Wednesday, April 27, 2011

traffic court

I’m driving my friend home after a cheap dinner at Denny’s. We’re almost to her house, but still in the middle of conversation, so she suggests we keep driving. One block later, siren lights swirl in the rearview mirror. Shit. Pull over.

“Are you aware your taillight is out?”

Yes, the last officer who stopped me told me.“Oh, really, it is? I had no idea.”

“License, registration and insurance card, please.”

I pull the mini folder out of the dashboard compartment. Is this it? No. Is this it? Expired. This? Expired.

“You know what, don’t worry about it,” he says, and takes my license and registration back to his squad car, only to return fifteen minutes later with two summons in hand. One for the taillight, one for not having insurance. Excuse me, sir, what exactly does “don’t worry about it” mean to you?

I’m pissed. My poor friend, who listens to me yell. My poor mom, who I call up and scream at her having the audacity to not know the insurance status on a car she never drives.

I get the taillight fixed the next day (as instructed, because I am an obedient lil’ citizen), and obtain a letter and current insurance card from the company. Mail and stamp all documents and……..........…receive a letter for a traffic court date.

The hell? Then why did I have to mail anything? And spend $10 on getting Certified Mail?

Court date: Apr. 26th. Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

Last night. Show up. Judge is friendly. A.D.A. confirms the car is insured and taillight is fixed. She confirms this not by looking at any of the documents I brought with me, but taking me complete at my (honest) word.


Charges dismissed.

Fist pump.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

or so they say

Happy Easter.

A celebration of life, a resurrection, a parent’s love for a son being usurped by His love for all humanity. Or so they say.

I’m deep in the black trenches of The Black Cloud, or whatever they call it. It doesn’t really need a name, that swirling. It’s like a vacuum, sucking all the energy from you, and you can only stretch out and stare at whatever brightly-lit screen compels you. Forget reading a book – at the end of the page you won’t remember what was on it.

But laptop, O Glorious Laptop, with links and videos and short, condensed paragraphs. Games to play and pretty pictures to see. Why, I only rarely tire of you.

This time last year was different. I had just returned from my week-long trip to London, visiting my friend studying abroad for the semester. A week of sleeping on the dorm room floor and showering in her flip-flops, too small on my size 10 feet. A week of trekking through London taking pictures of Big Ben and his sister, the round, spinning Eye. The Tower of London, Millennium Bridge, Tower Bridge. I flew across an ocean to meet my friend I hadn’t seen in more than a year. I stamped my feet down foreign streets, through sunshine and drizzle. I came back to a New York spring.

I came back to optimistic dreams. I came back to possibilities. Or so I thought. Really, I was blissfully pulling the blindfold over my own eyes. I had no plans for the future, no interviews, no job prospects, only a faint idealistic dream that an apartment and well-paying job would magically present themselves to me. Wrapped up neat. In a shiny bow.

What have I learned in the last year? Things don’t happen unless you work for them. “Wishing” is just about the lamest thing you can not do, because it really accomplishes nothing. Travel will always be an excellent salve on unhealed hurt. People can disappoint you, also, people lie. This includes you. Nothing ever, ever turns out the way you expected it to. Honesty is usually the best policy, but it turns out, being honest with yourself can be incredibly difficult. You don’t always know the right answer

You are but one tiny person in a sea of billions. Our lives are so small when put in context.

I say I’ve learned things, but have I, really? Sure, I crossed some milestones, but if anything, I feel just like the girl I was in high school, who hid behind the crowd and was too afraid to do anything, let alone raise her voice. The girl who didn’t know who she was. Lost. Maybe the biggest ‘learning stone’ is that we can DO anything, cross off everything on our mile-long bucket list, and still be the same person, not having learned a damn thing.

It is a curse, and sometimes a blessing.

Maybe we can all start over, cleansed of past misdeeds and sins. Maybe we can all resurrect ourselves, if we recognize that we hold that power.