I finally was able to go for a post-race jog/walk this morning, and I think I’ve mentioned before (or maybe I haven’t, it’s been a long week), that’s where I get some of my best thinking done.  It’s a kind of meditation for me…I look at the greening of the trees and the beautiful Spring flowers, all the houses in my neighborhood that I can’t afford, and let my mind go where it wants. So…this morning I started thinking about the events of the past week…specifically the little problem I had on Monday, and how sometimes just like in the movies, life gives you previews of what’s going to happen next, if you only pay attention.

We’re still in the process of separating certain things in the divorce and at the beginning of May, my old AAA membership was cancelled and I had to call and get one for just me. Now…it’s been a little busy over in these here parts and I got a little behind on my to-do list…and it took me until this past weekend to go online, click here, there, give my credit card information, and sign up.  Something nagged at me Sunday – Joy, you have to do this…you’ve lagged long enough…what if the car breaks down and you have Maya with you?  So Sunday night, I finally signed up. I felt super proud that I could crumple up at least one to-do post-it, printed out the temporary card, folded it up and put it in my wallet. Check!

On my way to watch some of my students have fun in their bowling club, just as I passed the 405 interchange I saw a piece of metal piping on the highway…I made sure to avoid it…it wasn’t hard to — it was nearly at the lane marker and since I don’t tend to drive-by-braille, I didn’t have a problem. I thought hmm…that was probably a good move. Then a bit more up the road, I saw a rather large piece of tire, and then another and I thought, oh thank goodness that didn’t happen to me, a blowout on this freeway would be such a pain in the ass, not to mention scary.  I had two more exits to go…and that’s when I heard a strange noise from underneath the very loud sound of my radio (and my singing along with it)…an increasingly loud rumble. I turned it off and stopped singing. And then my car started to slow down…and I thought crap, am I imagining this or did my car just die?  It felt the same as the time my timing belt on my little old green 1995 Ford Escort  went to the big auto parts store in the sky.  I do miss that little Turtle (green, hatchback…you get the picture). By this time, I had made it nearly to the next exit (not the right one, but the one before it) and I decided, since the noise was getting louder, and my car was going slower, that I needed to get off the road.  By the time I got to the end of the off ramp, I could barely get my car to move.  So I pulled to the nearest safe place, got out of the car and sure enough, my left rear tire was blown.  Interesting, because I didn’t see a piece of pipe on that side!  I got back in the car and was shaking.  Because those types of things just make me shake.  I could have lost control of the car, but I didn’t. I could have been in the fast lane, I wasn’t.  I could have NOT renewed AAA and been stuck in the middle of nowhere on a 103 degree May day in Southern Cali…but I was none of those things. I was inconvenienced really… and I still made it to bowling. All’s well, that ends well, right?  Right.

But back to my original point…I think I was given a preview or alternate version of what was about to happen, starting the night before.  Something nagged at me to get that membership reupped, like, stat.  When I saw the piece of piping, everything honestly went a little slo-mo for me, just like it does in the movies.  Like life itself was telling me, you are about to get a flat, here the piping that’s going to probably do it (or the one you didn’t see on the left side of your car will do it), here’s what your tire might look like (it didn’t, it stayed on the car, with two giant rips in the sidewall), here’s your phone, call AAA so they can fix you up, and after that tell someone you love, so you stop shaking.

Speaking of movies, I’m off this weekend for the first time in I don’t know how long and Maya is with her Dad. I’m going to see The Great Gatsby, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the previews beforehand because lately I feel like I have no idea what’s even out to see anymore because I’ve been so busy.  I do think I’ll be paying more attention to the previews in my own life as well…because at the least, it would be nice to have an idea of what might happen…even though the reality might turn out to be a whole lot better than the coming attractions.