Secret Pop

Mar 13, 2005

Do not go gently. And do not take Melrose.

So, I almost died is the thing.

I was driving home from the Arclight, where I was seeing The Aviator with my friend Dean, and I took Melrose further west than I normally would. I don't know why. It looked clear enough. And it was late. And I hate waiting for that turn on La Brea. But my second-guessing gene will remind me of this fateful decision for some time to come, I'm sure. Because I was hit by a guy driving head-on into my lane at high speed. I swerved to get out of his way, but I wasn't able to avoid a collision. He then hit two other cars, stopping his car by driving it head-on into a parked car on the opposite side of the street. After two hours of waiting for the police to arrive in the misty rain and then talking to them once they got there, I watched the driver of the Cadillac that hit me get arrested for driving under the influence. And I drove home, with my wheel well dragging against my tire, to let poor little Audrey out for her first pee in eleven hours.

I was hit by a drunk driver. My first Los Angeles driving cliché.

One of the guys at the scene (the brother of one of the drivers) said I looked familiar, and we decided it might be because we are both on MySpace. And he is a musician. And I am a musician. And the girl whose Subaru was creamed was coming back from a gig at the Sunset Room, and she's a musician, too. We should totally start a band.

I was planning to come home tonight and catch up on all the things I haven't written about. But I feel my heart pounding in my head, and I want to plunge it into water. Or stuff it full of cotton. Or just turn the music up really loud. I am dizzy and fidgety and nervous and wide-awake. And I am fully aware of -- and completely not being overdramatic about -- the fact that I could easily have been killed -- to death -- just a couple of hours ago.

When I went to see Ira Glass in San Diego a few weeks ago, he referenced a story he did where he interviewed a bunch of people who had all been struck by lightning. And he said that they all had the exact same story to tell. They all described the sensation the same way, and they all believed that it was a sign that God had a purpose for them or was trying to send them a message.

I do not think that any message was being sent to me. But I do get what it's like to suddenly go, "Oh, shit. Life is short as fuck."

The night is pressing in on the sides of my head like a warm vise. Like a great hand that was recently inside a glove that was on fire. I want to go sit in my closet and smoke a hundred cigarettes. I want to sit in a tub full of hot marmalade. I want to have all of my senses shut down or distracted or somehow repurposed.

I want to go for a long drive. But my car is all fucked.

No comments: