Dream of:01 January 1997 (2) "An Accident"
Carolina was sitting beside me in the front seat of my maroon 1988 Lincoln Continental, which I was driving along a city street. Suddenly, as I desperately tried to maintain control of the car, I screamed out to Carolina that something was wrong with the wheels, that they weren't responding to the steering wheel. Something had happened to the steering mechanism, and no matter which way I turned the steering wheel, the car didn't respond. Instead the car was swerving from one side of the road to the other. Finally the car veered suddenly to the right, and I saw that we were headed right toward the side of a building. I closed my eyes and braced myself for impact.
I felt the car crash into the building, and I thought I had been injured, but I didn't feel any pain. However I kept my eyes closed, as I began to slip into a little fantasy. I began imagining that I might have actually been badly injured in the accident, and that I was now unconscious. I had never before been in any kind of accident in which I had been knocked unconscious. I had wondered before what it must be like for someone who had been unconscious in an accident. What did the person feel, just lying there with activity all around? Even though unconscious, was the person still aware of what was happening around him?
However I quickly began to tire of this exercise, for I realized that indeed, as long as my eyes were closed, I couldn't see or feel anything going on around me. Beginning to fear that I might actually be unconscious, I decided it might be best to go ahead and open my eyes – and I did so.
Immediately when my eyes were opened I saw that neither Carolina nor I were injured. Carolina in fact was already out of the car and appeared to be talking to somebody standing out there. I followed her on out, and began taking a look at the badly damaged car. The car's right fender was completely smashed into the tire, rending the car undriveable.
As I surveyed the damage, I realized a man was looking at us from the building which we had struck. He was standing in a large open window which was slightly above us. The building was obviously some kind of store, and the place where the man was standing was a walk-up counter. The man began casually talking with me and telling me that I owed him four hundred and some dollars for the repair of the car. It took me a moment to figure out what he was talking about. There was clearly more than four hundred dollars worth of damage to the car. Then suddenly I realized what he meant: this was the very place to which I had been driving. I had been coming here to have some work done on the car. The man was now telling me that I owed him four hundred dollars for the work he was supposed to do.
This was so ridiculous, I immediately became angry. I blurted out to him that there was no way I was going to pay his bill. I could hardly believe he could have the audacity to try to charge me for repairs on a car which was probably totaled.
I began wondering what my father would think when he learned that I had wrecked the car. My father had originally given me the car, and he would probably be upset when he learned that I had destroyed it. But I knew it hadn't been my fault, and I began thinking about how I would explain to him how the steering had gone out of the car, causing me to wreck it.
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