Screw the Excess

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The same moment I awoke this morning was the same moment the events of yesterday returned to me all at once. My heart heavy and my head reeling with the mercurial calculus of how to apportion blame fairly between partners in crime when plans go horribly wrong. But the determination of fairness is always a subjective game, and I was now stuck in the sorry aftermath of a savage Darwinian negotiation. Realpolitik between friends.

Fuck, I thought – No….Dammit….No….No….Shit, and not much else. For it was I who had wrapped the hire car around the telegraph pole, that much I couldn’t deny. The car was hired in the name of my accomplice leaving the insurance null and void unless we conspired to lie.

I’ll fess up, say it was me and shit, leave the insurance intact, aye, the accomplice had said, before adding, we’ll be stuck with a $2100 excess though. You were driving mate, it’s only fair you pay $1800, I’ll cover the rest.

I did take that corner a little too fast on a road a bit too slick. I locked the brakes and when I locked the breaks I pushed down harder still. But then this was a scenario I had not signed up to. The accomplice had started behind the wheel but was desperately hungover, quickly projecting the expected struggles of impaired driving onto imagined blind spots, reckless M1 drivers and a sticky clutch. I must have taken over after ten minutes give or take.

Eighteen-hundred dollars? Tight-arsed prick, I thought. Bullshit! I had signed up to their impossible deal and was now tormented by my own compliance. Yet the situation sat all too comfortably with my schemas and expectations for me to wail against it. No dissonance here as I felt at fully-body-massage ease now with my own stupidity and this unjust account of events. Beach-going relaxed in hateful familiarity. An old friend, my heavy heart. 

But then I awoke a little more, grew a tad more tormented, and the wailing rose up, woke up. I commenced subjecting my new dawn, half-sleep-post-sleep account to careful cross-examination, as I thought Fuck….No….Dammit….No….No….Shit, and not much else.

I started with the bedrock. Who was this elusive accomplice? As I sifted through cellophane fragments, I quickly now knew I rode shotgun that day with a composite! My partner in crime, the assumed single rider was a mashup of no less than three close friends, one of my brothers and Natalie Tran (who I had been binging on after a lengthy hiatus before becoming enveloped in my own private dream time)….This poly-faced cheap skate accomplice was a lie! I scoured my memory for further evidence of yesterday’s activities. Of course no hire car was involved – just some work and bitching on a slavish routine schedule about the oppressive heat and humidity.

THANK FUCK!, I thought, as I planned on what I would now do with the $1800 if I had $1800 to do with. Now fully awake from my slumber, I felt incredibly happy….

My message is this: You gotta question what you think, hear and see sometimes, and don’t be a sucka for that #FAKENEWS!

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