So, as we have all noticed, God hates me.
No, seriously, the big man upstairs just has a hard-on for making my life difficult. He really does. First with the living way the hell outside of town, second with the pregnancy, then there's the ever-difficult to deal with Redhead... you know, it's enough to try a girl's patience. It really is.
Travel arrangements in this house usually end up with me being the one holding the keys most of the time. Since everybody has different schedules, and they all can't keep the car because it always happens: If Roomie has the car, I need to pick up Redhead. If Princess has the car, somebody needs to go get Roomie. Or something. That poor car cannot be left alone for an entire day. It just doesn't happen. And if somebody doesn't NEED to be picked up and taken somewhere, I usually (in my usual fashion) get extremely pissed off to the point of violence and end up just driving off to cool my head.
So anyway. Because I am not working, the keys and the car usually get left with me all day. I'm cool with that. I love driving. And the car is a joy to drive, it really is. It's my style of vehicle, the one I know how to handle on the roads best. It's an SUV. I can't drive a car to save my life, they're too small and they don't have enough power. My first vehicle was a 2000 F150, I'm used to a something with a little more umph than a Honda Civic. It's just the person I am.
This is the vehicle in question.
That, my friends, is one 1999 Infiniti QX4. It is classified as a luxury SUV. And she's great, I love her. Of course, if Roomie were a smart vehicle owner, he would have kept up with routine maintenance and she wouldn't be so touchy. He's about ten thousand miles past needing an oil change and she's slow to start because the fuel filter needs to be cleaned out, she's not getting enough fuel. That 'luxury' in the title makes her a little spoiled sometimes. But it's okay, I love her. Hell, because of the way I am, I'm bonded closer to that car than I am to her owner. I'm a car type of person, and in the past four months we've lived with Roomie and Princess, I've been doing all the driving. I've driven that thing more than anyone else in the house has.
Anyway. The subject of this post. I love that girl. She makes my day. And Tuesday, she reminded me of why I'm more comfortable driving SUVs and trucks than I am with a conventional car.
At 11 AM, I had to drop Princess off at work, and then go pick up Roomie from class. Bring him home, and make sure he was at work by noon. No big deal. So I drop Princess off, and aim the truck south for the university campus. Pick up Roomie, and began the track back to the other side of town where we live. No big deal.
I'm an aggressive driver, folks. My father taught me that. That aggression has saved my ass numerous times, because that aggression has somehow quickened my reflexes behind the wheel. I can swerve and stop REAL quick to avoid hitting someone, or as the case is most often in Missouri (because nobody in this god damned state has a fucking brain when behind the wheel of a car), I can easily avoid getting hit BY someone. The past couple weeks have shown me that God really hates me, and he has sent so many low-IQ assassins after me in moving vehicles it ain't even funny. I nearly got T-Boned by a cop Sunday, for crying out loud. The sun was in my eyes, but I still saw him pull out into traffic without even stopping to check the flow (and see me). It's ridiculous. Even the cops have it in for me.
Anyway. My aggression driving does have a tendency to manifest itself in ignoring speed limits, and when there are multiple lanes, weaving between cars. I'm impatient, I can't help it. But I have never once been or caused an accident. I'm aggressive to protect my own skin. The aggression and the quick reflexes Tuesday kept me from being injured (the most fearful idea being my pregnant belly colliding hard enough with a steering wheel to cause me to lose the baby, which is my one big fear when driving these days), and it kept a 14-year-old child in the passenger seat of another car from serious injury as well.
Anyway. Picked up Roomie on campus. And we're in a good mood, listening to the radio as we're driving home. We're about two-thirds of the way there when we hear the DJ talking about an article he read pertaining to flying cars. A concept has been made. Cue me and Roomie going nuts. "The future is HERE! WE HAVE FLYING CARS!"
As we're saying this, my attention never being diverted from the road, we're pulling up to an intersection. I have the green light, and I'm close enough that I know I'm going to make it without the possibility of a yellow. So I'm doing about 40 mph, which isn't a big thing.
