“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.