Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Death by Pop-Tart

I almost got hit by a car today. Almost being, I was so close if the car hadn't been screaming past me you might have thought I was standing in front of the door ready to insert the key and get in. I'm not sure how I was spared being clocked by the outside mirror, or freed from being flattened by the four-door at all.

I decided to stop at the Mobil station on my way to work and pick up some bottles of chilled water. O.K. I also wanted a pop-tart for breakfast. Alright! I wanted some chocolate too. I can't help it if I'm a junkfood junkie. It's my heroin man, lay off.

As I was pulling into the driveway I noticed another car zipping into the only parking space directly in front of the mini-mart doors. Crap, now I'll have to walk an extra 20 steps across the blacktop. Little did I know they could have been my last. Sheesh, you got me, It wasn't all that dramatic but I had a situational epiphany so go with me here.

I parked in another space and headed towards the store. Something to my left distracted me, something to her right distracted her. I looked up, and in the same instant, saw the maroon sedan wooshing literally 4 inches from me. My breath caught and my eyes widened as I watched the car disappear behind the building. It took me a second to begin moving again. I immediately thought, fuck, that was too close, I almost got smashed. Really, really smashed.

I gathered my sundries and waited at the checkout, the faint haze of what almost happened misting lightly on my mind. A female employee walked behind the counter and said to me "I almost hit you out there". This was a pivotal moment. One of those instances where it can go either way. Most reactions are a matter of choice, despite the vehement arguments you might receive to the contrary when in a terse situation. My own stubborness wanting to dismiss that notion as well. I'm not immune.

I laughed and responded "yes, yes you did". She didn't exactly apologize but I got the inkling that she was a little more shaken about almost killing a pedestrian than I was about being flattened in gas station parking lot.

"I didn't see you", she said. "I didn't see you", she repeated with a slightly weaker voice. I smiled and told her I was glad she didn't hit me, said thank you for my purchases and was sent off with a "have a good day", hoping that my casual air and conscience choice not to react in anger confirmed for both of us that it was no one's fault and everyone was fine. This was not a situation to escalate, like so many split second near-miss faultless happenstances do.

I climbed back into my car without a hint of the jitters and calmly drove away. However, even though this was a brief exchange with a stranger, a mere blip on the screen of my life, it made an impact. At least for today. The divine design of what is meant to be is not easily lost on me. I do pay attention. I might choose to occasionally ignore, but they are not discarded.

I drove and pondered. Strangely relaxed and satisfied. Finally having a diversion to burn the miles of traffic ahead of me. A song began on my CD player and intensified the morning, supporting my sentiments. It can be found on the Garden State soundtrack. The movie and music I endorse completely.

The beautiful melody touched me and the words were profound. I listened to it once then replayed it again as I pulled into the parking lot at work. I sat in my car and let it finish while I watched the cars in the distance flow down the freeway like ants marching in a militant line. Then I took an ativan. (Sneaky, those panic attacks are). These words struck me.

Let Go

Drink up baby down
Are you in or are you out?
Leave your things behind
'Cause it's all going off without you
Excuse me too busy you're writing a tragedy
These mess-upsYou bubble-wrap
When you've no idea what you're like

So, let go
Jump in
Oh well, what you waiting for?
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown

It gains the more it gives
And then advances with the form
So, honey, back for more
Can't you see that all the stuff's essential?
Such boundless pleasure
We've no time for later
Now you can wait
You roll your eyes
We've twenty seconds to comply

So, let go
Jump in
Oh well, what you waiting for?
It's alright
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown


I thought about how I made the choice to be cool about my near car crushing, and thwarted a potentially nasty exchange with a stranger. No road rage today. I had a close call, but I was fine. I thought about the art of letting it go. This is probably my biggest challenge. To be able to simply let shit go. Let. Shit. Go. God. It's so fucking hard.

It seems like it should be as easy as blinking. You think about it, and bam, done deal. Such is not the case. It takes practice. Constant iteration. I'm cursed with trying too hard in certain (most)situations, relationships, endeavors. I've been told I'm too intense. A spaz. A hothead. Being a reactionary is a burden, and something I continually work on not to do. I really don't mean to be, most of the time. Although it does come in handy once-in-awhile. Its usefulness intermittent but necessary. Don't fuck with me. And I mean that.

I heard a profound statement recently and it's been a constant on my mind. A philosophy that made instant sense and application to my own life. All this time, speaking of the last 2 years, I've thought I was lost. Plunged into blinding darkness trying to fumble my way out, when in reality, I've been too found. Too fucking damn found. Reality has been a shriek through a bullhorn in my ear. A continual slap across my cheek. Constant reminders at every turn boring into my psyche like being pecked to death by a chicken. Too much fucking truth.

Jesus, I need a vacation. I need to get lost. To vanish. Just for a little while. Everyone requires that at one point or another. Sometimes you need to get away not to find yourself but to lose yourself.

Today, it's been a relief to realize that one facet of my quest has been journeyed down the wrong path. Wasted time is always a risky regret, and I'll choose not to look at it like that. It's not being found that I've needed, it's getting lost. Taking responsibility for my sovereignty of choice. Freeing myself from binding chains. Peeling of smothering layers. Discarding suffocation. Letting go. Breathing.

And it feels really good. Today, it feels good.

4 comments:

Becka said...

Pop tarts are the debil I tell you!

I really like the latter half of your post.

Becka said...

Not to say I didn't like the first half. You know what I mean damnit!

Ginny said...

Sista, you need to get yourself an Edith Piaf CD and listen to "Je ne regrette rien" Over and over until you can't take it anymore. that always makes me feel better.

Sometimes those near misses really do that job of putting crap in perspective, and I think you had one of those moments.

magz said...

funny how them small moments of near-death stick...it's like 'Bingo! Epiphany time"
Arizona waits for you.. 7 hours east whenever yer ready to vacate the citylife for a day or 2. I-8 to I-10, put a rock on the accelerator and tie a string from the steering wheel to the doorhandle.. its an eeeeeeeasy drive...lol