Yesterday while I was going through all of my things for a yard sale, I came across a Toyota emblem. It was taken off my best friend’s Toyota Matrix in 2004. Holding the plastic emblem in my hand it brought me back to the days just after high school. The days of glory for us three amigos riding around in Topher’s ice blue Toyota Matrix. Many a late night excursion with Topher and I signing Elephant Love Melody (the duet from Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor) at the top of our lungs. Late night runs to the Double T diner in Annapolis. Passing out flyers of an ex that may or may not have cheated on one of us; warning unsuspecting people of the bedroom deficiencies of said ex. Random meeting of aspiring artists (who have since made a name for themselves). Impromptu scavenger hunts we made up at the spur of the moment. So many stories could be told with his Matrix as the noble steed of our adventures. Unfortunately, I’m not going to go into those stories. I cannot. Those are wonderfully precious to my heart. I’m not prepared to share those stories.
I want to talk to about how it came that the Matrix lost her emblems.
Topher was working at Atlanta Bread Company as an overnight baker. He wasn’t happy with the job because he was on his own all night. Toph is very much a social person and didn’t like the long hours with just himself for company. I would sometimes go in with him and hang out and help. I wasn’t working at the time and often stayed up all night anyways. I was pretty jealous of the job. It was a job where you did not have to deal with anyone and I love being in my own company. It was fun to go in with him.
On this particular evening he stopped over at my house before work and asked if I wanted to go in with him. I don’t remember anymore why I declined. I told him that I wasn’t going to go in with him. He was a bit bummed out. It was snowing out and I guess he just didn’t want to be at work on his own. Heck, that may have been the reason why I didn’t want to go. I hate winter and snow.
Well, it was a good thing that I chose not to go. On the way into work he he was in a head on collision. He was fine, just an airbag burn where the airbag hit him. But the passenger side was fucked. If I would have been in the car with him at the very best, I would have lost my legs. At worst I would have died. There was zero space between the seat and where the dash was crumpled into the car.
When he took me to the junkyard a few days later and I was in shock. We pried off the emblems to the totalled car.
It’s funny how a simple choice that seems so insignificant can change a life. Or spare a life.