The Fear That Cripples Me: Writing 101

Four lanes of traffic. Tractor-trailer rigs edging into my lane, the middle one. Cars hemming me in, cutting too close in front of me. My white-knuckled hands grip the steering wheel. I try to watch the traffic all around me and still see straight ahead. I use my mirrors but there are blind spots. I’m doing the speed limit and people are blaring their horns at me and giving me sign language that doesn’t say ‘hello.’ My exit is coming up in one mile. I need to get over. I turn on my turn signal but no one pays any attention. I’m going to miss my exit. If I start to move over I know I’ll get hit.

And my husband wants me to learn to drive while pulling our 34′ Airstream behind us? What if I have to go through-gulp-road construction? Jersey barriers, narrow lanes, impatient drivers that think I can stop on a dime while traveling 45 miles per hour or faster. Yikes! What if I have to stop for gas? I have a hard time judging where the front end of the truck is, let alone the back end of the camper. I once drove a hundred miles out of my way to avoid the beltway going around Baltimore, Maryland.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have learned to drive our 1-ton dualie and use my side mirrors. I NEVER parallel park. I will find a parking lot to pull into. I can stop and put diesel in the truck. I’ve never hit anyone in the truck. I’m careful because it’s hard to see where the front end is. But congested city traffic? Pulling the camper? Lord, can we find a way around this? Please?

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