to do even that right. I still believed in god then. And karma. And a complicated cosmology I’d constructed to make all that had happened seem reasonable, to convince myself that there was a purpose to and reward for suffering.
I don’t believe any of that anymore. And today, I almost drove into an underpass. Or, is it an overpass? Whatever it is, I almost became part of it today.
By accident. I – who believe not one iota in love of the romantic, fated, ever-after variety – was once again madly gesticulating and wailing along with a Jason Robert Brown tune from The Bridges of Madison County. It is ridiculous, I know, that I – see above not one iota and such – am so obsessed with romantic ballads from Broadway musicals. I was wailing, “All my life I have been falling – falling into you…” with my eyes closed and head tossed back when I came to realize I was about a millisecond from crashing into the underpass.
Or, is it an overpass? Whatever it is, I almost went out hitting a gorgeously shaped and perfectly pitched A (I think it was an A, maybe a B). I did not. I righted the car. And, I am proud to say, finished the phrase. Still a diva, even though it’s been years since I trod the boards. But, I was a bit shaken. I pulled off.
Here’s the thing; first thought: Wish I’d kept my eyes closed a few seconds longer. Second thought: No one would ever believe it had been an accident.
Here’s the other thing and why I am writing this: it will be an accident. As much as I would like the eleven-o’clock ballad to be sung and take me out, as much as I would like to have the nerve to hit that final A (maybe B), that ridiculous, idiotic part of me obsessed with romantic ballads from Broadway musicals just cannot seem to really and truly give up the fucking ghost.
I still fucking believe – despite my rejections and losses and sorrows and disappointments and failure after failure after failure – that there might be a goddam happy end other than a telephone pole.
Or, underpass. Or, is it an overpass? Whatever.