The Craziest Part

The Craziest Part

JD Miller

I’d say the craziest part was that it felt like I was drowning. And that confused me like nothing else. Because, I was like, I was just driving, right? So it didn’t make any sense for me to be drowning. 

The morning started crazy normal, tbh. So normal it was boring. But when I did leave the house, I remember walking around the block to where I’d parked yesterday, and there were all these little flowers on the sidewalk, like, everywhere. And they smelled so good. Expensive perfume good. Like, there was this perfume I saw at the lingerie store in the mall that was $139.99. Can you believe that? I couldn’t. 

I just remembered, when I was there that day I got this really crazy bra-and-panty set. I wasn’t going to because it was expensive (like, crazy expensive) and, kind of uncomfortable (like, there’s a tag that sticks right between the buttcheeks, but when I told Liz about it, she told me I could just cut the tag out later and that I had to buy them, because apparently I looked Amazing. But sometimes even when you cut the tag out of something there’s like, a little tiny bit of tag left, right? that’s like even sharper and more annoying). We put on so many fragrance testers that we probably left smelling like a rose garden. 

Or a chemical spill. Hilarious, I know. 

Anyway, I parked way around the corner of the block, because I would rather walk a mile than parallel park. All because this one time I was trying to park, and the guy behind me, like, honked at me? And it stressed me out like crazy, so I tried to park faster, and broke some guy’s headlight. And someone saw and yelled at me, and I was like, how is this my fault? Did you not see that guy honking at me for NO reason? 

If I’m being straight up with you, I think about that, like, every single day. At least once. I keep waiting to, like, not feel embarrassed about it? But that’s not happening. There’s always something. 

Anyway, when I got in this wreck, it wasn’t my fault. Seriously, ask the police! Some crazy guy hit me. I guess he was on drugs or something? I don’t really know. 

But there were these flowers, on the sidewalk, while I was walking to the car. And I remember thinking, “geez, I wonder what kind of flowers these are,” because I know, like, nada about flowers. They had big, green, heart-shaped leaves? And the flowers were kind of white and shaped like clusters of, like, popcorn. 

I definitely remember that. And then I got in the car and was going to go meet Liz again at the mall. And I thought—I remember thinking—I should’ve worn that special underwear today. Not, like, because anybody was gonna see it. Just because I hadn’t actually worn it, like, ever, and I thought I could tell Liz I was wearing it, because she’d probably get a kick out of it and make some jokes about it or something. 

I remember that. But before I met Liz, I stopped at the humane society. 

I always stop at the humane society, because Tina’s, like, crazy allergic to animals, which means we can’t ever have one. And that’s not fair. Because it used to be that dad always said, ‘every kid in the world should have his or her own dog to look after,’ but then Tina showed up and he’s, like, ‘come on, Stace, do you really want to put her through that?’ Like, through What? Like, who is this lady? 

But then they got married, which means no dog for me. 

But it’s actually fine, because this way I get to hang out with lots of dogs. And cats, too, actually. 

I just don’t get it. It’s not just that she’s allergic, because lots of people are allergic to stuff and still do it (I had a bowl of cereal this morning with whole milk, so…). She just genuinely doesn’t seem to like animals. She thinks they’re gross and smelly. 

I think she’s gross and smelly. And sometimes I don’t wash my hands after I go to the humane society and then give her a big hug and I can tell her back itches for, like, the rest of the day. Hilarious, I know. 

That day they had two dogs I hadn’t met before. One of them was like a million years old and his name was Archie. He was some sort of Great Dane mix, and I love him so much it’s not even funny. I always love old dogs more, because, like, who gets rid of an old dog? Unless, like, his owners died or something, and didn’t have any kids or grandkids or whatever. But why do old dogs ever show up at places like this? They should be at home, relaxing in front of the fire, while their faces turn all gray and their smiles get all sloppy. 

I love Archie so much, I can’t even tell you. 

The other guy was named—get this—Nom Kippur. Can you believe that? I couldn’t. He was, like, a Boston Terrier or something, with crazy huge eyes and a stupid face. Apparently his family got rid of him because he wouldn’t stop eating shoes. And like, that’s still sad, but he’s still young and cute, so of course he was gonna get adopted. 

He licked my hands so much that I actually washed them—it was gonna be a long time before I got home and saw Tina, and I didn’t really wanna walk around the mall with gross sticky dog slobber fingers. No thanks. 

