Beat Up and Broken

Riding through LA at night, I stopped at the red light. Out of the shadows, four men came up to my passenger door. All the doors and windows were closed.

One guy looked at my phone in the holder on my dash. Later I surmised they thought I was an Uber driver or something.

“Hey, man, can you give us a ride?”

Even if they thought I was an Uber car, did they think Uber hands out free rides?

“All the doors are broken,” I shrugged as I spoke loud enough to be heard through the shut windows.

He turned to his friends hanging back a half step. “He says the doors are all broken.”

The doors are indeed broken. You can’t open them, or you have to know exactly where to talk to them, like a stubborn mule, to get them to open. It is a true “beater with a heater.”

The biggest guy stepped forward, “Come on, man, give us a RIDE!” more demanding than asking.

Sure, no problem. I always let strangers in high crime areas get in my car late at night. Sounds like the beginning of a very special “Law and Order” episode. At one point one detective says to another, “But why would he let strangers in a high crime area in his car? It just DOESN’T ADD UP.”

“The doors are broken!” I repeated.

“Oh, man! The doors aren’t broken!”

As he says this, he reached out and tried to open the passenger door.

It didn’t open.

It’s broken.

All the doors are broken. Like my heart after every relationship for the last 37 years.

The rear hatch door doesn’t open at all. It’s frozen in place. The same way my face was when Beth broke off our engagement in 1987.

“Yes, they ARE ALL BROKEN!” I repeated for the third time.

“Man, you got ‘em all LOCKED! You just don’t want to give us a RIDE!”

Well, they aren’t locked.

They are broken.