As I make my way on the side streets towards the freeway, I have to avoid going over a tabby cat that must have been killed last night. (Yes, it was definitely dead when I saw him). Not a good start to the day.
I could of taken it as an omen. It is Friday the 13th after all, but I choose to see life’s fragility and nurture a determination to live every moment well.
As I crank up my music, I ease myself into the “fast” lane of the freeway, which is bumper to bumper. A Prius catches my attention, a dark electric blue I had wanted mine to be. And I smile because the driver shakes with laughter, covering her mouth with her arm raised in a “v”. I am almost side-by-side to her now. Though she is in fact shaking she’s not laughing, but crying. She brushes the tears forcefully from her eyes. I almost hit the car in front of me. She is oblivious of anything around her . Her signal light goes on. She can’t possibly do this safely in her condition so I slow down significantly, giving her space. She is now in front of me. Her signal light still on. So I help her maneuver lanes by opening some space changing lanes along with her. She’s getting off. Without knowing why, I follow as she exits.
She parks, as do I behind her. I get out of my car and approach hers. I startle her. She lowers her window about an inch, an inquisitive look on her tear-streaked face. She’s a mix, as am I, I don’t much know of what. A thought that everyone should have their DNA test done to possibly eliminate discrimination pops into my head. Her hair, long and semi-straight is not combed. “Are you alright?” What a stupid question I pose. Of course she is not. Her already small eyes recede into her face, her mouth quivers and shapes itself into a grimace. She sobs. I wonder what I’m doing here. “I have a bottle of water in my car. Wait here.” I bring it back and hand it over as she brings the window down. Her naked left hand is placed on my wrist as she grabs the bottle with her right hand, which I notice has huge rings on every finger making her physically as unbalanced as she probably is emotionally. I don’t know what to say. She is looking ahead now, still crying. Stupidly I blurt: “Promise me you won’t drive until you are better”, knowing that it may take a long time and that, in fact, it may never be so. I hold the hand that had held my wrist. I pat it. I ask if she wants me to stay. She briefly and fastly shakes her head no. I go back to my car. I realize that she has not said a word.
I drive two blocks, take a turn and park on a side street. I take a deep breath. I think of how completely useless I have been. I haven’t comforted her, resolved any of her issues, angst, or even know what brought on her crying. I only know that she was in enough pain that she didn’t care that a total stranger saw her breakdown. And though clueless as to the whys of her wallowing in so much sorrow I believe she had a broken heart. Being young, she may not realize there are many more ahead. I drive on.
I have decided to end my blogs with a song or two. Sometimes related to the blog, sometimes not. For this one, two songs come to mind from an Irish singer, songwriter, musician who displays much empathy and understanding of life. Jamie Lawson was the first act signed to Ed Sheeran’s recording label, Gigerbread Man Records. He became well known by a song that related a lifelong love story: “Wasn’t Expecting That“.
I wish I could have shared “A Little Mercy” and “Sometimes It’s Hard” with the girl:
A Little Mercy
“…There’s no shame in sharing how you’re feeling
There’s no gain in keeping your pain inside
If your sorrows have been left unspoken
Like broken bells, they no longer chime
If you’re coming undone
You won’t be the only one
We all need a little mercy sometimes
Hold on, you’re only a heartbeat away
From turning your world around
Hold on, nothing’s ever over
No matter how far you fall down
All that once was lost can be found…”
Sometimes It’s Hard
“Sometimes it’s hard to get through your working day
And find the words to say
When you feel differently inside
You feel you’re gonna break…
“Rest assured this will not last,
Rain that falls it has to pass,
And the sun, it will shine again…”