Tuesday, March 15, 2005

die dreidel die

still in a bit of denial, and psyching up for massive job interviews in the next couple of weeks, so more refuge in the past tonight, and the worst car story of all.

there is a demon that lives on interstate 81 just outside of syracuse, ny. the day my grandmother died, a sheet of water thrown up by a speeding semi sent me and a rented car slamming into the guard rail. i walked away, and my mother said that omi took my place. some years later, in almost the exact same spot, another 18-wheeler overtook me and, as it cut in front of me, clipped the corner of the car and sent me spinning into the concrete divider, the back of the corolla concertina-ed up against it. as i walked away from the wreck, i remember looking back and seeing red liquid seeping from the car and thinking wow - somebody shot my car! i was a little dazed. next i am in the back of an ambulance (wow - my first ambulance!) immobilised on a backboard with some guy asking me stupid questions like 'how old are you?' and 'what do you do?' 'i'm a rabbi,' i said. 'really?' he replied, 'ian, the driver, is jewish. i'm not, but i can sing the dreidel song!' and he did. for a long time. i was tied down, and could do nothing about it. had i mentioned that it was memorial day? several months before chanukah. to this day i cannot hear that song without breaking into a cold sweat. in fact, some years later when i took my second ride in an ambulance (toxic reaction to painkillers prescribed for an herniated disc), after the fuss was over janet had something interesting to tell me. apparently, the ambulance lady had told her that throughout the ride across the 'burg i kept pointing at her and hissing 'don't you DARE sing!'.

i've avoided i-81 by syracuse ever since

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