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My Dodge Veg-o-matic, it’s there in the parking lot

August 1, 2011

Things are busy around here. After indulging in some serious lounging Saturday, I spent Sunday morning spackling and sanding the ceiling around the skylight in the shower. As a result, I am pretty sure I can no longer lift my arms over my head. But I’m not about to test it out to make sure.

I have developed some weird energy flow in the last week. I seem to alternate between periods of frenetic activity and periods of extreme narcolepsy. Normally I’d realize I was tired and start winding down my day. But for the last few days, I become tired very suddenly and MUST SLEEP INSTANTLY. This is making me very boring company in the evening.

I have begun wrestling a bit with the guilt of traveling. “The days are longer when Mom’s not here,” said AJ to Mr. Spy while I was out of town last week. For AJ’s sake, I hope this schedule doesn’t go on too long. Last night he was asking when I was leaving. “Not until next week — a week from today,” I told him. “I don’t want you to go.”

I don’t know if it’s the travelling or something else. but our sleep is collectively out of whack. AJ wanders in in the middle of the night or we awake to find his door inexplicably open. I have dreams where AJ has disappeared and I wake up exhausted. Mr. Spy, always an insomniac, moves from room to room with his pillow, trying to find a place where he will finally drop off.

We are all feeling the end of summer winding in on itself. Football season has started, although I have yet to make it to one of AJ’s practices. I will need to do that this week. School starts, theoretically, anyway, in three weeks. There is, however, a great likelihood of a teacher’s strike, so it is entirely possible that summer will stretch into fall for AJ. In the interest of enjoying summer while we can, I took AJ and a friend up to the pool yesterday afternoon, where I found several of my former water aerobics students bobbing in the pool. They were all asking about the job, whether our house was on the market yet, what happened to our car, etc.

Wait, I think I forgot to mention the car.

On Thursday night, I had just come home from yoga when AJ walks in the door after football practice. Alone.

“Where’s dad?”

“He got in an accident. He’s down the street.”

“What happened? Is everyone OK?”

“I think so. Mrs. S. was crying and their car was wrecked.”

Mrs. S. is one of our neighbors. She drives a boat of an SUV. Two of her three sons play football, so she was probably on her way home too.

Mr. Spy didn’t come home for at least another half an hour, as he’d had to wait for the police to come and file a report. Apparently Mrs. S. had turned the corner too fast and plowed into the back of Mr. Spy’s car, a much smaller Toyota Corolla. Mrs. S’s car was undriveable. Ours looked perfectly fine from the front, but the back bore an amazingly detailed imprint of Mrs. S’s front bumper. Also, once we opened the trunk, we couldn’t close it again.

The one good thing about this is that everyone was in agreement on what had happened. It was clearly Mrs. S’s fault. Her insurance will pay for it all. When last I saw them, both cars were sitting companionably next to each other in the lot next to the body shop down the street from School of Rock. Poor sad sick cars.

We are waiting to hear whether or not our car was totalled. We are not sure what we are wishing for. It would be kind of aggravating for it to be totalled, as we’d need to find a short term solution for another car. But if we’re moving into the city as opposed to the suburbs, we were planning to get rid of the cars anyway. Still, we need a car until we leave and we’re not exactly sure what we would do about it.

The funniest thing about all this is that we live in a very small town and the accident happened on the closest thing we have to a main drag. Apparently people were stopping to find ask what happened as they drove by the crunched cars. By the next day, everyone knew about it. People were pulling me aside to say confessionally, “Well, you didn’t hear it from me, but Mrs. S. always drives too fast. And she’s always on that phone!” That may, in fact be true. Or it may not. But the fact remains that the S’s are very nice people who have lived here for a long time. In fact, three generations of their family live here. They will not be cast down for long. But people are sympathetic with our plight.

So anyway, back to the water aerobics ladies in the pool. It turned out that one of the ladies, who I don’t know very well because she no longer lives here and just comes occasionally to play cards poolside with her friends, is a former editor. And another of our neighbors, who was talking with her, is a magazine editor and freelance writer working on some really interesting projects dealing with gender inequity issues. The three of us had a nice chat about books and writing. So that was unexpected.

It was hot, hot, hot, at the pool, so when the boys wilted, we headed home for popsicles, leaving our towels and suits to bake on the clothesline. The cicadas have arrived and turned up the volume. The vegetables are getting leggy in the heat. There are flowers everywhere. August is here and we’re trying to remember to take the time to look around and pay our respects.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2011 7:42 am

    Sounds like the best of all possible car wrecks. I’m loving the cicadas, despite knowing what they portend.

  2. August 1, 2011 1:56 pm

    I can never think of you with anything other than Sven….

    Been meaning to ask for your work’s street address in the Big Apple. I have this habit of winding up in major international cities at very short notice: nothing on the cards at the moment but these days one never knows. Send it to my ‘work’ email when you have a chance?

  3. August 1, 2011 3:20 pm

    Sigh. Sven was the best car. There will never be another as good as Sven. Watch your email box for my contact info.

  4. August 1, 2011 6:00 pm

    Oh, that Mrs S and her fast driving.

    I’m glad Mr Spy is ok.

    I guess that’s your veg-o-matic there in the parking lot. I like it a lot!

  5. August 1, 2011 10:13 pm

    It was a vandal, smashing the rear window of Darius, that had us end up with Charlotte. I’m glad that, Mr. Spy is OK (no soft tissue injuries) and that Mrs. S. was insured. It makes things so much easier.

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