After running into an old friend, I might have run into a new one

October 31, 2011|By Diane Brown

I'm going to blame Debbie. For the moment I am not going to take any responsibility for my bumper kissing the one on the car in front of me because i was so focused with Debbie on my mind.

I hadn't seen Debbie in, what, 10? 12? years, and at one time we were the best of friends. Yeah, yeah, I've gotten those email spams that tell me that there are different types of friendships: deep, emotional ones, utilitarian ones, ones based on pleasure, seasonal ones, lifelong ones.But for as long as we knew each other, our friendship was bottomless. I mean, really, I actually took care of Fred, her demon dachshund that protected her abode so well that I feared for my ankles when I went to her house to feed him.

Her dog had twice cuddled in my lap, and I'd thought we were friends. But when I went with the best of intentions to feed the little creep, he bared his teeth like the devil incarnate and I wound up running into the only room with a door — the bathroom — and cowered like a coward. To escape I had to wrap my arms and legs in towels. This went on for two weeks, and I suppose Fred was only doing his job.

Anyhow, Debbie and I bumped into each other at a store on Snowden River Parkway, and it was as though no time had passed. We talked so long that my frozen stuff defrosted.

And when I left her with my head full of memories of back in the day when we hung out like sisters, I ran into the car in front of me, my first accident ever.

I wasn't even sure I had done that, until I saw two guys in the truck beside me discussing what they witnessed. No one was behind me, so I jumped out, ran to the driver and asked her if I had indeed hit her. Her smile was kind, and she said, "Yah."

We met at the first turnoff, and I was a basket case. We looked at each other's bumpers, as I remembered, yes, I did have my insurance card. I've seen cases on TV where little bumps become simulated catastrophes, and the victim points out all sorts of things the perpetrator has done to injure the auto.

"I think we're fine," she said. "I don't have any damage, and I don't see any on your car."

If you think I'm making too much of this, you need only ask anyone who has driven as long as I who has never so much as gotten a ticket. Oh, wait, that's not exactly true. I once got one for speeding around the corner of my house, and I went to court about it. The judge looked at my record and was flabbergasted. "Did you ever drive under another name?" she asked. "No, your honor."

"I can't believe you've been driving all these years with no infractions," she said, announcing probation before judgment.

The woman whose car I hit was named Anna, pronounced Ah-nah. On the parking lot where we stopped — I can hardly explain it — we both looked into each other's eyes, and each of us saw beauty in the other. She had dark hair and a lazy left eye, and I am looking for her. Had our heads been straight, I believe we would have exchanged information to keep in touch, to have lunch together, to do something together.

Instead, we stood there on the lot and embraced with warm and true hugs. When we parted, we held hands.

I was still in the tiniest bit of shock as I saw her drive away, waving to me with a smile that looked as though it had come from the heavens.

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