It was thick. But it was the charming version of the accent instead of the twangy one. Friday afternoon, I was delighted.
“Ma’am. Do you have a place to park the car in case it’s rainin’ at the time of repair?”
“Err. Uh. Ye. I think I…It’s Southern California. It won’t rain.”
* * *
I’m a light sleeper. And, even before the first sliver of sunlight would have made it over the hills, I was awake.
For the weeks leading up to this particular Monday, I had slept even lighter…A phone’s buzz, a bark, wind battering a window, the sound of footsteps shuffling away were too much. But this day, all that wouldn’t have mattered; it was coming down hard. A minute passes before my brain speeds up enough to acknowledge the odds.
At lunch, I was eating my words. The Accent was on the phone again, “We can’t fix your windsheild if it’s already wet, Ma’am.”
“Indeed,” I think first, then “unlikely.”
* * *
Pathetic fallacy is such a motherfucker but rain has a way of washing things away. Tuesday, in the precious early hours, it felt like spring. And I was up in a mountain staring the 20-odd miles down to the ocean through the temporarily crisp December air.
I get a call. It’s the Accent. Someone was on their way to me. Could I be home in 20? I think about the the tiny stellate scissure in my windsheild. Sure. 20. No problem. On the way down the mountain, I see the spindley legs of the crack making their way across the windsheild. I wonder if a little resin will be enough to keep it from zig-zagging its way across the glass, fracturing the whole thing one day. Seems like magic. Or maybe just bullshit.
* * *
At 5:56 am, blue light creeps in and I’m awake for it. The right side of the country has forgotten, again, and the little bell dings. “Assholes,” I think. But I’m already up, digging through crumpled sweaters and jeans.
And, they know it.
A few minutes later, even this early, the 10 is a parking lot. Traffic creeps to the west, a groaning catapillar of red lights moving through the smoggy half-light. If I could just get to the 405.
* * *
Less than a half-mile away, crossing Valley, you can’t see the water yet. The land by the ocean undulates. But, I have enough sun light now and enough time to notice the tiny streak still cutting through the windshield. While I roll down the final hill towards Ocean Drive, I look back in my rearview and see the white stucco front of a tiny, corner restaurant. I have to smile despite myself. At least I’m home again.