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Mack Williams: A ‘rubbing’

Mack Williams

I had a recent traffic “mishap,” nothing “grave.”
I turned right on Danville’s “Robertson Bridge,” once known as the “Smurf Bridge” for its particular shade of blue in the past. Those in charge of its most recent repainting, evidently thought the element of “personality” was a mistake; so it was repainted in the same drab blackness which adorns the ironwork of mausoleum doors in the cemetery.
My car has a blind spot (or perhaps, it’s me). I turned right, into one of the two right turn lanes, then made my way to the left lane while thinking I had a clear path. I next experienced a slight “rubbing” on my car’s left-hand side. It wasn’t that much; I experienced a greater such sensation from the “Dodgem” bumper cars ridden (once or twice) in my teen-aged youth at the Rowan County Fair.
My left-hand field of vision was filled with a grayish-blue SUV, so I immediately knew it was the other participant in the “rub.”
We both pulled over and stopped, and a lithe lady wearing slacks and sandals stepped out of the SUV (I think her toenails were painted blue, matching her SUV, but I can’t swear to it). In comparison to these huge trucks and SUVs in which many of us “wheel around,” we are like those delicate, germ-prone Martians in their great “flying machines” in “The War of the Worlds” (my little Oldsmobile Valero more evenly matches my “puniness”).
I was fully expecting an angry, huge man ( both muscle and fat) to exit this large vehicle and say “What the H-ll! (with a “GD” modifier); but I was happily disappointed by this delicate lady saying: “Are you okay?”
I said I was okay, and asked her the same, to which she applied in the affirmative.
She said we should call the police, and I concurred. Their notification and judgment in these matters makes sense, and is required by law.
The policeman was a true gentleman (probably glad we weren’t “acting up” or “acting out,” as some in similar situations unfortunately do!).
The “rubbing” had resulted my driver’s outside mirror popping out. A black, plastic, blankness now replaced a scene of sun-lit bridge and cars (I later had the mirror replaced at Auto Zone, of which my son Jeremy described it as resembling a “fun-house” mirror in its reflective quality). My outside passenger mirror says “Objects may appear closer than they are” (like the Meatloaf song). Well, my new driver’s outside mirror makes objects “appear even closer than they really are,” so I guess I’ll take an average.
There was a lengthy scratch on the lady’s SUV, but not as lengthy or as deep as that “scratch” made by the iceberg on the Titanic (no bolts popping from bulkheads, nor water rushing in) since we were on a bridge over the water.
As I looked for my popped-out mirror, I heard: “Mack, are you okay?” This was from a lawyer friend seeing the two stopped “civilian” cars, the stopped “official” (police) car, and me, walking about the bridge, looking down for my mirror. I still feel embarrassed to this day that my first response to my lawyer friend’s truly Christian concern was: “I don’t have my insurance card with me! Do you think the officer will be satisfied if I call Progressive and prove it that way?” I think I thanked her for her concern after that. At least, I hope I did.
I called Progressive, hoping to speak with “Flo” (with her jet-black hair and white uniform), but in this instance, Flo turned out to be a guy.
There were no charges, and I later thought about my last sight of my found, shattered mirror on the bridge. The broken pieces lay there reflecting blue sky and white, puffy Summer clouds, as if that sky and those clouds had crumbled and fallen to Earth.
Standing there, I felt an overwhelming affinity with Chicken Little.

 

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