Just a Scratch | The Dreamweaver

The Asian woman who cared for my young children came to my house to show me the new

mini-van she had picked up from the dealership.

Knowing I had her complete trust, I asked her if I could take it around the block for a spin and she gladly consented though I hid from her the fact that despite having driven since I was 15—and was a skilled driver—I hadn't been in possession of a valid driver's license for over a decade.

Seeing how I finally had some time behind the wheel of an automobile, I didn't see any harm in driving into town to pick up some sandwiches, fries and milkshakes at Five Guys.

Driving down a one-lane residential street, I came upon a car double-parked in the road and decided to drive around it.

I badly misjudged the distance between the double-parked car and the cars parked at the left and as I attempted to pass, my passenger-side window slightly grazed the side of the double-parked car.

I immediately stopped and the owner of the car—who I neglected to see had been inside of the vehicle all the time—got out to assess the damage.

While there was no damage to my babysitter's car, there was quite a large scratch on the other car.

I told the man that I was very sorry, and when I informed him that not only did I not have a driver's license or insurance, he became quite incensed and threatened to call the police.

I tried to calm him down by assuring him that I would pay for the damage which he claimed would be around 100 euros.

I told him I would go an ATM and retrieve the money at once and offered him my cellphone as collateral, but he said the phone wasn't worth 100 euros.

I then went into the bottom drawer of my great-grandfather's mahogany highboy dresser while telling the man I had something far more valuable to gain his trust.

I removed an old prayer shawl bag with a silver inscription in Hebrew, handed it to the man and told him to pull the zipper, open the bag and carefully remove its contents.

He pulled out the old ram's horn and looked at me in dismay.

I asked him if he knew what it was and went on to tell him the story of how I came to acquire the shofar, a ceremonial ram's horn used during the Jewish High Holy Days, which was over 100 years old and given to me by my late great-grandfather in 1979.

The man agreed that the shofar would more than suffice as collateral while I went to get cash from the ATM.

Then I woke up.

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