Broken Glass and Jelly Beans
The four wheels that get me around town, and occasionally out of town, attach themselves to the chassis of a jaunty purple Honda Fit named Jelly Bean.
I love the Jelly Bean like Han Solo loves the Millennium Falcon. I love that it's so small, I can squeeze it into those tiny parking spots where muscle cars won't fit. I love that despite its little bubble form, it can harbor up to fifty clowns. But most of all, I love that it's the only purple Honda Fit in any given parking lot.
At least, that used to be the case. Until I moved onto Canada Street.
Now there's another one. Another purple Honda Fit. It's parked on my street as often as not—near mine, across from mine, right next to mine, jockeying for those parking spots that no one else can claim. But my car's doppelgänger is easily distinguished by a scar, or in this case, a lack thereof: You see, my car has a cracked windshield, but my neighbor's car does not.
So, yeah. It pisses me off.
I imagine the feeling I get when I stumble out the door on a groggy Monday morning and see the other car, the car that's pretty much my car, only slightly better, is kind of like the feeling a guy named John Grissum must get when he tells people at a party that he's published a book.
"Wait, you're John Grisham? The dude who wrote The Firm? Man, I loved that book!"
"No, that wasn't—"
"Yeah, that book was the shit, man! Movie was good, too. Hey, didn't you also write that one about the jury? Had Cusack in it?"
"No, that wasn't—"
"Oh! And The Pelican Brief! That was you, wasn't it? Man, that one was dope, too!"
"No, that wasn't... Oh, screw it."
Yeah, that would suck. So would being named William Clinton. Because you'd be Bill Clinton, except you wouldn't be Bill Clinton. Every time someone said your name, you'd be like, well, this sucks. I was never the President. I'm just some guy named Bill Clinton, and I live in fucking Cleveland.
Like, that's not my car. Oh, wait! There's mine. It's the one with the broken windshield.
For the record, it's called a $500 deductible for a windshield that costs $500. No thanks, Allstate. It's a matter of principle. Okay, maybe principle's too strong a word. A matter of priorities, then.
The doppelgänger has me rethinking my priorities.
But whenever I consider finally coughing up the dough and replacing that blasted slab of broken glass, I stop and reassess my motives. I've managed to ignore that crack for over five years. And now, just because some neighbor has an unblemished windshield, I'm thinking of biting the proverbial bullet? How insecure can a person get? How superficially competitive? Get a grip, Nate! To heck with the Jonses!
My car's better because it's my car. That's my broken glass. That's my scar, the scar that sets mine apart, the scar that says I've been places no one else has ever been. It's the only Jelly Bean on the block, and there'll never be another one exactly like it, and yes, this whole thing's a fucking metaphor.
Take pride in yourself, Bill Clinton who lives in Cleveland. You're the only one of you.