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Tuesday, May 6, 2003

This morning before I could do any damage I had one of those heightened awareness moments that might have saved my life. Maybe yours as well, who knows?

After I heard from Tim that he was coming by today to take away the old Honda, I should have bagged my other errands and dedicated myself to pretending to be busy. It's fun to fool the big guy. He thinks he works hard, so I like to make him think I work hard, too.

But I'd planned out my day, and the plan included a trip to my favorite strip mall, the one with Best Buy, Office Depot and Target. I think there are some other stores there, too, but I never go into any of them. Not since Crown Books went out of business, anyway. This was mostly a business trip, to get a new "paid" stamp and other office essentials, but I thought I might find something for the fish tank at Target, as long as I was so close.

It was a great plan, and I even left the key in the Honda in case Tim should get here before I got back. It was a great plan. Then I left the house.

For whatever reason, I didn't feel in control as I was driving to the post office. It felt as if I was barely missing rolling off the road and into the drainage ditch. Every other car was pointed directly at me, and they were all going a hundred and fifty miles an hour. Even the crows were flying low across my windshield, taunting me.

I must have sat in the car in front of the post office for five to seven minutes before I dared even open the door. I don't know why it didn't seem safe for me to step out of the car, but I felt like a target in some kind of video game. I'm not sure if there was really that much traffic, or if the speed and danger were somehow magnified in my mind. All the other cars just seemed to be bigger and faster, while I was feeling slow, small and invisible.

Even then, I would have gone on to my other errands, but as I approached the street where I meant to turn left, I kept going straight. It seemed too great a chance, with everything that was happening. Maybe there was no more reason today than any other day to think I was about to get knocked sideways by a sedan or creamed by a convertible. When it started feeling inevitable, I drove on past the turnoff and headed home.

Tim was on his way with the part he needed, and he wanted to drive the car across the state back to his house. I told him it wasn't insured, and the Boss had led me to believe it would be trucked out of here on the back of a trailer. He groaned and sighed and agreed that would probably be the better way.

He was here around noon, I think, but I was pretending to work so I pretended not to hear him. Actually, I was hoping the truck in the driveway was my gardener, come to hack down my weeds. Alas, no, and since it started raining again later in the afternoon, it will be at least a few more days before he'll show up.

I let Tim load the Honda by himself, and when he came to the door to get the pink slip, he said he hadn't known I was even home. Yeah, well, that was the plan, although I didn't admit it. I gave him the paperwork and he promised to take care of the rest of it. One less headache for me, and more room for the gardener to work when that time comes. Everybody wins.

6 May 03

The spot just outside my bedroom where the Honda sat from January 15 until today.

As the day went on, I never fully got over the jittery feeling I'd had in the car this morning. That probably helped me focus while Tim was here, and I got a full day's work done during those two hours. I probably would do well to have more nerve-jangling days, just to keep me from taking too many naps during working hours.

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And then I fell asleep in my chair tonight while watching the charming Icelandic comedy 101 Reykjavik. It features the wonderful European actress Victoria Abril speaking English with a Spanish accent. I'm pretty sure she was the reason I put this film on my Netflix queue. I loved her so much in My Father, My Mother, My Brothers and My Sisters (in which she speaks French with a Spanish accent).

This is a very funny movie, but it wasn't enough to keep me awake tonight. I haven't drifted off like that for a long, long time. I could hardly believe it.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Steal Away
"Seize the day? Ha! I hid behind the door until it went away."

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Too many people on the bus from the airport
Too many holes in the crust of the earth