Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cars and Bikes and a Weird Day

Here's my weird Saturday:

My sister borrowed my bike for a triathalon this weekend. Before she picked it up we had this conversation:

Sis: So, I'm not used to bikes with skinny tires. How likely do you think I am to get a flat?

Me: I hardly ever get a flat.

Sis: I'll buy a spare anyway.

Me: You won't get a flat.

Sis: I'll buy one anyway.

After spending the morning watching Sis swim, bike, run, I'm driving my son to a birthday party, when I feel my power steering is gone. I think my car has stalled, which isn't good, since I'm on a busy street, coming up on an even busier intersection, with nowhere to pull over, but when I check my dashboard, everything looks normal.

After a minute I smell something I could swear is rotten fish.

Me: "Do you smell that fishy smell?"
E: "Yeah. Gross. Are we there yet?"

The battery light goes on. The car starts dinging at me: bing! bing! bing! I turn the corner, which takes both arms and all their muscles. I turn into the driveway of the birthday house, which takes both arms and all my muscles again. That's when I hear a loud hissing sound, and it's getting louder by the second, like something is about to explode. I also notice a whole lot of steam pouring from under the hood.

Me: "Quick! Out of the car before it blows up!"
E: "Yeah, I need to hurry. I'm really late. Bye Mom!"

The steam is subsiding. Good. Nothing's going to explode. I tilt my head and see some orangey stuff pouring onto the driveway and a belt dragging on the ground. Well. Guess I'm not driving home.

Luckily, my car happens to be a minivan, which is why I just happen to have my bicycle in the back of it, where I loaded it up after Sis's race. I haven't had my exercise yet, so I pull out the bike and get ready for a ride home.

The tire is flat.

Luckily, Sis bought that extra tube.

I change the tire and my daughter (C) sends me a text. She's on the way to Salt Lake and just watched a car in the lane ahead of her swerve to miss something on the road, lose control and flip over. C's friend's dad had to swerve to miss the overturned car, which is really smashed up, and C is really shaken up. We learn that night that two people died in the crash.

About a half-hour later, the tow-truck arrives at Birthday Party house and just gets my poor, dead van up on the truck, when the driver gets a call from Highway Patrol. There's been an accident on the freeway--a roll-over--and that takes precedence over in-town towing, so Dead Van gets unloaded and tow-truck drives off to pick up the over-turned car my daughter just saw.

And it all feels just a little bizarre.

Eventually the car gets to the shop, the rest of us get safely home, and I'm tired enough to go to bed early, but I stay up reading the latest Percy Jackson book instead, and I don't even feel sleepy. Too many titans and greek gods and undead warriors, and maybe the end of the world...How could I sleep? At 3:00 am I close the book and sigh. What a satisfying ending. And as I drift off into ZZZZ-land at last, my half-conscious brain can't help thinking the weirdness and coincidences of my day just might have something to do with three Weird Sisters and their strange, fateful knitting.

You never know.

(Get the book anyway. It's really good: The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan. Only you have to read the other four first)

1 comment:

  1. Those are five of my favorite books, so I heartily second your recommendation. And I'm so glad that your daughter is okay. That must have been really scary. What a crazy day.

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