|PALM SPRINGS POWER-PROVIDING|
WINDMILLS IN THE DARK
|WAS FRIDAY A FULL MOON?|
Whoa, well I had a bit of a scare Friday evening around 8. I had left LA in rush hour for what I knew and didn't really mind would be a long drive to Palm Springs. As I have many times before, I was poised to spend a week to ten days at the house of my friend Christine, who by the way deserves an all-star hospitality medal.
Anyway, I left in the light, around 4:00 and was approaching in the dark, around 8 (Palm Springs is about 100 miles from LA, giving you an idea of the traffic). The ride is a straight shot on the 10 freeway, and after you at last exit the 10, you get on Route 111, which is a divided highway, two lanes both sides, which goes for a dozen pretty much deserted miles into the smallish city of Palm Springs.
I did notice the "Check left rear tire" light had come on a few miles back, but that comes on fairly frequently to tell me my air is low. So I thought well I will put air in as soon as I get to Palm Springs, I knew just the gas station. I was thinking how cool the windmills looked, lit up red in the dark. I was admiring the full or almost full moon. I was contemplating the little meal of feta cheese and olives and carrot ginger soup and bread sticks I would put together in Christine's blessed kitchen, as I was starving and had to pee and my back was killing me and it had been a long week, a long day--I'd rented a storage space and a U-Haul and friends had helped me move the rest of my stuff out of the house in Silver Lake where I'd lived for four years--in fact, a long few months.
Out of the blue, I started to hear that dreaded sound and feel that signals a flat--bump, bump, bump. And then, without warning, my car went utterly, completely out of control and began berserkly fishtailing in what felt like fifty yards in either direction. Steer into the skid I remember thinking (though maybe that's only on ice), but nothing I did--I'm sure I tried to slam on the brakes, and I was desperately trying to steer the thing back on course--made a particle of difference.
I know there was a car a short distance back, cause I'd checked my rear view mirror a few seconds before, but apparently the person or persons sailed on by as when I came to rest what seemed like five minutes but was probably five seconds later neatly and safely in an empty parking area, the car was nowhere to be seen.
I got out, shaking, to look at the tire and saw it was not flat. It had sheared completely off the rim, as if cut the whole way around with a jagged serrated knife.
I got back in the car and put on my flashers. A bunch more other cars passed. I just sat there quietly for several long minutes, feeling my heart beat and saying Jesus Christ over and over not as a swear, but as a greeting and a thank you.
|MY VEHICLE MIRACULOUSLY CAME TO REST IN THE WELL-LIT PARKING LOT OF THIS|
OFF ROAD QUADS RENTAL PLACE,
ONE OF ONLY TWO OR THREE COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS
ON THE TEN OR TWELVE MILES OF ROUTE 111 COMING INTO PALM SPRINGS
And then I called AAA Plus, checked my manual for spare tire info, took all my bags out of the trunk area so the guy could get to the tire easily, and started slowly packing the parking lot in the dark in a hyper-sensitive state of looking at the stars and feeling stunned to be alive. That was when I started realizing, Oh my God, if that had happened on the 10, I'd be dead and probably so would a few other people. I remembered the two rosaries I have twined around my rear view mirror and how I always touch them and make the sign of the cross when I got onto the freeway and how about ten miles back I'd realized I hadn't done that this trip and touched them and made the sign of the cross then.
I thought about how faith isn't superstition. Faith isn't voodoo. Faith doesn't protect you from evil and from harm and from being killed in a car accident. Faith just makes you grateful for any good that happens, for any time you're not hurt. Faith makes every time you fetch up safe seem like a miracle.
If it's your time, it's your time. Apparently it wasn't mine, yet.
But I am kind of shaken up. They have to order a special tire, which won't be in till Wednesday, so I won't be going to the qualifying day at the annual Indian Wells tennis tournament which is kind of a ritual each early March but that's okay.
Convinced every event has a deeper meaning, I'm pondering. It is QUIET out here, which is the first quiet I've experienced in months without having to brace/prepare/cope for a work thing or a moving thing or a life thing.
I have been saying yes to too much. Time to say no to more activity, yes to some rest.
|MY TRUSTY FIAT|