I took Biba out for her morning walk the day after Hurricane Sandy. We found this car on Maiden Lane just below Pearl Street, a Toyota Prius, most unfortunately parked.
I didn’t think much about it except that I would hate to have found my car hit by one of the few trees in Downtown Manhattan. I imagined the owner was still in his apartment, calling his family, telling them that he was all right.
Biba and I came down Maiden Lane again the following morning; the car was still there.
I thought about how it would almost be worse to see the smashed hood and windshield without the tree still on it. I thought that the owner – let’s call him Tim – had probably come down to find it, cursed, and gone uptown to power his computer and email pictures of his afflicted Prius to the family. They could forward them to the insurance company for him.
A day later, three days after the storm, and the car was still there.
I figured that Tim had realized that there was nothing he could do about this and decided to deal with everything else first – water, power, food. If the city towed it, so much the better.
One week later, a day after the Nor’easter, the Prius was unmoved.
Tim had probably left town to get away from everything. Maybe he had got a ride with his girlfriend to her parents’ place in Virginia. He could have a proper shower there, sleep, and forget about all of this. That made sense.
Days turned into a week and then some; nineteen days in all; the Prius remained..
Did Tim leave New York altogether? Was he not coming back? Was he that upset about it? Was it even Tim’s car? Or had he borrowed it from his girlfriend without asking and now he couldn’t admit it? Had he abandoned it just to get out of a lie? Didn’t he realize that the police would tow it eventually, and she would find out then?
No, he didn’t realize that. He was leaving it here. He didn’t care. He didn’t really love her anyway. It wasn’t worth the hassle. At least he had had those few good warm days in Virginia. The truth was that he had never even liked her or her Prius that much. I mean where had all of this environmentalism gotten him in the end? It had got him here. He had always dreamed of something else, something exotic and incredible. The Mercedes Sedan CLS…now that was a car!
He knew that he could really love that. (Poor Tim.)