When I’m in a different country, it’s the little details I notice. When we first arrived in England, we did three very ordinary things — we used the bathroom at the airport, got cash out of an ATM and exited the parking garage.
One thing that I would find was pretty common about using public toilets in England was that electric hand dryers prevail. If given a choice, I will usually dry my hands with paper, but maybe that’s because we have inferior electric hand drying mechanisms in the States. Not so in England — man, those suckers can blow.
The ATM was not extraordinary, though the queues to get to them were pretty long, but that’s probably because we’d just gotten off an airplane at the international terminal, and everybody else had the same idea. The parking garage wasn’t extraordinary either, but that’s where my thoughts started to wander… back to literature… and a freaky, London favorite — J.G. Ballard’s Crash.
And what is Crash about? Why, sex and car crashes, of course. A guy gets into a car accident and meets up with this whole underground movement of people who get off on being in car crashes, watching car crashes, reenacting famous car crashes, you get the picture. David Cronenberg made a movie about it back in the 90s with freaky people like James Spader and Rosanna Arquette, and just so you know, it has nothing to do with the 2004 movie about racism in Los Angeles (though as movies go, I liked that one better).
So, we’re driving around the parking garage, and I remember there was a scene in a parking garage in London, it may even have been at the airport. I’m sure there was something sexy happening because there was something sexy happening in every scene of the book. And there may have been a car accident but it may have just been a discussion about a car accident. I don’t know. But all I could think was, that could have been right here.
I couldn’t help myself. I kept looking at the parked cars searching for heads or feet or bare bums in the windows, but to no avail. Just an ordinary parking garage. In London.