As we get about five feet from the intersection, an ugly, old maroon Chevy Lumina, with an ugly old crazy lady behind the wheel and her 14-year-old son in the passenger seat run the red light. Right. In. Front. Of. Me.
Insta-stop. Not enough to avoid a collision, but squealing tires and desperately praying for a stop slowed me down enough to where I was only doing about 20 mph when the crunch happened. I didn't budge in my seat, and the passenger doors on the Lumina caved in, but the kid wasn't harmed.
This was the first car accident I've been in when I was driving. The Infiniti turned about fifteen degrees, and the Lumina spun around a full 90 and jumped the curb next to me. I came to a stop in the middle of the intersection amongst shattered glass from her passenger windows, and the grill cover on the Infiniti fell off.
The first thing I thought was, I swear to God, "The Sirius radio came unplugged." God-awful static filled my ears, and my hands started to shake. The second thought in my brain was "Okay, to keep me from getting KILLED now, I should probably pull out of the intersection. Begin damage control." I wheeled the Infiniti around, who protested every step of the way, and parked in the corner of the O'Reilly's parking lot right next to the intersection.
I get out of the car, trembling from head to toe, and Roomie instantly leaned over, told me it wasn't my fault, checked to make sure I wasn't injured, and then walked over to the Lumina, and asked the lady and her son if they were okay. No pain there. Thank god.
First words out of the lady's mouth: "I'm so sorry, my son was talking to me and I just sort of spaced."
Son: "Mom. I was telling you that THE LIGHT WAS RED."
The lady claimed full responsibility for the wreck, and while her and Roomie exchanged insurance information and called the police, Roomie informing me that the cops would be told he was driving, I looked over the car. The nose was thoroughly crunched. One headlight was completely shattered, bulb included. The grill guard fell off, the front bumper bent inwards and pressing uncomfortably into the radiator. Anti-freeze was leaking everywhere. She might have been able to make the drive home, but Roomie and I agreed not to risk it. She wasn't drivable.
The cops never questioned me other than to make sure I was okay, and I'm perfectly fine with that. They swept the glass out of the street, picked up the grill cover from the middle of the intersection and tossed it into the grass next to us. I picked it up and placed it in the back seat of the Infiniti and noticed that the silver Infiniti logo had fallen off. Roomie grabbed it from where it had been swept up next to the curb and handed it to me. It's all we have left of her.
The Kelly Blue Book value of a 1999 Infiniti QX4 is $6,400, according to the insurance adjuster who came out to look at it. Insurance companies total the car out when the repair costs reach 70% of the vehicle's value. When the adjuster met Roomie at the Chrysler dealership where she was towed to for repairs, he never even popped the hood and quoted the repair costs at $6,200. Most likely, they're going to begin repairs and find much more than another $200 worth of damage to repair.
She's totaled. She's not coming home, and we all know it. So Roomie has begun the search for a new car.
In the mean time, Lumina Lady's insurance is paying for a rental car, seeing as how we have four people living here, and on the outer edge of town, we need a vehicle. Badly. I'm not walking well over three miles in the winter snow to get ANYWHERE. Fuck that.
So what is Roomie driving now (that he has expressly told me I will never sit behind the wheel of, but after thinking about it, I'd rather not anyway)?
A white 2008 Ford Focus.
"Omigawd, it's A FOCUS!!"
His manly pride will never survive the wait to get a new set of wheels.
But... I miss the Infiniti already. I have a soft spot for cars; they are my joy in life. I love to drive them, admire them, work on them. They are my passion. And in four months, I had bonded quite a bit with the Infiniti. And now, she'll never come home.
It's all we have left of her. And it's marred by maroon paint from a stupid bitch who couldn't keep her head out of her ass for five minutes while driving.
As soon as I get a chance, I will be taking pictures of the Infiniti where it is parked at the dealership, and I'll post pics of her when possible.
I miss her...