I woke up early for job interview today. I needed to print my resume, but I could not get the printer to work.
As a result, I left late. Without a resume and frustrated. My mother drove.
Just after the interview I discovered that one of my favorites hats, which I had shoved into my pocket, had fallen out.
After lunch I decided to take a driving shift, but started the parked car in gear without pressing the clutch. The car lurched forward three feet and slammed into the back of a little red Fiesta parked in front of us.
The owner witnessed the event and took us directly to get the cost of repairing the scratches evaluated at a car place.
There, I learned about him. His name was Steve. He was in good spirits the whole time. He had been having lunch at a bar after spending the morning at the local courthouse. He had been visiting the courthouse frequently over the past eight years in attempt to sort the legal mess his divorce had created. His wife instigated the whole business and eventually took his children away. A daughter was born handicapped. He had devoted his life to that child, as she could not live on her own. Steve had quit his main occupation to free up his time. He focused in on a side job, making wheels for horse racing chariots. He was a good father. He said so, straight, indignant. It did not come across as a boast or exaggeration. His daughter had used her limited vocabulary to explain her parental preference clearly. But the mother fought viciously in court and alienated him. Now he lives alone. Like the rise of civilization in reverse, he only has the wheel now.
All things that go around come around, says my mom. Steve goes to church every Sunday. He has not lost any of his faith, but, smiling, he does wish the big guy upstairs would work a little faster. We said we would put in a good word for Steve.
* * *
I arrived at the place of my interview a minute past our scheduled time. I announced myself to the secretary then, but was not called in for another five minutes. I had been interviewed by this potential employer a half year earlier. I was surprised to see that they retained a copy of my resume and brought it to the meeting.
Steve’s red Fiesta was a rental. When I crashed into it, he suggested to take it to the nearby rental company right away for an assessment. He could not care less about the car; he was going to drop it off this week anyway. When we got there, he explained the story and asked the lady behind the counter if she could be fair in handling the matter. She thought she was fair, and had a twinkle in her eye. She walked around the Fiesta twice. You’re fine. Nothing? No, you’re fine. There were thank you’s, and I shook Steve’s hand twice.
Steve kept the rented Fiesta that day. He had had it for nearly a month now after his own vehicle was interred in a four car pileup. Steve walked away without a scratch.
Someone had found my hat and laid it conspicuously by the stairwell.