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Hit and run is the new black



On my second full solo outing with my husband’s Lexus, a charcoal grey car that he cherishes and cares for as a child, I had the misfortune of having some young punk’s motorcycle leave a giant dent followed by a trail of a long, deep scratch on the front end of his car.  

As I waited at the front of the crosswalk for the light to change, our young driver maneuvered his motorcycle to the front of the third lane line by dipping from side to side as he moved slowly between the waiting cars until trying to make an awkward turn in front of the Lexus.  In doing so, his bike bumped the front end of the car.  He immediately turned to look at the front end of my car while he continued to wiggle his motorcycle in front of my own.

In fact, he did not stop moving until he pulled in front of my car so that he could wait for the light to change.

The light was still red.

The cyclist briefly turned his head around, his vision obscured at the sides by his helmet.  I saw dark colored eyebrows and worried eyes that took a glance at the car, but he quickly snapped his attention back to the stop light when he saw me glaring at him.

I got out of the car to inspect any potential damage while informing the young cyclist that he hit my car.  He knew this, of course.  He made his own inspection, but informed me that “…I didn’t hit your car…”

Rather than get off his bike to look at the car damage, he simply drove off at the light change while the long line of cars behind me began to honk their horns.

Could he have been so bold to drive away if I were not a small Asian woman?  Could he do such a thing when confronted by my husband, who is tall and intimidating and was once approached by a stranger in our old apartment to appear in a rap video as a mean white guy?

Without a cyclist there, there was nothing more for me to do. In my shock, I did not remember to take down his license plate.  There was no cell phone to take a photo, a bit of irony since I decided a month ago that there was no real practical use for a cell phone other than to annoy people.

I climbed back into the Lexus, trying to remember which buttons on the high-tech hybrid machine started the car.  I finally made my way down the boulevard without bothering to fasten my belt.

Our cyclist was long gone, removed from the scene of the crime, lost into the Huntington Beach evening.

I believe there is my membership card to the “hit and run” club is waiting for me somewhere, although I now have to explain the various mutations to my husband’s beloved vehicle while watching my access to his nice things dissipate.

I will make the jaunt to the police station to file a report but, having been down this road once with a stolen vehicle, I expect nothing other than a few official papers that I can now present to the insurance people.

Meanwhile, I seethe while that cyclist celebrates his freedom to dent other cars.  Retribution? Karma?  I do not believe in such things.  People who are systematically incapable of showing consideration or ethics are a dime a dozen.  It is the individual who shows the courage to own up to their responsibility that is as numerous as unicorns.

Such a being, however, could hit my husband’s car anytime.


(c) 2015 Slow Suburban Death. All rights reserved.

Published inCarsCommentaryLos AngelesShort Stories

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