The Smallest man in the World is down to about eight or nine inches. Sometimes he finds himself trapped in a bad comedy routine.
Sandy and Mandy, at some dying hotel in the Poconos (?), performing, by popular demand, their This Couple Gets Lost In The Big City On Their Way To Pick Up Their Daughter’s Wrecked Car In The Middle Of Winter And Start Bickering.
I told you to bring the GPS, sez Sandy.
We’ll be here til Thursday, remember to tip your waiter.
Finally, the Smallest Man In the World is alone in the wrecked car. We all have a place we belong. Maybe you belong at a sidewalk cafe in Paris, or feeding scrofulous pigeons in Venice. The Smallest Man in the World belongs in his daughter’s fogged-up wrecked car.
He’s idling the motor, waiting for the window to clear before he leaves. The radiator seems to be at an angle, so he has opted to take the slow way home and not the freeway, because this is what strikes him as the best idea.
Driving a wrecked car at freeway speeds strikes him as somehow unwise, due to things like overheating, and parts falling off, and explosions, and so on.
Two Slavic types in long leather coats ask him if he’s leaving soon, because a guy is coming to give them a jump because their battery’s dead. “As soon as my window clears up,” says the Smallest Man, but then their friend comes and is blocking traffic so he leaves early, with just a tiny patch of clear glass to see out of, being a nice guy.
Also, he’s the Smallest Man, how big a piece of clear glass does he need?
The slow way, he thought, would be fast due to everyone wanting to go the fast way, but it turns out to be slow.
One thing he doesn’t do is listen to high voltage rock and roll. He has the heater on, and the lights, he doesn’t want to run anything else, just in case the alternator is fried. He’s sitting, stuck, at a million lights on the way out of town, but the engine is cold and even covered with ice and snow, so it’s okay until he gets out of the city.
Only then does it start creeping up, the needle.
Otherwise, it’s a sweet little car. Too bad it’s a ’95. With this damage to the hood, radiator, bumper and grill, it’s totaled.
Still, he counts his blessings. Both headlights are busted, but it’s not entirely dark yet. The radiator is smooshed, but it’s a cold day.
And moreover, his kid is okay. Just a few bruises. She’s okay.
And that needle isn’t in the red zone yet.
Of course, there is this mountain. The needle goes into the red right at the top of the mountain. The Smallest Man puts the car into neutral and coasts down the other side of the mountain, watching the needle go back down.
There is nothing else he’d rather be doing. This is it. Janelle Monáe could be sitting by the side of the road waving a headscratcher and he’d coast right past.
This is it.