Esteban Was Eaten!

[Originally posted at my wordpress blog – Geeky Music Listener Boy – on December 19, 2008 at 1:48 pm]

It probably says something about our culture, but more likely about me, that only a short while after I was in a car accident (a fender bender, really) I came home to blog about it. It’s not like I can drive to the police station and file a report, nor can I go anywhere nearby to drown myself (the bath, perhaps?), so I may as well record my fresh thoughts on the matter of the car incident (because, again, accident sounds hyperbolic – despite it being accidental on my part).

I am by no stretch of anyone’s imagination, even my own great one, a good driver. I’ve been told so repeatedly. Mostly by the women I drove alone with. Somehow, driving alone with someone you can have a conversation with leads to a path of potential double vehicular manslaughter. Either that or my car is actually a space alien robot from a distant world and he’s got issues with me being alone in the car with women. My car, Esteban, is a black Ford Fiesta. 2006 model. Nice car. Five doors. Very spiffy, zippy, etc. He’s also suffered a lot under my captaincy. His bumper got rode through a short wooden post the first week I had him (the post was decapitated). He’s bumped into a gate sensor (which was shredded to shrapnel) and another car (which was parked, but not in a parking space!). Basically, I’m like poor Esteban’s abusive boyfriend. I apologize a lot after, but I always end up hitting him again just when we’re getting along.

Today was an abberation in bad driving, though; even for me. I was making my way to a meeting in Rosebank, Johannesburg. I was running late and typed an sms while driving (and didn’t even get anywhere near having any kind of accident then) to let the guys know I’d be there a little past the set time. So I zip about, keeping to the speed limit the whole way through, and I make it all the way to Empire Road. This is like the home stretch to get where I’m going. This is not where bad things should occur. This is where excellence should reign supreme. I should not fail. But I do, and I did. Switching lanes about a hundred meters from the traffic light, getting from the slow lane into the turning lane, and I’m primed to go. I turn on the indicators, pointing out that I want to enter the lane. I glance at the rear-view mirror. The Land Rover Freelander 2 behind me looks a bit away. A safe bit away. I start turning into the lane and then…

Crash. Crunch. Bump. Flick. Fly. Span.

The little black panel underneath the back right side door of the Freelander popped off. My standard Ford plastic hubcap thingie shot off and stayed behind as I declared “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” and pulled over at the traffic light, just behind mine and Esteban’s victim. I was expecting hysterics. Instead, she was calm, cool, collected. “Didn’t you see me?” she asked.

Turns out Jessica (that’s her real name, but it’s all you’re getting) is some big time sales so-and-so at Standard Bank. She was incredibly unpretentious and dealt with the entire situation with a ‘these things happen’ attitude. Might’ve been different if she’d driven into me. Then maybe there would’ve been hysterics and I would’ve gotten the chance to express my lighter, calmer side. At the time, though, I was not pleased with myself. I wanted to blame someone for this affront. I was thinking about the vengeance of my father coming down on me like God’s divine rightning (mispelling mine) bolt. And speaking of divinity, the tow trucks swarmed our location (Jessica’s, Esteban’s and mine) like a chorus of angelic vultures, offering their services. I’m still not 100% sure I needed them to tow the car, but I know that I wasn’t gonna drive it when the potential for further damage to the wheel (and everything connected to it) was possible. After all, Jessica’s car lost a panel which could probably be fitted back on. Esteban was so hurt I couldn’t get the front passenger door to open, on account of the panel around the wheel being dented in. I’m a bit peeved at myself for not reacting like a journo and taking photos of the damage to both our cars, especially to Jessica’s, but she seemed like she wouldn’t take advantage of this situation. Then again, maybe that was all Jessica’s sales talk. She does have three degrees, one of which is in PR.

And if you’re wondering how I know about Jessica’s career and her degrees, where she studied, what suburb she lives in, how many kids she has (and their age and gender), then you’ll want to know just how straight up she was. Or maybe how devious and conniving, depending on how you look at it. She gave me a ride home. After the insurance calls and tow truck stuff was settled, I emptied the contents of my car into my bag (thank god I had it with me for the meeting I couldn’t make anymore) and she gave me a ride all the way back from Empire Road to my house in the early Western ‘burbs. Along the way we briefly discussed religion, life, studying, working, and children; apparently I need to be that cool older uncle to my nephew and niece. So either Jessica is a really nice person, or she did something wrong. I’m willing to bet on the former, but who knows in this day and age. Maybe she was a psychopathic compulsive sales woman who was winning me over with her charisma and good looks (and she had those, too). Am I that easily won over? I should hope not.

But that’s the story of Esteban’s (I’d like to say first) fall. He’s sitting somewhere in Crown Mines now, waiting for me to come over and rescue him. I’m sitting here, waiting for my father to arrive and destroy me with his words. In the meantime I’ve got pain pills and Bloc Party to keep me company. And I guess, for the immediate future at least, it’s back to walking.

[Today Esteban is safe, sound and running smoothly.]

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