It is of note…if this blog is useful for anything, it must be useful for noting a happenstance when it happens…that despite my wooly and overgrown driving fears right now, I took to the roads today and did not die. Despite trying a single time to finagle a ride from my father who was going to the same spot, albeit two hours later, I did not cry and sob and shake myself into a far greater sense of woe. Instead, I got out there and started it and started swiping as far as my little arms would allow to get off as much snow as I could reach. Then, once that was done, I had no real excuse not to try and go. So, go I went, down the backest back roads to avoid the pressure of honking drivers from whom I could never get any compassion even if I could pull over and talk to them about the whole panic situation. Instead of thinking about the thing, I did the thing. I did not slide. I did not speed. I did not risk or hurry to appease the drivers behind me. I did not do anything reasonable or unreasonable and I parted the waves of the White Sea and made my way to the Frozen Babylon of the little shop.
Where people did come out, even at 2 degrees above zero, to buy presents at a far greater rate than I would have anticipated. I had thought in my mind that somehow, a cold day, a foot of snow, people would just lay off shopping for a while. But no. I stayed busy all the way up until the evening’s end when the kind co-worker who lives within walking distance sent me home.
And from there, we did it again, slowly picking my way across the landscape, going very slow, but not allowing the panic to rise to any sort of noteworthy level. It was a bit like being in a trance, driving through the foothills in the dark, watching the road that seemed clear but was actually just snow-packed, not thinking that at any moment I might fishtail to my doom, but just being aware of it needing to take care. So after an hour of this fugue state, I got to the parking lot, and ended up taking a left turn and bringing myself to Old Chicago.
It was odd. There’s something validating to me about being in public alone, something that re-affirms and defines the fact that if I am single and/or alone, I can be fearless about it. Or at least, it’s nothing that requires fear. It felt like I didnt want the magic of self-sufficiency to die on the frozen vine.
But now, quite loaded with calzone for bear, I am giddy for the fact that the morning will bring with it no demands for travel. I can stay warm and play video games and plot presents (some of which I actually have bought now.) I can, briefly, think that there is a holiday coming with something other than considerable blankness.
This is a good night.