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Chasing The American Dream

March 04, 2007


Streaks seem to have followed me all my life. Some good, some bad, some most unusual. I’ve written about them, too. I’m not really sure which streak is the most, hmm, accomplished. Being a virgin for 29+ years? How bout the Seinfeldian streak of not throwing up for 29 years? Not seeing a movie for seven years? Another abstinence streak of 29 months? Sorry Jim Carrey but for me, the number seems to be 29, not 23. Well anyway, another major streak has ended for me. And this one lasted 29 plus one years and may be the most impressive or simply the luckiest.

I’d just finished dinner with mom. My car was parked at a 45-degree angle against a busy street. I couldn’t go anywhere because a red light had caused cars to form a line behind me which boxed me in. As the cars appeared to finally move, I looked back and a guy was letting me in so I began to slowly back up. BAM! Yes indeed, I backed right into a car I never saw. I got out and this lady started screaming at me right away. Ooh man, was she irate. She was from Long Island and had her two kids in a rent-a-car and, as she put it, “This is the last thing I needed.” I apologized a gazillion times for my temporary lapse of reason. I eventually calmed her down as she realized I was a decent guy who’d simply made a mistake. I cringed as I began to survey the damage. Her car wasn’t that bad. I’d dented the rear passenger quarter panel and scraped some paint. I’d hoped like hell there wouldn’t be any damage to my three month-old car. No such luck. Luckily most of the damage was to the bumper but I was still so disappointed at myself. I called the cops and reported the accident and that, thankfully, no one was hurt. The officer came and I pretty much told him I’d simply backed into the lady. I told him that I’d been driving for 30 years and never had gotten a ticket so this was really a new experience for me.

He disappeared for awhile as he ran background checks on my clean driving record. Clean no more. Yes, for the first time in 30 years of driving, I’d gotten a ticket. $133 for improper backing and causing an accident. I think I was more upset for ending the streak than the money for the ticket or for the $500 deductible I ended up paying for a new bumper. Wow, I don’t know if I’ll ever put together another streak of 30 years of anything. Hmm, I haven’t dated for four months. Gotta long way to go there. Got another sexless streak going on five months. How about another throw up streak. That could be my last hope. It’s been seven years already. Wow, another 23 years and I’d be 68 years old. I think it’s safe to say my best streaks are all behind me now.

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