Ugly Volvo Wednesdays

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Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover in Recovery)

Chapter 20—If Only They Had Interventions Back Then

My mom was tactful, yet relentless. This lunch was not about mother—daughter bonding time. It was about getting me to consider selling my car. She was really concerned about me, and she was screaming alone, in a vacuum. My dad really didn’t see things the same way she did, but she was my mother, and mothers just know things. She wasn’t calling an end to this luncheon until she got through to me.   We were there long enough to score some free appys along with the wine.

What she was proposing just didn’t compute. If I sold my car, what would I drive? If I didn’t have a car, I would be trapped, at home with a maniacal car genius, and his embittered wife. Sure, I loved my parents, but that prospect felt very stifling. Why, after all they’ve gone through to transform me into a licensed driver, would she try to encourage me to throw it all away?

I have to hand it to her, she really tried. She pulled out every mom trick known to humanity. She used guilt, bribery, the story of the five day labour that preceded my birth, the stitches she got as a result of my birth, and the nightmares she has because of the many foibles I endure regarding my car. In any other circumstance, and for any other reason, it would have been game-over for me. I would have absolutely caved, but I was lost in the fog, and unable to see anything even remotely close to reason.

Clearly, she had chosen the wrong first line of attack. She did not enlist my dad in this mission. Perhaps if they both spoke to me, they might have gotten through. Of course, that would mean my mom would have to get through to my dad first. It is unclear if she ever really did that before. There was one thing that she did do before, though, and several times at that. My mom threw her arms up in the air and invoked a higher power. “For the love of all that is holy, I hope to god that lightening strikes that stupid car of yours!” She got up and stomped out of the restaurant—but not before she paid the bill and tipped our super-nice server for all the free food and drinks.

My mom’s intervention did not even leave a dint in my consciousness, but it must have left quite an impression to sources on high. My bondage to that car lasted a mere seven days after that luncheon before I felt the hardy smack-down of divine intervention. From my mom’s lips to god’s ears, and it only took a week. It was all so very biblical.

At first, it was like any other day. I went to school, I went to work, and then I was planning to head home so that I could sleep, and start the process all over again. It was supposed to be just another day. I left work a little later than normal, but not excruciatingly so. I drove my usual route, and I didn’t notice anything unusual. I was stopped at a light, waited for it to go green and then pulled into the intersection. In the way the divine intervention so often works, the next thing I remember is seeing a bright light. I didn’t really have an inclination, or even the foggiest chance, to follow the light as it was going too fast, and unlike all those holy bright lights you hear about it was accompanied by a blaring horn.

I had the dubious honour of helping a big dump truck realize he was running through a red light. In light of my first failed road test, I couldn’t help but ponder the karmic irony of it all. First, thanks to a stupid dump truck, I get charged with an “unsafe stop” during my road test, and now thanks to yet another stupid dump, and another “unsafe stop”, I got to cha-cha with death, and write-off my car.

I was spun right around and flung into the boulevard. When my tires hit the curb, the car rolled over on to its roof. When everything stopped moving, I was hanging upside down marvelling at how my windshield managed to shatter into a dust not wholly unlike icing sugar. I was just hanging there dangling like a marionette all tangled in her strings. I had some vague sense that I should try getting out of my car, but I had no idea how I might do that. I was hanging upside down after all. I looked up and saw work-boots running towards me. I heard calls, pleas really, for me to acknowledge that I was okay. I was told that gas was leaking out of my car and I had to get out. My door opened and someone was giving me step-by-step instructions to help me get out of my car.

There were still bright lights, and flashing red lights, and instead of horns there were sirens. There was some guy in a uniform asking me for the number of someone they could call for me. I couldn’t understand why they thought I would want to chat on the phone with anyone—I had just been run down by a dump truck! I was puzzled, there was glass in my hands, and my head really hurt. This guy in the uniform put it to me another way, “I’m sorry miss, but you will not be able to drive your car anywhere, is there anyone we can call to give you a ride?”

Now that he put it that way, I understood, but I had to stop for a second to recall my home phone number. My head was really hurting, and it felt like the rest of the world outside of my body was swimming. I noticed the dump truck, compared to my upside down car, the truck looked reasonably unscathed. The dump truck driver was surrounded by police officers. One officer in particular seemed very intense, if not a little miffed. He kept pointing to me, and my car. I vaguely wondered if the driver was telling the truth. But, to be fair, anything I wondered seemed pretty vague. I was so very tired, all I wanted to do was sleep. I found my way to where the ambulance and paramedics were. They were busy checking out the dump truck driver, and a couple of by-standers. I curled up with a blanket I found lying around. I just desperately wanted to close my eyes for just a moment or two.

I don’t think I managed even a half a moment with my eyes closed before I felt someone gently shaking me awake. I was told to stay awake, and people kept asking me if I understood. I understood what they were saying, I just didn’t understand why.   Apparently it was important for me to stay awake while waiting for my parents to arrive. Perhaps they were concerned no one would spot them if I was curled up napping somewhere.

I agreed that I understood them, and did everything I could to stay awake, but it wasn’t easy. I was not steady enough on my feet to stand on my own for extended periods of time. Sitting was not comfortable, and walking was even more difficult than standing. I felt like I did when I was little and over tired. By the time my parents finally did show up I was a big teary-eyed baby. I was also a little more ornery than usual, because I damn near had a tantrum when they told me we were going to the hospital before going home. I realized that I had a long night ahead of me, and no matter how petulant I was, nothing was changing that fact.

 

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