As long as I can remember, I dreamed of owning a red car. As a pre-schooler, I would point out every red convertible, exclaim, "THEY'RE DRIVING MY CAR," and promptly burst into tears.
And then I turned 21 and all my red-car dreams came true! My Subaru Crosstrek has been with me through a lot in the past (first, and last) 1.5 years of it's life. I bought it a week after I got my license in June 2014, and a week later had to drive 9 hours solo to the Sierra Nevada Mountains for work. Since then, it's been 20,000 miles of road trips– through the Mountains, up the 5 to Seattle and down the 1 back to Malibu, the Lost Coast, Yosemite, Zion in Utah, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and innumerable unreasonable day trips. Keep in mind that those 20,000 miles added up despite me being out of the country for 7 months.
The functions it served me in order of importance are:
Space heater / butt warmer
Mode of transportation
Alas, this past Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 the Crosstrek met it's tragic and untimely demise. And this is the kind of story that only happens to me, all in the space of 20 minutes:
I'm driving back to Malibu from Monrovia after a job interview. I realize there's a Chick-Fil-A on the way. I must go. I've never been in this area before, but it's a lovely space around the USC campus. I park AND pay the meter like any good citizen. I bop around the corner for Chick-Fil-A. I ponder for a few moments, "Hmm, do I get the waffle fries? OF COURSE." I enjoy my meal, savoring ever last crunchy bit of waffle fry, feeling quite accomplished about my dinner choices. I hear some kind of chaos in the near distance, but nothing can bring me down from this Chick-Fil-A high! As I'm walking back to the street where my car is parked, I notice a LOT of police cars flooding in. I chuckle...oh, Los Angeles, you dog.
And so it begins...
The 15 Thoughts You (I) Have When Your (My) Car Gets Totaled:
1. Dang, it's going to be really hard to get out of here. I wonder what happened. (count: 12 LAPD cars, 2 firetrucks, 1 ambulance)
2. Dang, it's going to be REALLY hard to get out of here. I wonder what happened.
3. LOL. Is that a police car in the wall?
5. Ah, yes, it is indeed a police car in a wall. That was apparently carjacked by a man who ran it into my LEGALLY parked car (okay, fine, my back bumper was in the red) and then promptly ran it into a wall. Directly on the other side of the street. How are the physics of that even possible? I don't think he'd be very good at playing pool.
6. I'm mostly just stoked I decided to fill up on gas after I got Chick-Fil-A.
7. Thank God for those waffle fries. The five minutes I took obsessing over them could have very likely been the difference between me being alive (LOLing at my totaled car) and me being in the process of getting into my car and instantaneously killed. Thank God for Chick-Fil-A. CAN I GET AN AMEN?
8. Should I be stressing more?
10. USC has public WiFi?!?!?!
11. I think I'm homies with these LAPD officers now.
12. I have lived and parked on a bend on the Pacific Coast Highway for 1.5 years and THIS is how my car gets totaled?!
13. I'm totally going to rent a sporty little Mustang convertible.
14. Oh, I'm still poor. This sick as heck hot rod will do. Thanks Progressive!
15. Car pics in LA are defined by how many imported palm trees you can fit into the background.
All things considered, it wasn't so bad. Again, I was gently and dramatically reminded of the fragility of life, and the fact that I have angels whispering in my ear to go ahead and order the fries. I don't know what it is about me being in ALMOST exactly the wrong place at the wrong time, but that "ALMOST" part has helped me solidify a sense of humor, a little bit of faith, and an eerie calmness in the face of disaster.
The LAPD officer commented, "You're taking this surprisingly well."
"That's because I'm still standing here to take it."