Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vanpool: Under My Breath

Mike’s driving. Again, I’m wearing my headphones.

It’s raining…hard. It’s very windy. It’s the middle of the winter, bordering on freezing temperatures and it is very dark.

We are traveling at 85 mph.

Like some insane circus clown, he is driving a van with 11 people in it through the icy rain at 85 mph because we have to get to work…now.

We approach the Severn River Bridge.

“Warning,” the sign next to the bridge would read if the visibility was more than 5 feet, “Bridge Ices Before Road.”

At the moment that the road finishes its curve and begins the bridge our driver decides to fuck with the radio. I say “fuck with” because that is all he is doing, he turns it up he turns it down, he turns it off, he turns the station, all while driving and drinking a large coffee at the same time.

He takes his eyes off the road to turn the radio up as we approach the bridge. I have been watching him this whole time. As if watching him can save my life. We immediately go into a skid. A twelve person passenger van in a skid is, I’m sure, quite a sight.

I calmly put my hand up against the seat in front of me to brace myself. I accept my death. I make my peace with God. I wonder how cold the water will be. I wonder who will be the “sole” survivor. I wonder if we will take any other motorists with us.

By forces unknown, we pull out of the skid, avoid hitting anyone else, and straighten out. Once again I get a little adrenaline shot.

“Fucking bastard,” I say under my breath so no one can hear, “I am never riding in this fucking vanpool again.” I continue to listen to Ron & Fez’s therapeutic voices in my headphones. They calm me down again.

We almost rear-end someone five minutes later. Mike locks up the brakes and the tensile strength of our seatbelts is tested.

Under my breath I say, “Learn how to fucking drive.”

I say, “Slow down.”

I say, “Jesus Christ.”

Under my breath.

We arrive at work and I go for coffee in the cafeteria. Tom (a fellow vanpooler) is there.

“We survived!” he breathes.I laugh and say, “Yeah, you should of heard the comments I was making under my breath.”

Tom smiles and looks at me.

“You weren’t saying them under your breath,” he says.

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