This weekend I test drove two cars. If you've hung with me here often, you know about my non-driving. So this was an interesting experience for me. This first drive was a gorgeous little Beetle convertible - a darling vehicle. Until it began jerking.
It wasn't a stick shift, but I don't think anyone had ever told it that. And to add a pile of insanity to my panic, the salesman in the backseat (doing his best impression, couped in the car, of a fat man in a little coat) kept rebounding with reasons (mostly nonsensical) why this was normal.
"It's downshifting. My friend's car does this. It's cloudy outside. The air in the tires is off. I think it's how a car says hello. Fred Flintstone must not be peddling fast enough."
Not only was he throwing me a price that was on crack, he'd been feeding meth to the vehicle. This was not the car for me.
After this experience, I was a little shaky. I don't drive often, and it tends to lead to anxiety. But I'm working on that. Or I was. I spent the rest of the day wondering if I should be in a bubble. If this was some sort of sign.
But the afternoon led to the book launch for my mentor's latest novel. Pride replaced panic, and I was able to relax into the setting of a store full of friends. A home of books, people I love, and others who celebrate story.
Fall nudged me back to a car dealer, as twilight spread through our town, and we drove home. Here I saw another Beetle. A hard top, well loved, and cared for Bug. I pulled up my bootstraps and tied them under my chin. I got in the car, and drove.
It wasn't like riding a bike. There was a bit of doubt. But I changed the direction. Instead of turning thoughts over and giving into fear, I laughed. Loudly.
Every time I began to grow timid, I reached out the window and shook hands with the wind. I let go of caution, and embraced the feel of being behind the wheel. Of being the one in control. I raised my freak flag high, and waved.
Hello, hello. It's nice to see you again. Here I am.