5. I hit a bus and broke my nose and all I had to wipe the blood with was Barry Bonds

And I knew it was going to happen

*this story is offered in a stream of consciousness style — i’m testing it out so feedback is welcome :)

This is a story about the same car as story one and story two but not story three and definitely not story four and will be shorter so you’ll like that although I probably said that last time so you know about the brake drums the ones with the grooves in them yes in the same 1965 Chrysler that is 18' long if you remember well that’s what I’m talking about so here goes it was a really hot day in San Francisco maybe in late May and I don’t know why but there was just a ton of traffic all along 19th ave like worse than normal and yeah the car weighs two tons and you know about the hills in SF so it’s up and down and stop and go and you remember the brakes and the pads sort of working but not grabbing right?

Good so you’re all caught up.

So I was heading North in the huge Chrysler on the hot day I think all the way from Santa Cruz and going to Sonoma before a summer camp I was working at started and I was running the BMX track again so I had to get it ready but camp didn’t start for another week so anyway when you’re on 19th ave. in SF there’s like 42 stop lights before the Golden Gate Bridge but it’s on the avenue side well did you know there’s the streets and the aves and the streets are like in the mission district and the aves are on the sunset side so there’s 49 of them but 19th is the most popular at least that’s what we always took if we didn’t want to go through downtown so anyway you go past the college and the mall and there’s a park where when I was a kid there was like a decommissioned fighter jet in a park that kids could just play on so those were the days but anyway you go through Golden Gate Park and then you get to the bridge.

So far the brakes were doing great.

After the Golden Gate Bridge you go up the hill and around the bend and through the Waldo tunnel except now it’s the Robin Williams tunnel cause that was so sad I wish he was still around but you drive through there and Sausalito is on your right now and you’re winding around and traffic was opening up and then I rounded the corner to the last big hill and traffic was stopped.

Then came the first bad feeling.

When traffic stops and your car weighs two tons you’ve gotta plan ahead. I had been planning ahead this whole day and knew I was almost out of the woods when the traffic jammed again and I felt the gravity pulling me towards the car in front of me and I had enough space between but got a little close and yeah the brakes just didn’t have the grab factor you want so the next time I let more space get between and looked over at the SF Chronicle newspaper next to me and it was another Barry Bonds milestone but before he got really big but maybe like a game winning home run or something. I’m not even a huge baseball guy but it seemed worth saving so yeah it was sitting there next to me and I glanced at it when whoo-hoo traffic opened up at the bottom of the hill and we started moving.

Then the bad feeling went away.

Highway 101 flattens out and then you go over the bridge at Richardson Bay and it’s nice and flat there by Strawberry Village and I was feeling better like I’d dodged a bullet but man i gotta fix those brakes and it was still crazy hot so that meant the brakes were hot too and then whats that whoa brake lights and traffic went from 40 to zero so I put my foot on the brakes and nothing happened.

The bad feeling came back

And then it felt like two blocks of wood in a karate dojo or a hare krishna making scuffing noises. So now I had almost no time to think like literally one-one-thousand-two because on the right was a chain link fence and on the left was another car and right in front of me was a Golden Gate Transit bus and so instead of hitting the car or driving into the fence I stayed the course and then

BAMMM!

hit the bus on the passenger corner and my nose SLAMMED into that old car steering wheel and

CRUNCHHH!

That metal to metal sound sucks. I put the gear shifter into park and turned off the car and smelled anti-freeze. The blood began gushing from my nose which maybe was broken and I looked around for something to wipe or block it with but all I had was the newspaper with Barry Bonds’ milestone and it was like a special edition. So I couldn’t wipe my nose with Barry so I don’t know what I did and then I looked next to me there were two guys that looked as shocked as me but without bloody noses. We both looked at each other stunned when I rolled down the window to ask if they were ok the police siren sound started up and so did traffic and they took off so maybe they had other issues too but then the bus driver came out and looked at my car and I said yeah I’m ok I think and is anyone hurt he said no so then the cops came and took my information except my insurance because I was gonna pay it but hadn’t yet and then my radiator was leaking onto the highway so I put it into neutral and the cop pushed me off the freeway with his huge cushioned bumper and then I walked to a pay phone and called my friend. He came down which took maybe an hour but really he couldn’t do much except follow me because he wasn’t going to push me with his Mustang so we put water in the car like three different times and limped it home.

The blood was coming out pretty good.

I saved the newspaper but I’m pretty sure Barry did steroids so I don’t know if I still have it.

I was born in a small town to John and Priscilla. Not a pilgrim exactly just another latch-key kid obsessed with BMX and Tom Petty. Now I make films.

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