Well, I killed a cat yesterday. He was black and he crossed my path, and even though I crashed into a guardrail trying to avoid him, I still fared better than he did. So I think we can rule out that little superstition.
During the slaughter, I hit my head on the driver’s side window. Boo hoo. I think I strained a muscle in my neck, too, but it had been hurting anyway, so who knows?
Sickness #1: I wasn’t even off the road before I called my supervisor to tell him I wasn’t coming in. Then I realized, “Seriously? My first phone call after an accident in which I almost leapt a guardrail and drowned in forest is Coffee Shop (TM)?”
I managed to pull into a parking lot nearby, climb out of my smoking (ok, steaming) car, and drag myself to a curb. I sat on that curb, ass in dirt, hugging my knees in my Coffee Shop (TM) uniform while fit yuppies walked past me on their way to Step Aerobics and Pilates classes. When I stopped crying, I called my boo. He was calm and struck out into the night/morning to pick me up.
Sickness #2: It then took me almost until 7 am, two hours later, to call my parents, knowing a call this early in the morning about a car crash would probably send them to the hospital with matching heart attacks while I struggled with the insurance all by my lonesome. Here’s how the conversation went when I finally called:
Phone: Ring ring ring (my dad’s phone because he’s less of a panicker).
“What’s wrong?” Damn. My mom answered.
“Good morning!” I sang it all cheerfully because no one can be that chipper in a neck brace or on a gurney, so that would put her mind at ease in that regard.
“What’s wrong? It’s early.” Damn.
“Oh, nothin’… Where’s dad?”
“Still sleeping. Why?”
“Oh nothin’… I’m fine, but my car hit a guardrail.” Here’s where I smiled smugly at my carefully chosen syntax. Let’s dissect: By saying “My car hit a guardrail,” it implied that I was standing there safely at a crosswalk or on a cloud or something, and my anthropomorphized car suddenly couldn’t take the stress of the garbage I throw on the floor or the overextended distance from one oil change to the next.
This is what happens to anthropomorphized cars when left to their own devices.
“Oh my God. Are you ok? Oh jeez. Where are you? Was it just one other car? Was anyone hurt? Are the police there? Are you off the road? How many stars are in the sky? What’s the meaning of life? How do you do advanced calculus? I’ll wake up Dad.”
No one had a heart attack thanks to my well-crafted sentence.
After I found my warranty information, my boo brought me back to my car and left for work. Waiting for the tow truck, I thought, “Hm. I hit my head. Could I potentially have a concussion? I’ll worry about it when I wake up from this nap.” Because who the fuck cares about a concussion when you’ve been up at 3 a.m. for three days in a row?
I sat in that car, its bumpers all crunched up, me hugging my knees in my Coffee Shop (TM) uniform while fit yuppies walked past me on their way back from Step Aerobics and Pilates classes.
This, as some of you know, was my third large (expensive) car issue and second awkward tow truck ride of the summer, in which the tow truck driver says, “So what do you do?” glances at my Coffee Shop (TM) uniform and says, “Oh,” and in which I reply, “So what do you do?” glance at the hulking beast that is dragging me and my car and say, “Oh.”
Good thing is that there are no mechanical issues and the damage to the body isn’t as horrible as the pre-dawn darkness made it seem. There is, however, blood splattered across the driver-side doors. Meow.
To add injury to injury, I passed the corpse once when Steve picked me up and again when he brought me back. And AGAIN when the tow driver took me to the car shop. I saw it from every view but, curiously, never saw a head…
Aside from all this “humor,” I feel like an asshole over it. What if it was little Timmy’s cat who he got for Christmas and named Tinsel? What if there were a brood of kittens still suckling from those weird lines of teats cats develop, like, all over their stomachs?
“No, I said BIG boobs.” Ok, I know this isn’t a cat, but TIT’s a far more dramatic (and disturbing) visual.
I love animals in the way that compelled me to wear t-shirts of galloping horses and howling wolves when I was younger (you know the tie-dyed ones where it’s like running horses superimposed on a bigger horse or a pack of howling wolves superimposed on a bigger wolf). I also saved up $60 in birthday/Christmas/found-on-the-dryer money to buy a set of tapes (yes, tapes) that supposedly taught you to speak telepathically to animals.
Don’t rush out and buy it.
Since I can’t bring him back, I have to honor that dead kitty by being the best I can be. I have to help others more. I have to work hard and enjoy life more.
Or maybe I’ll just stop giving decaf to rude customers.