There must have been a split second between the moment I realized I was going to be in a major collision, and the moment I actually was in a major collision. Because I remember I was screaming before the cars hit.
And I went on screaming when I heard the unmistakable sound of two cars colliding. The air bag deployed, and I was screaming. It started to deflate, and I was still screaming.
University of Washington, Seattle campus (back when Seattle was the only campus); January, 1980 – I am in the dorm room of the man who would soon become my roomie and life-long friend, Brian Culver. His roomie at the time was named J. Not short for anything, just J.
It’s the weekend before first week of the quarter. Everybody is back from Christmas break and wandering around to one another’s rooms, talking, eating, drinking, being sociable. It was a fun time. My roommate at the time, Brian Mayer, and I were walking around from room to room, meeting people and eating their snacks. We lived on the third floor; J and Brian lived on the first floor. Their room appeared to be some kind of a hub — it had more people and bustle than most of the rooms. A radio was playing, loud enough to hear what was on, but not too loud to talk over.
There are automotive traffic tunnels in Seattle that are lined with yellow ceramic tiles. In some of them it works very nicely to reflect more light and generally brighten the place up. In some of them it doesn’t work so well, because the walls are perpetually filthy with greasy dust and grime. In pondering these walls, a bold, daring (and stupid) plot was born.
A few years back, while I was working at KS, there was a group at work collectively known as “The Proofreaders.” They were working on a contract basis, proofreading documents from a long-term project the department was developing. They had one cubicle between the four of them, and spent most of their time poring over documents spread out all over the conference table.
Some men have wonderful hair. It’s bouncy, full-bodied, and does whatever they want, whenever they ask. I hate these men.
If the Karma Fairies did their job right, these men would all have crabgrass, or unexpected car troubles, or other problems to deal with. But no. I have to have limp hair and have my car break down.
It’s Sunday morning, and the entire family is in the van on the way to church. I won’t say what make it was, but when I bought it, it had 90,000 miles on it and people said, “90,000 miles? On an X? Why, it’s as good as new!”