25 July 2009

Birdie and I have a crash

I had a magnificently maddening day yesterday. Herein lies the story of my morning. There is a lot more to tell about the day, but I'd simply go into a coma if I had to tell it all at once.

I got out of bed with a neck ache more powerful than usual, and the day went downhill fast. I was late out the door for work, but I only work 2.2 miles from home, so I didn't worry much. I backed out of the drive and tooled the car in first gear out to Nicholasville Road, where I stepped on the brakes.

There were no brakes. Nothing but a hard pedal that would go nowhere. I stood on it.

Funny how your brain slows everything down when you think you're going to run into five lanes of morning traffic without control of your vehicle. I had time to think of shifting gears, and time to reject that notion on the grounds that there is nowhere down to go from first. I had time to realize that all I had to do was pull the emergency brake hard.

Which I did.

I drive a 17-year-old car, so I expect it to malfunction. Actually, the car holds up her end of the bargain better than I do because I forget to check her fluids and provide new supplies until she coughs or spits, but she cheerfully functions as transportation, book storage, canine wagon, and an extra closet for shoes and jackets. She rarely refuses to give me what I ask. And she has a super charger and a low center of gravity that makes her hug curves like a pro.

I don't own this car. I don't even think that the Woodsman knows she's a girl car. I call her Birdie.

So I'm dead at the stop sign with my blinkers on, trying to decide what to do. I carry my bags back home and call the service center just a few blocks away, where I've done business for twelve years or so, to ask if they have a wrecker. They don't, but they recommend one. I grab my little purse out of my bag and leave the rest of my work things in the chair. This is where I really went wrong, but I don't know it them. I walk back down to where the car is still blinking blinking blinking and waiting.

The wrecker comes and hooks her up and drives me and the Thunderbird a few blocks to the service station. But I'm a diabetic and I realize I don't have anything in my tiny purse to eat. I thought I was going to go straight to work and eat something there. I left my big bag of comfort sitting in the chair.

The walking and the stress have lowered my blood sugar, and I need a couple of starlight mints or a Coke. I start to feel like the wrecker seat is swallowing me, but I keep making small talk with the very nice wrecker driver because I want him to take a check from me, when a lot of times they won't. I have experience with wrecker drivers, and this is the way it's done. They have to connect with you to take a check; he'd already said how cozy and nice my neighborhood was, so we were well on the way to striking an understanding.

Oh, Mr. Wreckerman, do you have to write so slowly? He's so conscientious and neat on his invoice, but I start to wonder whether I should tell him I'm about to keel over or just let him find out on his own. Finally we're finished; he took a check.

Thank goodness I know the co-owner of the service station, and she fed me Fritos and let me sit around until I felt better. Boy, a big infusion of carbs when you haven't been having them sure tastes luxurious. I never thought I'd be waxing poetic over a lunch-size bag of Fritos. Lesson learned. A cowgirl never goes on an adventure without some high-protein snacks.

I got a ride home and sat around trembling and thinking of what might have been, which is never productive or calming. I got to where I couldn't tell whether it was blood sugar or shock that had me so disoriented. I finally emailed my boss to say I couldn't come in. I don't know if anyone ever used the excuse of being trembly and unsettled as a reason to take a vacation day.

Maybe I'm a wimp.


gary guetzlaff said...

i realized as i read this that i've never used the emergency brake on my mini-van, and if i needed it, i wouldn't even know where it was. guess what i'm gonna look for before the next time i turn the key? very good writing - we were right with you in those heart-stopping moments.

hope you're feeling less 'ederig' today.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Oh, honey, you deserved the day off. Hope you're feeling better today!

June Saville said...

No wimp anywhere I can see Sugar -
Only strength, quickness of mind despite diabetic problems, and understanding of human nature (and mechanics).

I also recognise my car in yours - a real old friend.
June in Oz

Nicola said...

Sounds like you had one of those days that needed a "time out". Hope your car is back to her old reliable self soon
Nicola x

Lydia said...

You know - I always think at those moments that you are being saved from something else. Like at the next light, a crash awaited you, or if he had written faster, you would have interrupted a serial killer on the way to his next stop.

Time is a funny thing.

I hope you feel better.

LOVE your Twitter icon!!!


powdergirl said...

Whew! Quite the day you had Sugar.
Glad you're okay! I had a diabetic on-crew for a while, that tanking blood-sugar really can get nasty, I fed that guy a lot of chips!
Whats with the brakes?

The Green Stone Woman said...

Be careful of those hypos, they can really get you into trouble, but you know that, don't you? I always used to have a bottle of fruit juice with me to drink in a case like that.

I hope your car is as good as new soon, well, maybe that is too much to wish for. I hope it becomes the same reliable car it always has been and gives you many more years of driving pleasure.

Hope everything is well.

Patti B said...

That shaky what almost could have happened feeling is so terrible. I'm glad you were able to take the day to try to relax afterwards. Jason has a newish "fancy" car and that happened to me while I was driving it. Luckily I only bumped our house. So scary!

Woodsman said...

Birdie has been scheduled for a checkup tomorrow. Hopefully it will be a minor proedure and not a major transplant required.

mingiers - those who linger in the ming dynasty