Posts Tagged ‘crash’

Crashing Halt

13 June 2011

Dear J-

I see the car stopped in front of me, but too late. Slam-bang, I’m on their bumper and before I know it we’re pulling over and trading information, me more than a little sheepishly as I know I’m at fault here. Thankfully no one’s hurt and that’s the first thing they ask — are you okay — and I want to reply that I’m fine aside from being sleepy but that’s my mouth getting me in trouble so I bite down on my tongue some more. The van is amazingly undamaged — I goggle at it a bit and call the passenger out to see if he can see anything I’m not — but the Infiniti Q45 (post-94 remodel with a grille) isn’t quite so lucky — I’ve slammed into them hard enough to push their rear bumper in a little bit, and the trunk is jammed.

Strange, I’m out of sorts and jittery until I get a call from the insurance company. I may pay more for my insurance but it’s strictly for the hand-holding I get on the line, reassurance that everyone’s as foolish as I am and we could all do with a little of that after you beat yourself up like crazy over every little thing that goes wrong. And I hate being snappish: even though that’s understandable it’s stupid to take it out on people who I have yet to affect with my inattention. Or maybe I already am: what’s the point of being preoccupied when you’ve got so many other folks to help out and take care of?

It’s Monday. Is this a trend? Too soon to tell, as Zhou Enlai would put it. If you spend all day bringing your mind to a crashing halt by not doing work or slacking off maybe this is the reward you reap. On the other hand if I wasn’t so tired (and got more sleep, notch) I wouldn’t be in this predicament. Do what’s right. Change your life to fit the situation, don’t shoehorn everything in like you’re still in college, man.



Neo Jones

22 October 2009

Dear J-

There’s a Honda Civic which magically appeared in the park’n’ride lot we use as vanpool staging; though I see a lot of the same cars every time I go I call this one magical because it’s clearly been towed and dumped.  Somehow, it’s come to grief, with the front passenger’s side nearly obliterated, and yet it’s neatly tucked in to a parking spot, slick as anything — cleverly positioned with its back facing the freeway off-ramp, so that none might suspect it’s inoperable and therefore towing it to the junkyard prematurely.  Someone put some money into the car at some point; the headlights are some custom reflector assembly, and it looks recently washed.

Unknown Grief 5082 -sm

I like to build back-stories and speculations in my head based on what I see; part of this is undoubtedly the seemingly millions of shipwreck discovery articles I read in National Geographic — it’s like the crew depicted in The Perfect Storm (if there were no survivors, all we know is that the ship was presumed lost, not all the drama surrounding their personal chemistry).  When my parents wanted me to go see a lot out in Moreno Valley, I went to document a bare, trash-strewn lot with the crowning achievement of a burned-out S12 Silvia; my brain worked overtime to come up with some high school bacchanal, echoing silently in the hot, still air.

We’re sliding through the fog again; somehow we’ve co-opted harvest festivals into prime time for ghosts and costumes, just over a week from now.  If we went by sea instead of freeway, we’d stand watch and regale each other with sea tales of derelict ships and unrestful spirits.  Simple physics would tell me how much and how fast, but not why that Civic came to rest; was it some foggy night, and why would it just be abandoned to fate in some Sargasso lot?  It’s neo-archaeology:  finding (or inventing) stories in the artifacts of today.


Local News

8 December 2008

Dear J-

Our big news of the day is that a military jet on a training flight — to be exact, an F/A-18 off the Lincoln — struck houses in the University City neighborhood of San Diego today around noon.  The jet reported experienced engine trouble shortly after takeoff, and was instructed to divert to Miramar; en route, the second engine cut out and the pilot, unable to get back to the ocean, aimed at a deserted canyon.  If you’ll recall, Miramar is the former home of the TOPGUN school

The local news has a small squadron of reporters deployed on the ground, one anchor in front of the main crash site and others, in descending order of importance, in front of other random sites:  one where the canopy landed, draped over someone’s side fence; one in front of the Naval Hospital, where the pilot was taken after ejecting (photos show he’s physically okay — he walked away from it).  The houses struck were gutted and the residents were killed.

I ride my bike near the crash site every day to and from the vanpool; I mumble under my breath at the thoughtlessness of city planning (there’s a bike lane that keeps disappearing and reappearing along Governor Drive) that’s warned me into religiously charging my lights and making sure I’m as visible as possible to traffic; I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to thread the needle with a fighter without power.  I’ve hiked in that canyon which is, aside from the railroad tracks, as deserted as can be.  I pray for the pilot’s continued sanity tonight.