|THIS is why I can't get out of bed in the morning...|
Trent and I were on our way home from work last night, taking our usual route of 14th street to Crowchild Trail. I was blasting an audiobook by Jennfer Weiner, a collection of short stories titled The Guy Not Taken, which by the way doesn’t make any sense to me at all. There hasn’t yet been a single story about a guy not taken, let alone a whole collection of them. But then, who the fuck am I?
Anyway, as Trent and I were chugging along the busy road, I felt a curious tweak of intuition, one that I had felt while driving to work that morning, that told me something was wrong with Trent. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it; something just felt weird. I turned down my audiobook and then flicked off the A/C so I could listen for a second, and that’s when I heard it.
Trent had a flat tire.
What the fuck? I wondered, as I pulled off the busy road and into a Safeway parking lot. These tires were brand spanking new, as of a couple of months ago. I would be so pissed if one of them was already useless.
I parked Trent and got out to take a look. But every single tire looked fine to me; I even kicked them to appear like I had some idea of what I was doing, but they were all full of air and firm. I did not have a flat tire.
What should I do? I wondered. I decided I should just get Trent home and ask Dad to have a look at him and tell me what’s up. Trent had just been in the shop a week ago to get his A/C fixed, but I couldn’t imagine how that could in any way be related to the sound of a flat tire.
I pulled back into traffic and stopped at a red light. When the light changed to green I accelerated and went through the intersection, and suddenly Trent woobled dangerously in my hands and BAM! The back of the truck dropped out from underneath me.
“FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!” I screamed as Trent and I slammed to a violent halt. I put the car in park, then put my shaking hand to my pounding heart. “What the fucking fuck just fucking happened?” I cried.
“My father raised his head, and his look hardened. ‘Is that all you’ve got for your old man?’ he demanded harshly...”
I punched the power on the CD player with my free hand. “Shut up, Jessica! I’m busy,” I moaned, and reached for the door handle.
I could feel all the eyes of rush hour traffic upon me as I stepped out of my car and looked back towards the intersection. A yellow truck had stopped a few car lengths behind me, and a guy about my age was just getting out of the driver’s side door. He leaned down to the ground and picked up a big black tire from the meridian, and started walking towards Trent and I.
I looked back at my Trent. The rear driver’s side tire had somehow morphed into a bright orange, ugly piece of rusted steel that sat directly on the pavement. I wasn’t 100% certain, but I suspected there had been a tire there when I left the tattoo parlour ten minutes earlier.
“Lose something?” the guy from the yellow truck asked with a grin as he dumped my tire onto the road beside Trent.
I felt a bit of relief; he wouldn’t be smiling if my tire had actually gone through his windscreen and decapitated his children. Well. One would assume.
“I don’t think so...” I twirled my hair and stuck out my hip. He laughed, then reached into hie pocket and pulled out a cell phone.
“Need to call anyone?” he asked.
“No, I’m good,” I said, and gestured to Trent. “I’ve got my phone with me.”
He nodded and walked back to his truck, pulling out into traffic again with a wave and driving off. I reached into the car for my cell phone, then called Roadside Assistance and my dad. I started packing up as much stuff as I could possibly cram into my purse and my gym bag, dumping the bags onto the meridian and stuffing them full of books and costumes and stripper shoes from my car.
“You okay there?” I heard a voice say to my butt as I was stretched across the backseat, trying to dislodge my makeup bag from underneath the seat. I pulled back out of the truck and saw a man standing in front of me, laying his bicycle to rest on the pavement beside my tire.
Allen, as it turned out, knew a lot about cars. “You lost your fleeber flabber and your gazoobadunk,” he explained a few minutes later, pointing to various bits and pieces of my vehicle.
“Mmmmm, yes, of course,” I nodded thoughtfully as he spoke. “Yes, the gazoobadunk. That’s what I thought, too.”
He came up with a plan to get my tire back on temporarily and to get Trent off to the side of the road to wait for the tow truck. He set to work, lying on the ground underneath my truck, beside his abandoned bicycle.
And that’s when the ambulance pulled up.
Two paramedics jumped out and came running towards us. I looked up in surprise. “I’m okay,” I called out to them. “No worries, I’m fine.”
Such a lot of fuss over lil’ old me, I thought gleefully to myself, patting my hair down and blushing prettily.
Allen slid out from underneath Trent, and assessed the situation and what was actually going on.
“She didn’t hit me,” he called out to the paramedics as he stood up, and they immediately pulled up short.
“Oh thank god,” one of the said, slapping Allen cheerfully on the back. “We saw the bike beside the car and you underneath it and thought...”
They all had a good laugh. I sniffed haughtily and turned away. Oh I’m FINE, thanks! I wanted to yell.
Allen went back to work on Trent’s tire and the paramedics started directing traffic. I continued to "Mmm-Hmm" my support for Allen as he took a “lug nut” from each of Trent’s other tires and reattached my fourth wheel.
Suddenly there was another young man with us, chatting with Allen and the paramedics about what had happened. I figured he was just another looky-lou, and I thought, how rude to come all the way over here just to be nosy. What a douche.
“So, can I just get your name and number?” he finally said to me.
My mouth dropped open. You’re hitting on me NOW? I thought wildly. WTF?!
“And just who are YOU?” I demanded of him, hands on my hips.
“Uh...your tire flew off and hit my car?” the young guy said.
“...oh,” I said. “Right. Of course.”
We exchanged names, numbers and insurance info, then Allen suggested I go and take a picture of the kid’s car and the damage. I left Allen and Trent and the paramedics and walked across the street to the other car.
“So, could I just get you to sign something, saying that the accident was your fault?” the kid asked as we waited at the lights to cross the street.
I laughed and clapped my hands with delight. “Yeah, right,” I grinned at him.
He didn’t see the humor. “Why not?” he demanded.
I laughed again, thinking, what am I, a fucking idiot? I stuck my nose up in the air and said as regally as I could, “I will not be signing anything without my solicitor present.”
He rolled his eyes, but he didn’t press the matter, so I assumed I had done a good impression of a person with a solicitor. Or who could spell solicitor.
Eventually all was solved; Trent was packed up and towed off to the mechanic’s, Allen was dispatched home with a sweaty kiss and my blubbering gratitude, and the paramedics went off to find an actual accident. And now it is just me at home on my own, missing Trent and hoping this little incident didn’t cost more than, say, $20 to repair.
Fingers crossed, people!