Wednesday, July 06, 2005

but I think it's about forgiveness

Warning: much whining may follow. I have held my tongue (or should I write "sat on my fingers" or something more accurate) here for a few days because I have been gloomy. So the floodgates are about to unleash. Ahem. Well, I'll try to keep it to just a crack in the dam if I can.

It started off so well, this weekend. Since I was engrossed in other books, or busy drowning myself in songs and poems, it took me until Friday to finally delve into the much recommended Stiff by Mary Roach, a book that has been collecting dust on my bookshelf for the last three months or so. Some people have mentioned this book's genius already, but I am afraid I must join the chorus. You would never guess a book about cadavers could be so engaging. I told a friend about it on Saturday and she gave me a pitiful you really need to get out more look. Whatever.

Saturday only seemed to confirm it was going to be a lovely weekend. Much grilling was done, and sweet corn consumed. And mojitos in bulk. Then, an odd juxtaposition. As my fabulous friend JP muddled mint leaves, a pack of hooligans walked into the party. I mean a pack of play that funky music white boys, seriously. Why was it a jarring juxtaposition? They walked in with brown bags containing forties. WTF?!? As if they were just wandering through the neighborhood, drinking up some Colt45s, and thought hey, let's check out that party Ry told us about. They were trashed, and trashy, but since we had all had a sufficient number of mojitos by this time, we found it very amusing.

Something about walking home on a summer evening slightly off kilter agrees with me. If someone had asked me to dance on the sidewalk, I might have said yes on Saturday night. I might be chided for walking home alone so late with a many-mojito buzz, but I enjoyed it immensely. I might have been humming during my journey. I have been told by friends that I am known to skip when I have had enough vodka in my system. Anyone who really knows me knows that is highly uncharacteristic behavior for me. But I can tell you that, had I consumed maybe one more mojito, I might have skipped home that evening.

But alas, Sunday it all came crashing down. Another lovely, sunny day, and the promise of a hike at Tilden Park awaited. How could such a day be bad? As I was driving to the park, neither I nor my friend MG took note of how overgrown the brush on the side of the road was. Suddenly, so suddenly that MG thought a rock had been hurtled from a tree, something smashed my windshield. I slammed my brakes on. My stomach fell. I knew what it was, instinctively, but I had not actually seen it. MG was freaking out, asking what we hit. I ruefully replied, "a deer." She did not believe me. I looked up at my rearview mirror, and saw the poor thing, limping, terrified. My car was the enemy, and now the deer was struggling to get as far from it as it could. We got out of the car to see how badly the deer had been hurt, but managed to scare it into the woods with our concern. MG kept chanting that we needed to get help for the deer, but neither of us were getting a cell phone signal from the park road.

So I drove my shattered car to the nearest gas station. The windshield buckled, but it did not collapse- this served as very little consolation. We called the police station and animal control in hopes of helping the deer. I had already started to replay the impact over and over in my head. It was so sudden, but could I have stopped it? I got out of the car and walked around, surveying the damage. No damage to the front, no dents. Just a smashed windshield, and a snapped side mirror. The deer had literally leapt onto the windshield of my car. I knew it was not my fault, but it was the first time I had brought harm to another living, breathing thing larger than a salamander. I've never even killed a mouse. I sat around brooding, while MG tried to tell me about the circle of life or something that I completely ignored.

And then, I get this oh-so-sensitive reaction from the tow truck driver my insurance company connected me with over the phone: "So you took out Bambi, did ya?" He also called me "kid," which was equal parts annoying and amusing, because I am pretty sure he is the "kid" and I am his elder. But I will take "kid" over "ma'am" any day of the week, twice on Sundays when deer have been maimed by my Honda Civic.

I got home and went into penance mode the next morning. Somehow I thought if I could bake things to feed my brother and his out-of-town visitor, it would serve as some offering to counteract the bad I had done that day. A batch of strawberry shortcake and a peanut butter cake later, I still felt a sense of dissatisfaction. I dropped the goods off to my brother, and his friends looked at me like an alien when I declined staying for dinner.

Why was I so shaken up? I read this article about Paul Farmer today and I understood why, to some extent. It's bad enough that I feel my life is not serving much of a purpose to others. Fine- I am trying really hard to figure out a way to change that, but for the timebeing that's the reality of my existence. But now I am actually inflicting harm on others?!? That is too much, that is unacceptable.

In a final gesture of trying to make up for my wrongdoing, I did something unthinkable. Something that is the antithesis of me. Perhaps it was Maisnon's post about auntie behavior that brought it out in me. Whatever the cause, I actually called my mom yesterday and got this dude's email address for my friend MG. The dude is an old family friend- I haven't actually even seen him in years, but I get reports from my mom about him. I told MG one story about him and she was convinced that they have to meet. Normally, I would have rolled my eyes at this. And yet, I can understand the sentiment. There are some actions that are crush-worthy, that reveal something in one person that resonates in another. And I have to commend MG for having the guts to actually act on that impulse. I have blog crushes all the time, I swoon over posts, but I have certainly never acted on them (well, okay, if you're of the XX persuasian, I might have acted on them).

There's just one problem: I have no idea how to do this matchmaking bullsh*t. Give me tips, yo! I have this dude's email address now, and just what do I write to him? That my friend has a crush on him? Isn't that a little high-school-ish? Complicating factors even more? They live 3000 miles apart! I can't even suggest they meet for a casual drink, or that we meet for a casual drink, because he lives on the other side of the country. I am flabbergasted, and yet, this is so me in some ways. The impulse is well-meant, but I have no clue what I'm doing or how to actually do it. As my brother and I would say, "Score one for the Dumbass family." Except that we pronounce it "Dumas." Because we're dorks like that.

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