Not a week goes by that I don’t dream at least one dream about trying and failing to get from point A to point B. The car won’t start or my feet won’t move. Or they move with tremendous difficulty. Or I can’t find my car. Or the elevator that I’ve ridden over the bridge into the city strands me at the mouth of a cavernous alley. I’ve forgotten the way. I’ve forgotten the phone number. I can’t read the directions.
Last night, more of the same … The wheel of my car has caught the lip of a curb and pulled me up over the sidewalk onto a grassy embankment. No problem, I think. I’ll call a tow truck and … the car is sinking. The embankment is a marsh. How did so much water get inside so quickly? It’s like a fish bowl. Years have passed. The car is being exhumed from its resting place beneath the road. A car-sized trench has been dug, big chunks of blacktop shoved back like a massive skin, and at the bottom of the trench are the remains of my car, tires rotted away, hood caved in, paint turned black with age. “A total loss,” I say. Must call the insurance company. Do I have replacement value? I think so. But I have no phone. I borrow one from a girl I knew in high school. She’s less unattractive than I remember. Her phone is a flip phone with plastic photo protectors inside it. Like a wallet. They get in the way. I hand the phone back to her and ask her to call my parents, wishing I had their mobile numbers because they’ll never answer the home phone. She’s tired, but she dials anyway. Thank God I have a low deductible. “I’m covered like a big wet blanket,” I say, as much to reassure myself as to make conversation.