And then I got back on the road. That’s it. No other stops. It was pretty boring. Well, okay, I was crying a little bit in the parking lot, over Archie. I mean, he was so old. I just knew nobody would adopt him and it was seriously messing me up. So I sat there and cried for a while, but then I felt better, and I put on some music. 

And…I don’t have to tell you this part, do I? I don’t think I do. But basically, gosh, then I started thinking about this one singer guy, who was on the radio, and who Liz has a poster of in her room, and who I’d have a poster of in my room too, but then Tina would know I liked him and she’d try to, like, connect with me over him, and I’d rather have my head run over by, like, a bulldozer, then have to stop loving him and his music just because, ugh. 

But what I was thinking of, while I was, like, at the red light, was like, what if he was also at the mall? And for some reason we bumped into him, and he liked me more than Liz? And somehow we, like, went somewhere private, like a supply closet or something (like Grey’s Anatomy style), and I’d be wearing my, you know.  And I thought he’d, like, see me in them and I could picture his face all amazed and blushy. And I was like, really into this idea, even though it was, like? so dumb. 

I guess I’m stupid even in my fantasies, too, because right when things were gonna go from hot to hot, I, like, pictured myself leaning right up to his ear and for some reason telling him about the tag that I cut out of these? And he was, like, interested but also kind of confused about why I was telling him this. 

It was so embarrassing. And it was only happening in my head. 

But then we were driving again, and being embarrassed made me remember breaking that headlight, which made me feel even more embarrassed, which was right when the car hit me. 

I don’t really remember, like, what happened? I know because they showed me pictures later, but some guy just plows into my Car, and shoves me up on the sidewalk and into this fire hydrant. I don’t know if I was unconscious or what, because I don’t really remember all that. 

The next thing I knew, I thought I was drowning. And I was thinking, like, in the back of my head, that there was a salt-water tropical fish store right around here. I knew that because sometimes I liked to visit the fish, too. Tina isn’t allergic to them or anything, they’re just cute, even though it makes me so sad to think that they’re all supposed to be in the ocean. I try to imagine them all going to nice families. 

But all I could think of while I was, like, drowning, was that somehow I’d driven into the saltwater fish store, and it messed me up because I was thinking about all of those fish that would just get, like washed out onto the sidewalk. But I wasn’t actually all that close to the fish store. I was in front of a Laundromat, which like, who cares about Laundromats? Who even uses them? People without washing machines, I guess. 

Anyway, turns out all the water was from the fire hydrant I hit. My car was, like, right on top of it, and it was spraying water up everywhere, even, like, right up through the floor. And I guess I was leaning forward over the wheel, because, like, the airbag didn’t go off, and all the water was spraying up into my face. 

Then my door got pulled open a second later, and, like, some really cute cop asked me if I was okay, and I pretty much was I guess, except that my car was trashed and I was still really worried about all the fish. But, like, my neck wasn’t broken or anything, which I guess is what he was asking about. 

I could walk okay. But I was, like, crazy soaked. He helped me out of the car, and there were people all over watching and stuff and I just felt so embarrassed, but also super dizzy? Probably more embarrassed and more dizzy than I’d ever felt, not to mention more wet. My shoes were pretty much ruined, and so were all my clothes because the steering fluid line broke, I guess, so it was leaking stuff all over—steering fluid, I guess. 

Hilarious, I know. 

Anyway, that’s pretty much how it happened. I didn’t actually get to the mall, and I forgot to call Liz, and she was mad at me for like a week, I guess, but it wasn’t all terrible. Because dad was so upset when he got there to pick me up that he asked if there was, like, anything he could do for me. And I was like, actually, yeah. And I didn’t say, ‘divorce Tina,’ because, I guess that’s a pretty terrible joke. But I did say, 

“Can I get a dog?” 

And he said we’ll talk about it. And Tina has been, way nicer since it happened. I think she’s worried that I’ll be, like, traumatized by it, which I’m not. It was scary. But I remember those flowers better than I remember the actual crash, which is whatever. I still don’t have a car, by the way. Which kind of sucks. And Liz is a terrible driver. Just awful. People should honk at her. Actually, I guess they do. 

The craziest part is, Tina probably still thinks that Archie’s, like, an emotional support pet. Which he’s not! But anyway, that’s how I got a dog.