“Hi Ben, this is Terry from American Family Insurance. There’s been a legal action filed for that accident in ’08. Do you remember that?”
Oh, Terry, I remember. I remember the ’01 Chevrolet Cavalier in yellow.
When it was mine, many people tried to name it – the banana, mellow yellow, sunflower – but I never tried; I knew it was too cool for a name, even a nickname. I coated my acne-afflicted skin in makeup, indulged in $50 haircuts, hid in vintage outfits, got lost in craigslist, climbed in that car and saw through the windshield.
Then a man ran a red light in his blue car, I ran a green light in my yellow car, the colors ran together. We got out. It was not a beautiful day in the neighborhood, but this neighborhood didn’t have beautiful days. We stood around waiting for the policeman, locked in the walk-in freezer of a Wisconsin winter; me shuddering in a thin sweater which I had decided that morning was too incredible to be concealed by a coat, him making conversation instead of making amends. When the policeman arrived an hour later, he asked questions, we answered them. There was only one Witness, and He was respectfully silent.
The insurance company determined that the car was a Total Loss, which I could have told them before the accident. It always needed repairs, maintenance, attention.
“…Do you remember that?”
Oh, Terry, I remember. The car’s grill hangs on my wall, the only piece intact, set apart from the wreckage. Blazing eagle beak yellow, with the Chevrolet cross in the middle.
You never needed the makeup. You are perfect the way you are.
Sorry about the car, Ben. I had no idea. Sounds like it was pretty sweet back in the day.
As to the one Witness, sometimes it seems like it would help if He wouldn’t be respectfully silent so often, but that’s just how it seems.
Also, since you asked, you might want to wander over to blog.nsavides.com. It’s a new link, and there might just be a new post to go with it. Hypothetically speaking.
I’m glad I knew you then and I’m glad I know you now. The same beautiful Ben, different eras (our eras are very short, did you notice?). If I were to read this to Nonna, she would be disappointed that Craig ever let you get lost. She holds him in such high regard for always selling her things so promptly.
Finish the story!!! Don’t leave us hanging! :). Didn’t know you had these mad writing skills, Ben.
Your capitalization of “Total Loss” reminds me of Anne Lamott’s “Okay”. Yours makes more sense, and hers was more of a statement of status quo to be rejected (or codeword to be embraced when needed). But either way… I remember that car. It was a good friend to you, and you to it. I’m glad you keep some of it with you. I wish I had a piece of my black Bonneville to display in a place of honor.
Ben, there should be a statute of limitations and no legitimate suit can be filed. It’s been 3 years. Is there a statute of limitations that applies in Wisconsin?