Apparently i have not been sufficiently appreciating my garage door. This is the conclusion i have come to. I did not realize they were so sensitive; although perhaps i have a particularly emotionally unstable one, and i should not assume a similar neuroses from the entire group based on my limited test sample. This is, after all, the first apartment i’ve ever had that features one. We had previously maintained an amiable relationship: i’d push the button, and it would open. Much of the time i unplugged the opener altogether in the interest of my car’s security, leaving the garage door with what i imagine were nice, restful vacations. Granted, there were times i teased it with unintentioned movements caused by a stray button press, or times that i couldn’t be satisfied with any one state and insisted on experimenting with various stages of open-ness to achieve the desired garage climate, but i really didn’t see any deep-seeded resentment building behind the seemingly innocent facade of beams, springs, and wood-approximating panels. But on sunday, the truth finally came out.

I was sitting quietly in my kitchen/dining room/office/mailroom/server room/storage pile/car parts staging area on sunday evening, likely hunched over my pre-vacation todo list. I don’t remember exactly what i was doing, but as that last-minute list has overwhemled the last several days like the tub of KFC gravy always does to the (oddly smaller) corresponding tub of mashed potatoes, it’s a safe bet to say that’s how i was occupied.

    Suddenly in the garage there arose such a clatter,
    I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter!
    I ran to the entryway and threw open the door,
    groped blindy for the light and nearly fell on the floor.

    The light from the single round bulb on the wall
    made scarcely a warning of the scene i’d befall,
    and what to my wondering eyes should appear,
    but a dent in the hood of my auto so dear.

    With an odd piece of metal lying still on the floor,
    I knew in a moment it had been the garage door.
    More rapid than eagles i wielded my cell,
    and dialed up my landlord trying hard not to yell.

    “Who is this?”, “What happened?”, “Which unit is this?”.
    “How damaged?”, “How urgent?”, “At least you were missed!”
    I sprang to the questions and recounted my story,
    in a manner most truthful and thankfully, not gory.

    After talks of insurance and trading of numbers,
    I finally felt that i might get some slumber.
    Some pictures were needed, and a call to the folks,
    with a story of landlords more gracious than hoped.

    Abuzz from the nightmares that flew through my head,
    i finally scrapped sleeping and just lay there instead.

What a (mercifully short) poem will not give you are the dirty details left to the pictures. Apparently the tensioner spring decided to suddenly shear off, leaving the now-useless cable and pulley hanging limp by the door and the bulk of the spring came to rest on the floor. Oh, man, i’m rhyming again. Once you get that in your head, it’s difficult to shake. Anyway, on it’s way across the garage at what i can only assume was bullet-like speed, the spring struck thehood of my car and the proceeded down the fender, encompassing two body panels that, unfortunately, were not the body panels that could probably use a fresh paint job. The pics don’t do the dent justice, as it’s really quite noticable in person with the way it reflects light, especially from the back of the car where you can clearly see the impact point. I felt very CSI as i was reverse-engineering the details of the crime. Another interesting feature of the dent is the little micro-dents that span the entire area where each individual coil of the spring left its own personal signature, like each member of a wacko cult putting their john hancock on the group suicide note.

The upside is at least i’m leaving on vacation tonight, so i don’t need the car for awhile, and there is no urgent need to make the garage door open. Also, i have 6 days in New York to forget about the whole freakin’ thing, and i will spend this evening playing GTA with Clint (ironically, bashing up hundreds of virtual cars, for which a perfect paint job is only a cheat code away) and then be off to the airport and a good, stiff, uh… water (with a pepto chaser) on the plane.