Last night, at a seedy Chinese family style restaurant on 82nd, after deciding not to eat pig's rectum, and instead dine on duck wrapped in lettuce with my dear friend Steve, I cracked open a fortune that read "A surprise in the form of four wheels is in your future." At the time I thought this had to do with the 1979 Bertone Volvo my father recently gave to me, and that maybe the fortune was just a wee late in the game of life forecasting. A stale fortune cookie wasn't so uncommon in such a place. So I thought. Later, after watching with both embarrasment and wonder, the film "Selena" about the well-rumped Mexican-American pop princess of the late 80's and early 90's, I drifted off into blissful slumber until... at five am I was harshly roused by the sound of heavy objects grinding. Attempting to remove crusty dreams, I widened my eyes to the spectacle outside the window. A shiny blue Pontiac, 2000 and something series, teetered on its side. The street, dark and quiet aside from the red tail lights of the car, revealed no trace of how the accident might have happened. Michael called the police and with a shaky voice informed them of the incident on NE 8th between Shaver and Failing. My stomach - still filled with duck fat and bad wine - churned as I tied a green robe around my waist. We meandered downstairs and outside to assess the damages. There was no rattling coming from the car, not a hint of breath or whisper. I have never been one to fetishize the gory consequences of accidents, so I kept my feet firm on the front porch and waited for emergency vehicles to arrive. One by one, neighbors approached the scene wearing various hues of sleepclothes. A car across the street had been hit - but barely. It was uncertain how the gleaming Pontiac had made it into its sideways position.
A policeman arrived and tapped his flashlight on the upright passenger door. I could hear him talking to whomever was inside. He asked us if we'd seen what had happened and all we could describe was the horrendous noise that had rattled us awake. "It sounded like a giant power drill drilling into the roof" Michael said. I thought of other distressing situations and the sounds they make: earthquakes, war, meteorites. More policemen arrived, then an ambulance and two fire trucks. As two EMTs chopped their way into the car with an ax, I thought of art and how it would never be as exciting as the oddities and foibles in reality. Nothing compares to it. The street was an authentic happening.
Fortunately the driver - a 22 year old caucasion female who suffered from depression, anxiety and insomnia, who may or may not have been intoxicated and fell asleep at the wheel - remained unscathed.
Back in bed, I watched the lights from all emergency vehicles dance on the roof of our bedroom and continued to dream.