Glenview Terrace || Wednesday, 5.53am
I tell you with certainty, when you were young you would fasten your belt and go wherever you liked. But when you get old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten your belt and take you where you do not want to go.
Not to be overdramatic, but I'm thinking about these words as soon as I wake up on Kim's grandma's couch. I never so much enjoyed the forgetfulness of sleep, the brief moments of wondering "where am I, again?"
But it's 5.53am, and my adrenalin remembers that today I have to go back to Studio City, to deal with my possibly wrecked car.
I don't want to write those words. I don't want to admit they are true. Just like when you exchange information with the other party, you never admit fault.
As the other party reminded me, outside the Coffee Bean on Ventura and Whitsett.
Even before my bumper met her fender, I was screaming "No! No!" Pummeling the steering wheel with my fists, I repeated this over and over, for a full minute.
But nothing rearranged itself. I couldn't find a reality to crowd out the bad dreaminess. I was sitting behind a thin fissure of smoke, and everyone was watching, and the other cars in the intersection were winding their way around me and the other party.
That response now seems so ridiculous.
Can't you hear your mother saying "Excuse me?"
Who gets to say "no?"
I was recently talking with Diane about the story perspective on our lives. She'd just heard it expressed by Donald Miller.
I never wanted to admit of this perspective before. I didn't like the idea of a story being written around me, without my permission.
Until, that is, I started to plan this project. Then an excitement grew in me to embrace all mishaps in a spirit of creative collaboration.
Then I got in a car wreck.
I'm a faultline for the tremors of fear, shame and anger. Anger, above all. Strange, isn't it? Because I don't think of myself as an angry person.
I sent out emails and made phone calls and wondered if there was any likelihood of sleep. At 11.30pm, I got a text from Matt, who only knows me from an interview we did for Converge, several months back.
Matt's family recently suffered a tragedy, and he is only in town a few more days until he moves back to be near them.
But he's going to meet me in North Hollywood tomorrow, at a mechanic he likes and trusts.
Hearing "I'm glad you're okay," and being gone out of someone's way for, is like a hand to the forehead. It doesn't fix anything, but it feels so much better.
We either choose to believe that it's the end of everything, or we choose to believe that it's the only way we could be coerced into blessing.
I used to say things like this with so much naivete. It's so easy to be faithful before you know the facts.
The first thing Vincent said, as we prayed together, was "Thank you." It jarred me, but in a good way. The tidal wave began to reverse.
It felt crazy. Which felt right.