Jul 13, 2007

SEATTLE – I should have left earlier. I know, I know. I was just ... tired. You try teaching, writing, updating a guidebook and editing a Silicon-Valley startup.

The PT Cruiser and I hit the crest of traffic, the early weekend escapees. The rental's vile, like a geriatric baby-buggy. Though compact, it has none of that genre's spry virtues. I hates it forever.

Interstate-5 is a parking lot. I amuse myself with the stereo. Turkish techno music – loud enough – makes the rearview mirror blur every three beats.

The crash is louder still.

I freeze, assessing, assessing. If someone rear-ended the Cruiser, I would feel all whiplashly, right?

The two cars behind me swing onto the verge, presumably to exchange insurance details. But did the Toyota tap my bumper? Am I leaving the scene of an accident?

I drive so infrequently – the odd rental or Mike's dump-run truck – my instincts are stunted. Some things are obvious, like the shift knob ricocheting onto the floor in the dark (love that truck). But subtle car stuff? Not my forte. Really, I couldn't give a monkey's...

So I step on the gas. Whatever's happened, I have seaweed to eat first.

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