Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Saturday Ends an Era

For eighteen years I’ve driven according to my own rules. I’ve always felt the vehicle is an extension of my physical self. Kind of like Knight Rider, I’ve always thought of my self as above the law. Those silly traffic rules apply to lesser drivers; those less skilled or saddled with less responsive vehicles. The rules do not apply to an uber-driver like myself. Sometimes I even resent gravity. Universal law for whom exactly?

Driving a red sports car with a lead foot for eighteen years and, thanks to fate or magic, sliding by numerous cops will make anyone think they are in fact charmed. I’ve honed my cop-dar and am quick on the brakes and downshift when I see one - sometimes just when I feel one near.

So imagine my surprise when one popped up on the shoulder and shot out behind me before I could haul the reins in to mortal driver speeds. As the lights flashed in my rearview I willed myself to remain calm. What crazy story could I tell to get out of this? Racing to dad in the hospital? Bad juju. Avoiding a crazy driver I saw brandishing a gun? Hmmm, miiiight not buy it. Crying and begging? Not really up for a whole day of being emotionally drained. Admit to my broken speedometer? Probably not too smart. Offer a blowjob? Can’t even go there.

Officer Kwan came to my window and I froze, smiled and handed over my license and registration. “Clocked you at 85,” he smiled back.

“Is that all?” I thought. It didn’t dawn on me to argue my perfect driving record or simply ask please not to give me a ticket. It just occurred to me to smile like an idiot. After all, I figured karmically I’d earned it. He probably took my calm grin for indifference to the whole thing. Really it was shock.

As I drove onward safely tucked in behind a sluggy semi, it dawned on me that it had in fact happened. The unthinkable. That which I thought I was above. I had gotten a speeding ticket. Me. The girl with the God-given right for ground flight. As I exited the freeway I felt a rock in my stomach.

It was still there the next day when I noticed for the first time in recorded history, I actually avoided driving. If it had happened once, that meant it could happen again. This means I am not in fact charmed and above the law. The rock settled in. This means I am just a driver like everyone else on the road. That is the worst news I’ve had in a long time. If there is one thing the dudette cannot abide, it’s being average.

Is this what it feels like for the rest of you mortals on the roads? This super sucks.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jeremy Jed Hammel said...

Heidi,

I had 15 years of a perfect driving record...inmy last year in LA, I got 5 tickets and got into two accidents! It's like driving around with a bullseye on my back.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Dude, I'm thinking "These are not the droids you're looking for" every time I see a cop now!

10:26 AM  

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