It’s rush hour Monday morning and I’m sitting in my car on the shoulder of the highway trying to gather my wits.
and spent the entire weekend indoors being plumped up…like I need
plumping. It had just come naturally that I would leave Monday morning
and go straight to work rather than scramble to leave Sunday before it
got too dark. Luckily, I’m rounding at a hospital that is not too busy
and nothing would be amiss if I started my day at 9am instead of 8am.
rush. I finally get out of the gnarl towards the city and find myself
on the highway. I expect smooth sailing henceforth with the city behind me. It’s still raining,
just not as hard. My dear Corolla begins to vibrate as if I’m driving over grates.
I’m not disturbed. This area of the highway is particularly rough. My
dashboard GPS machine usually inches forward around these parts and I’m
convinced that this is where I had lost my hubcap last winter.
control of my car. I think to myself, “I know I should have taken my car
back to the shop. Didn’t they say the last time that my suspension was
off, and I deferred to act upon it as I needed them to fix my rattling
brake drums?” I started to question when I would have the time to go to
the car shop. The one I used was near my current hospital but this was
my last day there for the foreseeable future. Of course, that’s not saying much because I get my schedule as piecemeal courtesy of the toxic boss. I was to switch over to
the other hospital tomorrow. As I started to remind myself that it had
been forecasted to become bitterly cold this week and that I needed my
winter tyre changeover I began to see black parts fly up from under my
car. My poor Corolla was groaning, telling me no more.
lanes to the right shoulder. I was engulfed in the smell of burnt
rubber. That smell that took me back to the dark rainy highway of a roadtrip to be forgotten.
I’m parked now. My wits have been collected. I have two arms, two
legs, and glasses on my face. The narrator of the audiobook I am
listening to is recounting her escape from the slave traders. It’s been a captivating listen, but I
don’t have time for that right now. Silence. I need utter
and complete silence. It’s raining. Cars are zooming by. And I smell
burnt rubber. I’m obviously not getting to work anytime soon. I put my flashers on. I get out. Oh calamity! My driver
side tyre is shredded to bits. Calamity upon calamity! I sit back inside
the car afraid that I will be side-swiped by a passing car. I start the
engine and inch my car closer to the median and further away from the
zooming cars. I get out again and survey the damage. Just one tyre is in
shreds. Good! The others including the one missing it’s hubcab are in place.
“Serves you right”, I think. “Next time you will learn to check your
tyre pressures”, I chide myself.
AAA? No, it’s been years since I paid for that. Does anyone in my family
have AAA? Do I want my family to know at this time that I’m stranded on
the shoulder of a busy highway? I can just imagine my mother. Frantic!
Worried! Blaming me for one thing or another for this calamity. I can see her in my rearview mirror rushing
towards me in her minivan with her auto mechanic, a close
friend…except her van is at the car shop with said auto mechanic. “No! Not a good idea. Don’t I
have roadside assistance with my insurance? With my fancy credit card?
Wait, I have a cell phone. I will Google what to do!”
shredded tyre. I gather that I could just change the tyre. I have a spare after all. Don’t I? I check. Yes, there’s a spare and it is not flat. I think about my sister M’sa. I believe she knows how to change out a tyre. I unfortunately do not. I ask myself, is today the day I’m going to learn how to change out a tyre? Though I have convinced myself that I’m ok, I know that I’m still too flustered to figure out what to do. Not to mention the cold. The rain. The cold rain in fact. And the zooming cars. Aren’t I a damsel in distress? Where is my knight in shining armour? My good Samaritan? Damn Monday morning!