Saturday, January 24, 2009
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Thursday evening, 8 pm. Evan pulls into our driveway, at the wheel of his fantasy car. A 1985 El Camino. Mainly midnight blue. Mechanically, very sound with low mileage. Some Bondo and replaced parts, but not bad. Evan was on top of the world. He has always wanted an El Camino and the search has been going on for a while now.
I said "you have one hour to go show a friend and come back". He drove off into the warm evening, heading west, to the beach. One half hour later we get a panic stricken call. He is at the beach. The headlights are on and he has locked the doors and the keys will not open the car!! Off Dad goes to the rescue with a clothes hanger and saves the day!! Disaster averted.
Disaster delayed is more like it. Friday morning. Last day of the semester that had the 3.0 required to receive a car. Minimum day. Evan is allowed to drive to school and back. Bell rings at noon and off he goes to meet his friends for lunch. It is raining lightly. Near the new Library, he takes the curve too fast, looses control, hits a parked camper trailer, the trailer shoots down the hill and smashes into a vintage MG and slices it open (like a can opener) with the hitch. Loud and destructive. The neighbors call the police and Evan calls his Dad. He was not hurt. Shaken and stirred is more like it. The police were very nice. He was not ticketed. LUCKY. Dad was kind as always. I am pissed and let loose on him. The men could relate to the 16 year old boy. Me, not so much. I am tired.
The car was purchased at a time when the $ was needed for so many things. Sacrificial giving to the kid. So, in less than 16 hours, Evan knew the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. He has a story to last a lifetime. The financial fallout of the damage to the vehicles on the street, plus the cost of his insurance, will have far reaching consequences.
Much remains to be seen. I know that we are blessed that no one was hurt. I know that the people that own the damaged vehicles are kind and very understanding. I know that we set loose an inexperienced boy with a heavy weapon of mass destruction. Culpability. We have all learned something...