Who Am I?
I love my car. I’ve had my wonderful Honda CR-V that I’ve lovingly and accurately named Black Beauty since my sophomore year of college and we’ve been through a lot.
Many years ago we were been robbed. Someone reached through my open window (my bad) and took a necklace and my work out shoes. The necklace was never recovered, but the shoes were later found in the bushes, surely discarded because of their smell (also my bad). Black Beauty and I have had nasty notes left for us. Someone instructed me to “rot in hell.” And we’ve been the victim of a light hearted prank.
At my first apartment complex, which was basically a glorified dorm, someone left half-full pizza boxes on top of my car. The best, and possibly unintentional, part of the prank was having to maneuver around the seagull urban picnic that developed on my roof. But Black Beauty and I survived it all.
But something much more permanent happened recently. Something much more upsetting and real. My car was keyed, entirely. The silver cut stands out clearly against Black Beauty’s black paint and wraps around the whole car, including the top and bottom of my hatchback trunk and a squiggly doodle on the hood. The right side has the beginnings of a second lap around and I wonder if the decision to stop was an interruption or a design choice. S/He was THOROUGH.
When I noticed the keying I reacted as one does to such aggressive vandalism: I lost all sense of self and questioned who I am as a person. Am I really the kind of person who gets keyed? I compiled a list of the type of people who would deserve this kind of hostility and it includes people are bitches, gang members and terrible parkers.
Maybe I’m a bitch.
I don’t remember being terrible to anyone but that doesn’t prove anything. Isn’t it a true bitch does something awful and isn’t even phased?
So then maybe I’m the target of a gang initiation.
A few months ago I found a fruit knife sticking out of a palm tree in my front yard. It was small but menacing. I feared it was a marking, a reminder left by some kind of Huckleberry Finn-esque gang to return to our house at a later date. I brought the knife inside and is now one of our most-used kitchen utensils. Was keying my car a new marking to replace the knife? Or could it be retaliation for taking what was meant to be a frightening warning and turning it into my favorite avocado slicer?
It’s most likely that the knife belonged to my 65-year-old landlord. He’s very handy, always installing large, second-hand fountains or holding up fallen vines with chicken wire in our front yard. But he’s also forgetful and calls all of my roommates Anna. He probably left the knife behind after doing some yard work. He could have been in a hurry to get back to his day job – standing in the middle of our street in a leather jacket, smoking a cigarette and scanning the block for trespassers. He might be in a gang.
That leaves the last option: I’m a bad parker.
Nope, wait, no that’s definitely not an option. I’m a fantastic parker, signal user and conservative horn honker: I’m the best at everything having to do with driving.
It’s possible that my car itself – Black Beauty herself – was targeted. There is a University of Colorado sticker proudly displayed on the back window and college rivalries run deep. Maybe a Colorado State alum decided to take out some frustration. While I prefer to settle my feuds on the beer pong table, I would probably lash out too if I went to the inferior state college. GO BUFFS!
Alternatively, I keep our branded coffee cart in my trunk and it’s in plain sight at all times. Maybe a die hard hot coffee drinker wanted to make it known that our kind (cold coffee drinkers) are not welcome ’round these parts. I get it. Bitter, disgusting, burn-my-tongue coffee makes me angry too. COLD COFFEE FOR LIFE!
The silver lining of all of this is that now I can BE that bitch or I can BE that person who parks and drives like a jerk. Because what are ya gonna do about it? Key my car?