Page 20 - WTP Vol. XI #5
P. 20

Dumbo (continued from preceding page)
He looked tired, and I knew this would wake him up.
“Yo’ mama’s volvo can keep a butt nice and warm.”
 “Yo’ mama’s volvo is so low to the ground, I keep smacking my head trying to get inside of it.”
I appreciated Tom’s concern for my derriere’s safety and comfort. But Toaster was a part of me, my famil- iar freeway cocoon for the last 15 years. “I just start- ed driving again,” I told Tom. “My ankle still hurts.
He guffawed, then snapped back, “Oh yeah, well that’s because you don’t know the right way to get into my mama’s volvo.”
I feel safer in something I’m used to.” Yet secretly I wondered, why was I so hesitant to move on?
I knew our jokes were not anatomically correct, but that only made them funnier. Our routine followed us through the visual splendor of the Rockies, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Vegas.
“Yo’ mama’s volvo’s so big, you can fit five people inside!”
Then Toaster needed its back wheel bearings re- placed and a few other things that would total over a thousand bucks. Either that or risk losing a wheel on the freeway. It was time to give yo mama’s volvo a chance. After all, it did have an elegant Swedish design.
“Yo mama’s volvo is a funny shade of green, like mold!”
But first, I needed to take a baby step. Or a baby drive.
Not long after we arrived home, we received a recall notice from Volvo. The 2006 S60 Model had serious air bag issues, or to quote from the Consumer Reports website: “... the airbag’s inflator could rupture when the airbag deploys, spraying metal pieces of the infla- tor at the vehicle’s occupants with such force that they can cause injury or death.”
I told Tom, “Why don’t we take the Volvo out for a bit? I can do a few circles in a parking lot somewhere and see if I like it.”
Or, to put it succinctly, if yo’ don’t watch out, yo’ mama’s volvo gonna spear you to death with shards of metal.
After driving one circle, I felt foolish. Was I really expecting to experience the advantages of driving a six-cylinder car in a Ralph’s parking lot? I pulled out into the street.
At nearby Volvo repair shops, replacement parts were on back order, causing the Volvo to sit idle in our front driveway. Meanwhile 2,000 miles away, Mil was having second thoughts. She wished she hadn’t given up her car. She missed her independence. She felt trapped.
“Where are we going now?” Tom asked. “The freeway,” I said.
I’d know that feeling all too soon. Setting off one afternoon for a neighborhood nature hike, I tripped on our front walkway, fracturing my ankle. Now I was stuck working from home, upstairs in my tower like Rapunzel, depending on Tom to bring me coffee and nourishment. I yearned for my hikes to the dry riv- erbed where I’d visit with the bluebirds, goldfinches, and occasional hawks. I felt trapped.
I got onto the ramp. Put the hammer down and whoosh, I was up to freeway speed in a second. I still felt a bit low to the ground, even after I boosted the driver’s seat up to its highest setting. But I sure enjoyed that whoosh. I unnecessarily changed lanes, passing a chunky concrete mixer, just to feel it again. I wondered if Mil ever changed lanes just to feel that zip. Probably never. Her Volvo’s speedometer went up to 160. Had she ever even driven over 55?
Six months later, the Volvo was repaired, my orthope- dic boot was off, and the doctor said I could drive again. Yet I insisted on taking Toaster to work. Mean- while, Tom kept reminding me that the Volvo would be much safer for my long commute.
And now, her eyes are so damaged that she can barely read thick novels, her passion. I remember
my uncle’s gnarled, arthritic hands, no longer able to play piano. An aunt who lost her ability to knit elabo- rate, “ugly” Christmas sweaters. My father getting kicked out of the YMCA pool because of the diabetic sores on his legs. My father-in-law, suddenly para- lyzed from the waist down, unable to golf or use the bathroom by himself.
“It’s got a strong, solid frame,” he said.
“Yo’ mama’s volvo can withstand serious impact!”
I wondered, how long would it be before I can no longer do or enjoy the simple things I take for grant- ed? One day, perhaps sooner than I think, I’ll lose my ability to drive safely—or worse. If all I have to let go
“You’re gonna love those heated seats when winter comes along.”

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