I am a badass. But you already knew that, didn’t you? I feel that I’m stating the obvious because if you’ve spent any time reading anything at all that I have written, you already know this. My grace under pressure, my ability to put all others before myself, and, yes, my unending confidence when it comes maneuvering through any unusual situation I may find myself—yeah, badass is the word.
But why do I proclaim this statement so assuredly today? Because I tapped into a pool of inner strength so deeply buried inside of me I hardly even knew it existed. I faced a terrifying situation that snuck upon me quickly and unexpectedly and I handled it with a force that may never be seen again in my lifetime. Let me just say it, I impressed the hell out of myself.
Picture this—weary, fed up little me racing for my car after what was surely the longest day in the history of the world. A day that had me thinking that I may have to quit my job at the library and find a nice back storage room of some store where I could count boxes and take inventory alone, singularly and by myself. Flinging the door open and shoving my work bag to the passenger seat, I jumped in and started the engine, completely convinced that the sooner I was cocooned in my ride with my jamming tunes (Sailing by Christopher Cross—don’t judge) the sooner I would be riding the high of personal freedom.
I pulled out of the parking lot and pointed my car home. The seat heater was on and my ass was as toasty as a marshmallow at a campout. My sweet tunes were wafting through the air and I was entering a state of bliss when I began to sense something else wafting in the air. But it wasn’t a sound that I was distracted by though, it was a smell–pot; marijuana; ganja; bud—and it was getting stronger by the second. Now, aside from a peer pressured moment when I was 17 and being cool was life, I have never touched the stuff. I’m wacky enough without that tobacky and I just left a public library for goodness sake…
But there it was and it freaked me out, big time. I suddenly realized that in my haste I hadn’t checked inside or around my car before climbing inside. I am usually so uptight about that particular ritual that I mentally castigated myself for being such an idiot this time. Suddenly stressed out and worried, my mind automatically switched to it’s “there’s got to be a reasonable explanation for this” mode: There’s someone behind me in the back seat!
But what to do with that information? I was already knee deep into a neighborhood I knew very well and had always felt very comfortable–but that was when it was fully lit and full of life. At this point it looked like a deserted playground that went on forever. All of a sudden I was aware of the broken street lights and general feeling of abandonment. I sure as hell wasn’t going to stop there. Crap! I had to do something to end my fears, but what could it be? Hmm, not near a police department or even a fire station. What about a gas station? Too far. Damnit. My brain was racing, my heart was pounding and I was trying to drive as casually as I could. I didn’t want to give myself away to the intruder and cause him to attack me unaware.
The smell kept getting stronger and I suddenly lost my fear. I was Xena, Buffy and Sarah Connor rolled into one. I decided to Turner and Hooch him and slam my breaks as hard as I could–jar him loose from the back seat. And…that was it. I had no deep thoughts of what to do at that point, just jar him loose. Let him know I was there. Let him know he was going to lose whatever battle he was about to wage upon me. I drove quickly to the stop sign I knew was ahead and instead of slowing down gradually I girded my loins and got ready for battle.
I hit my brakes and got ready to unlock my seatbelt and launch myself out of the car. I waited for the grunt or threat that was surely going to pour from the man’s mouth, but–nothing. The only thing thunking around behind me was in the trunk. (Note to self–drop donated shit off!) I was suddenly furious. Get out of my freaking car! And this is where my derring do reached a fevered pitch. I threw my arm around to the back seat and swished my hand around to smack him on the head. Yeah. Except my hand met nothing but air. What the frick frack? I punched the button to my overhead light and spun around to look in the back seat. Not a freaking thing. What the–?
But what about the smell? What was going on? It was as strong as ever and I was starting to get a headache (if was a result of my self-made stress or the smell of pot I had no idea). I looked down at my steering wheel and took a deep breath. My legs were suddenly heavy and I couldn’t get them to move, which kind of sucked since a car pulled up behind me and they were in kind of a hurry. I shook all of the intense feelings off and started, again, slowly toward home. I felt like a freaking idiot.
Turns out that I was the one who smelled like marijuana. I finally figured it about three miles from home when my back was aching from twisting to look into the back seat and I was so emotionally exhausted that I could hardly keep my head up anymore. As my nose got closer to my shirt I realized that I was stinking pretty bad. But, why…? Oh yeah, I work in a public library in Denver. There’s usually someone there that can be counted on to smell like pot. I guess I just didn’t realize that it stuck to other people so much. Welcome to the new reality, girlfriend.
As I drove my last mile home I thought about all the drama that I put myself through. I guess it wouldn’t have been a regular night for me if I didn’t do something silly at least one time. I looked in the rearview mirror and shook my head at my reflection. An arm? That was the big plan? The same arm that I would use to keep the boy from flying out of the windshield if we were ever in an accident? The same arm that would hold a knife (that would barely cut a tomato) as I searched my house for intruders if the hubby were out of town? The arm that I could barely get to hold a five pound weight for more than two minutes? I guess so.
And isn’t that just so me? I got home, pulled into my driveway and turned off the car. My head and back were aching, I felt like an idiot and I was still emotionally compromised. Not looking forward to an evening of boyish exuberance from my child I mentally prepared myself to step inside. There was still a chance to save the night and pretend my way through. They need to know nothing. Nothing! I turned the doorknob and stepped inside…”I’m home! Guess what mommy just did?”
I think I need look up the definition of badass.
© DRB 2016