when it rains, it pours

I don’t like to drive at night.  It’s a well known fact that I am severely handicapped when driving past dusk, and God forbid there should be any precipitation to complicate things.  There is something about wet pavement that seems to soak up every molecule of light into the dark abyss.  And I can’t see at night as it is.  High beams or no high beams, this is why I avoid driving at night—especially when it’s raining. 

So there I was, driving down a dark country road at a quarter past night tonight…rain coming down in buckets…steam rising off the glassy pitch black pavement…windshield wipers slapping back and forth in front of me like they had turrets…me going twenty miles an hour in a forty-five mile an hour zone.  Cars were passing me illegally across the double yellow lines.  My knuckles gripped the steering wheel so hard I thought they might break.  My GPS was leading me like an invisible voice in the dark… “Go point three miles and turn right directly into the rising creek waters.”

It didn’t actually say that, but that very thought was rushing through my brain like the creek waters I was afraid of.  I started planning in the event of an emergency.  I saw an episode of Myth Busters once where they submerged a car in a swimming pool with one of the guys inside.  They were trying to prove that once the pressure inside the car regulated that the doors would then open with ease.  It was true, but unfortunately, unless you are magician David Blaine or the ghost of Harry Houdini, you would most likely drown before the door opened. 

I had a plan.  If I had a few balloons filled with air, I could use those to suck the air out and stay alive until the door would open.  But I was afraid the balloons would pop on impact or something.  I needed miniature oxygen tanks.  That would be a reasonable thing to keep in the glove box for emergencies.  I need an entire emergency kit for things like that!  I should get at least four.  One for everyone who rides in the car regularly.  I mean…I could have driven into a lake, and I wouldn’t have known until the water started seeping into the car!

My heart was pounding like that of a rabbit staring up at a cat, and it matched the rhythm of the wipers slapping against the windshield.  Suddenly I was creating a song inside my head.  “Please don’t let me drown today…I should have gone the other way…I’m driving so slow I’m going to be late...but if I don’t die I’ll celebrate.”  It was a catchy tune, but probably not “Top 40” material.

I made it there and back without dying (obviously), but I have no idea how I managed.  Talk about stressful!  It was the perfect cap to a perfect day. 

Earlier, I took the girls school clothes shopping—one tradition that I would like to see permanently abolished.  Who made up this rule that just because it was a new school year that the kids could completely replenish their entire wardrobes?  I don’t get to do that.  Since when do earrings count as school clothes?  And they don’t even let them wear those cute sunglasses in class, so why do they expect me to buy them? 

We stuck with just clothes for this trip, but I’m sure today was just the first of many “school” shopping expeditions I will be dragged on in the coming weeks.  Maybe next time I’ll get myself a thing or two.  I could use a new pair of cute sunglasses too. 

Until the next time…I’ll be listening to the rain fall, thankful I’m not driving in it!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on August 17, 2010 .