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2005-04-08

Ah, cars.

I went out to my truck today to find that the passenger side window had been smashed. It looked like someone had poured a bucket of blueish pebbles all over the inside of the car.

I wasn't surprised. Many other cars on that side of the street displayed freshly smashed windows. Someone must've been busy last night. I guess I'm not the only person that works late into the night.

I peered through the place where the window used to be. Nothing was missing from inside. I couldn't believe that the big, honking overkill stereo was still in the dash. The stereo in this car borders on obscene. It's twice the height of a normal car stereo and has a full color LCD display with bouncing graphics and lots of buttons. When you push the eject button, the mechanized face actually moves forward and out of the way, exposing more fancy buttons and slots and features I don't care about. It's not a great stereo, but it's the kind that would attract less intelligent thieves—in the same way that gaudy jewelry with huge faux gems attracts a certain desperate caliber of robbers. It was surely what got the thief's attention. But, they didn't take it. It looked like they broke the window and the alarm scared them off. The alarm still worked. The car still started up just fine. Cool.

I shifted my gaze back and forth between my watch and the broken glass strewn everywhere and considered my next move.

I had a phone appointment at 10:30, and that was in 10 minutes. It seemed like there was nothing to do with the truck that couldn't wait. Plus, it was pouring down rain. So, Lindsay dropped me off at a café nearby where I could sit somewhere that wasn't covered in broken glass. My phone appointment cancelled, though.

So, I walked back to the truck. I had to laugh at what I found. In the half hour I was away someone had been busy totally raping the already molested Toyota. They'd returned to the car, tore out the entire dash, ripped apart the glove compartment, cut all the ignition wires, dismantled the alarm, taken the stereo, and stolen everything that wasn't nailed down. (I'm going to miss my prescription sunglasses.)

They managed to bleed all over everything, too. Fresh, red smears striped the passenger door and the sad remains of the dashboard. Occupational hazards. What with all the broken glass and sharp plastic bits and exposed metal framework, I was surprised there wasn't more blood.

I called Arlette and asked her to come get me. She cracked a joke, "Man, I'm so jealous! My car never gets broken into!" I laughed and told her it was just luck of the draw. Arlette knows a lot of things, but the thing she seems to know best is that laughing at life makes the bad times not so bad at all.

I wasn't too sad to begin with, though. Everything is replaceable, except for maybe the glasses. And, sure it would cost money that I don't have. But, there's always more money out there—I just need to go get it.

I opened up the bed of the truck and sat down. My legs dangled above the road and I kicked them back and forth like scissors as I called a tow truck and a Toyota dealership. The air smelled good—falling buckets of rain had scrubbed the San Francisco atmosphere. I heard sirens. I watched cars pass by and I paid attention to what the people inside the cars were wearing.

When the universe throws you a curve ball, it's best to let your legs dangle, smell the air, and look for the beauty in it all. It's just more fun that way.


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