Hoarders sparked my memory of KK. Since then, I’ve remembered a number of just rude/silly things that took place during our “friendship.” Friendship is in quotes because that’s what I offered. What I got in return was…. well, stories. I’m starting with cars.
DESCRIBING THE MAIN CHARACTER: KK was about as wide as she was tall. She was short, with stubby legs. Strangely, she had a rather sizable pair of hands. They were thick and wide. He hair was blondish-grey and curly. She wore glasses, was starting to spout the inevitable chin hair that comes with age, and had some significant moles on her face. She said she wore a size 14. Maybe… But I couldn’t see it. From what I could tell she was 5’2″ and about 230 pounds.
In terms of personality, she had a loud laugh. Apparently she had once been an academic (professor) and went on about how easy it is to undermine and bring people down. I should have listened to that because she spent a lot of time working on making me feel bad about who I was. She was fluent in Japanese, I believe, having lived there for a time. She moved to CA to earn money as a technical writer, and upon moving here, couldn’t drive. She imagined herself a gourmand, an intellectual, and sophisticated. She met most people through online encounters (this is 1994 mind you. She was a trailblazer in that department) and used the Internet a lot.
DRIVING WITH KK: Because of KK’s stature, she barely fit behind the wheel of a car. While I point out that, upon moving to CA, she didn’t know HOW to drive, that was easily rectified with a driver’s license. If she had had lessons, it would be news to me and the many other people who witnessed her driving. Needless to say, she passed the driving test somehow (remind me of this. I have another good DMV story regarding elderly drivers).
KK bought a used Volvo with manual transmission. Yes, my friends. She had a stick shift. She wasn’t the smoothest driver of it, and often killed the car at intersections. She also couldn’t seem to get up to speed. Regardless, she insisted on driving. Apparently I’m more daring than I thought because it really was dangerous. She would come to abrupt stops and sometimes avoid stopping altogether.
Needless to say, she was in one accident after another. Most were minor (like she couldn’t turn her car fast enough. Given the drag on her belly, so not suprising); however, one night she was rear-ended at the bottom of a hill. The story facts were never really clear — whether she was stopped and the light went green so the car coming down the hill ASSUMED she would be moving or if the light turned red and she stopped abruptly.
What is important is that she called Taed and I. In the middle of the night, we schlepped somewhere north of Fremont but south of Oakland to get her. I will now point out that Taed’s car had fabric seats. This is important. We get her into the car and she starts to tell us about the accident. We had both noticed that she was wrapped in a blanket. We assumed it was because it was cold. Nope, she had wet herself during the accident (we think). Not that she told us beforehand. Not that she offered to put something down on the seat. Not that she offered to have the seat clean. Needless to say, not much conversation passed after that revelation.
I’m sure by that point Taed felt this “friendship” was costing too much. I, obviously, didn’t get my clue until sometime later.