I drink because of all the bad stuff in my life, but it’s not some horrible coping mechanism.
See, I’ve always said, good stuff happens to me so that I have something to toast (so long as you have something to toast every time you drink, you’re not an alcoholic, so sayeth the self-help books I read for lulz). I also say that bad stuff happens to me so that I have something to write about. Eventually those written somethings become stories, which eventually become published, and eventually need to be toasted on Saturday nights out with friends.
That’s a roundabout way of saying I live for the bad stuff, I celebrate it because, as much as I dislike it, my livelihood depends on it. I’m always inspired by the bad stuff, far more than the happy, life-is-wonderful stuff.
You know you’re a writer when you get hit by a car and the first thing you think of is: this’d make a great short story.
So I’m there, standing in the middle of the road, looking back at the idiot woman who’s just hit me (I’m not sexist or smartist, I just make astute observations based on fact, and this person was both an idiot and a woman), and I’m already considering which novel it’d best fit in to.
Instinct says Courtney – I’ve trained my creative mind to assign a life experience to Courtney, I’ve been writing her for most of my life – but I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like a Courtney moment. I mentally browse my character rollerdex… Katie could work, I could probably run a joke about her giving the bonnet STIs into the ground… Danny Rooke, maybe, but this new book’s overstuffed with experience as it is… A new character is forming in my head now, a kid that got hit by the car, and from that incident, a whole chain of events is piling up, one on top of the other, as two seconds of car impact lead to an entire novel and… and…
And I remember I’m William Kostakis, and I’ve just been hit by a car. For real.
Now, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds. I always say “hit by a car” because people immediately imagine the full Hollywood roll-over-the-top thing and start doting over me, but no, it was the most epically anti-climactic car-hit ever.
To set the scene, I’m going to get all Agatha Christie diagramatic (is that a word?) on y’all and call upon my mad Paint illustrative skills:
I was just minding my own business, crossing (legally, mind you, the little man was green), when a woman performing a right-hand turn, performs that turn before I’ve finished to cross. Now, as is usually the case at this intersection, I thought she’d turn and stop and wait for me to finish crossing, but as Illustration #2 will demonstrate, she did not.
So, she’s half a metre away and I’m close enough to realise: A). She’s on her mobile; and B). She’s not stopping. I’m halfway through the lane she’s turning into, so, either I jump forward, or back, but either way, I’mma gunna get hit. So, I run forward, I figure, I can get more of me forward than I can back. She clips one of my legs and drags me a metre or so, nice and slowly, so I can look right through the windshield and ask, “What the fuck?”
As she continued up the street for a bit before pulling over, I continued to ask, “What the fuck?” to no-one in particular, standing in the middle of the road, looking at my reddening calf muscle, before limping to where she pulled over. At this point, people in other cars are asking if I’m okay, and calling out their numbers so that I have witnesses (insurance claim FTW).
Eventually, the woman (read: my ruthless attacker) steps out of the car.
‘Oh, mister, are you okay? What can I do? What can I do? I will do anything to help, mister.’
She’s six foot, bronzed, blonde, foreign, and asking if I need assistance. It seems I’ve not only been hit by a car, but I’ve also accidentally stumbled into the first scene of a porno.
‘Why you jump in front of my car?’ she asks.
‘I’m sorry, what?’ I’ve stopped imagining the porno .MIDI backing track.
‘He was crossing, you were on your phone, I saw you.’ Someone calls out from a neighbouring car.
‘No, I was not,’ she protests.
I muster, ‘Yeah, you were. I saw you.’
Her (amazing) reply, ‘No, was not. I was just holding it up, not speaking.’
It gets even better.
‘The sun… it was in my eyes,’ she says.
‘You’re wearing sunglasses,’ I say.
A woman who parked opposite us asks if I need a lift to the hospital.
Ruthless Amazonian driver, ‘No! I take him.’
I thank the random woman across the road for her offer, and tell the daft Amazonian to take me to the medical centre down the road. She opens the passenger door for me and makes room. I slip inside and
TO BE CONTINUED