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B l a c k   C a r

Last night my Mom and I got in a car accident.

We had just gone to a Mexican restaurant for dinner and had just left the parking lot. We were on a side street, stopped at the light. It was red, of course, and we were pulled way to the right, a good three feet back from the corner curb. Suddenly this black Camaro turned the corner slowly, and w i d e. The car almost hit us head-on, then stopped. I figured the guy was going to back up but instead he moved forward and crashed into us.

The sloped front of his car slid right under our bumper. It made a loud crunch, like a giant metal cockroach being crushed slowly under a giant foot. Time seemed to stop. The people inside that car--there were at least four--just had blank expressions on their faces. It was like they didn't believe it was happening. I didn't believe it either. Everything was happening in slow motion. The guy pulled back slowly and then slowly drove off. Slow enough for us to get the license plate. My Mom called it out and I wrote it down.

My Mom used her cellphone to call the police and they sent an officer over to survey the scene. Our vehicle (It's a small SUV--Suzuki Grand Vitara) had its front bumper totally dented in on one side, just under the headlight, and flecks of black paint streaked on it. But otherwise everything was okay. We're okay.

My Mom handed the cop the napkin with the guy's license plate on it. "You've got nice handwriting," the officer said to my Mom. "Better than my chicken scratching..." "Oh," my Mom said, looking over at me, "my son wrote that." I didn't know whether to be proud or embarrassed.

-- W i l l

Copyright © June 2001 W i l l