…So there I was, Bloggers, just a few months ago: walking down the street, and suddenly I see this little Japanese lady in these giant wraparound shades zooming past me to the west in her old beat-up dark-blue Corolla, and I thought…
There was something amazing about it. Here’s this incredibly ubiquitous car, such a commonplace that you see it all around you even when it isn’t there, and you don’t see it when it is — the very automotive version of a Purloined Letter, the best-selling car ever manufactured by the good people at the Fnord Motor Company…anonymity that puts all the black-tinted windows in all the limousines in the world to utter shame.
Anonymity that, frankly, money and fame can’t buy.
So I shook that sight off. For a while.
But then I got curious, and it was then I found myself bouncing off the walls of the bottomless rabbit-hole.
Because Yoko had actually been in town that weekend.
And she had actually been supposed to appear at the UBC campus to the west, for some kind of peace ceremony at (one presumes) our world-famous Museum of Anthropology, at 6 p.m.
I saw the beat-up piece-of-shit Corolla pass me at about 5:45. When I knew as well as I know my own soul: that it contained week-old spent coffee cups, three inches thick of old Georgia Straight newspapers in the footwells of the back seat, broken cassette tapes and meaningless flyers and superfluous keys on the passenger seat.
So it could have been Yoko…
…If only I could figure out how it could’ve been Yoko. And not that there isn’t a lot of philosophical shit here, because there is…
But how did she get into it?
Not that I mind having Yoko in my life…but for God’s sake I always thought that was a forbidden transaction!
I mean what’s next, Ringo’s my postman?
And believe me I will address all these issues before long…but for now…
Let’s just keep it to this.
Suppose it was Yoko.
Here’s how I see it going down: her limousine fails on Mermaid Avenue…sorry I mean Marpole Avenue of course…
…And her driver goes to find a can of gas.
But time’s ticking.
Yoko waits twenty minutes, and she’s getting anxious: this is Yoko Ono as directed by Martin Scorscese in “After Hours”…she hasn’t had sex in years…
Suddenly a kind of beat-up Toyota Corolla screeches to a halt beside her.
“YOKO? YOKO ONO?”
She says, carefully: “Yes.”
“WE’RE SUCH BIG FANS…!”
And so it ends up that the Corolla people end up lending Yoko their car…I mean, like Yoko’s gonna steal your Corolla? So it’s totally safe for them, but Yoko has to deal with the shit of driving once again…she honks at people, she wonders when and if it’s okay to yell obscenities…she’s a vibrant woman, but it’s been a long time since she’s driven. She hopes she doesn’t cause an accident. She’s tense. She wishes Sean or even Julian were here…they’d know what to do. John probably would’ve crashed the car by now and gotten out and gotten in a fistfight with the other driver over the wreckage…John stopped driving when he was about eighteen.
Whereas Yoko drove herself ’til about the age of twenty-four.
You can do this, Yoko.
That Peace Pole isn’t gonna bless itself. The universe just wants to know how much you care, is all. This is a test.
Come on, Yoko. Focus.
People are depending on you.
She just follows the car in front of her, carefully keeping two car-lengths. The car in front of her might at any time just plain PLOW into the ocean, and Yoko would follow…well, no one ever said trust was easy.
For weeks afterwards I watch the shipping news — see if some profoundly peaceful little old Japanese lady was found with her Corolla wrapped around an anchor…
Well, the universe tests all of us.
And I think it just may have tested me that day.