brothercyst: LA ENCOUNTER

Thursday, April 08, 2010


Got into the car this evening to go to Long Beach, had been asked to pick up a friend at the airport there.  Hadn't known Long Beach was so far away--she said airport and I just assumed LAX was in some place called Long Beach.  Anyway I hadn't slept in two days.  I felt perfectly awake when I got in the car, but at some point during the nearly two hour drive (I took an inadvisable route), I started having corner-of-the-eye hallucinations.  I saw a pile of clothes in the shape of a man in the passenger seat.  What's that doing there?... looked over and of course there was nothing.  Then I had a minor car accident.  Uh-oh, I thought... the other car drifted over to the side of the road, flashing its lights.  I pulled over behind it.  The car was a big American sedan but it was weirdly dented and I could see all kinds of garbage bags and hundreds of old newspapers inside.  Nice, a crazy person, I thought.  Maybe he or she won't care to exchange insurance informationBut will he or she try to harm me?  A large woman got out.  She was wearing a white muumuu/nightgown sort of thing and her hair was knotty and dredlocked, going in every direction.  She had grey whiskers.  I got out and said, "Are you okay??"  She said, "Am I okay?  Am I okay?"  She was indignant.  "OF COURSE I'm okay.  GOD PROTECTS ME."  I couldn't tell if any of the numerous dents in her car were a result of our collision, but she studied her car and pronounced it "fine," then asked me to look at it and say if I saw any damage.  "No," I said.  I didn't even look at my own car, I care so little about the thing that it literally didn't occur to me.  She got back in her car.  "Do you want my phone number or something?" I said.  "What are you gonna pay for?" she said.  "You see any damage?"  I said, "No."  She drove away.  I drove on.  I felt fine but wondered if adrenaline was masking pain.  Kept thinking of the stories you hear about people in accidents whose neck injuries don't flare up until months later.  Finally I got to Long Beach airport, which is no larger than a high school.  I made my friend drive on the trip back, and when she drove it only took half an hour.


Little Miss Nomad said...

Congratulations. Now you're really an Angeleno.

wb said...

Does this mean you won't come down to Long Beach to have dinner with Jennifer and I sometime?

Michael said...

I am so sorry to hear that you were in an accident (glad that it was relatively minor it seems), but as a long-time reader of your blog I found this story extremely entertaining. Like I didn't know where it was going to go and the end was just as good as the beginning. I'm thinking about moving out to LA sometime next year, so I enjoy reading all these crazy stories from people who live there so I can prepare myself somewhat.

N A said...

Thanks, Kati.

Willy, I might be able to the muster the courage to make that trip. I'm sorry I didn't see you when you were up here! Things have been relentless. Please let me know next time you are here and I will try my best to be free.

Michael, thank you for reading. Some people don't seem to like LA and I heard all sorts of terrible things. But within a week or two of getting here I was pretty sure i wanted to stay for longer than I'd originally planned. I really like it.