The West

Better Driver


I reckon it’s hard to understand
why I skipped that soak in Simi
the other day.  If I had been a better driver, it would have been a breeze.  I had taken the van to Costco
for gas.  
Back in the saddle I found myself sandwiched between another old traveller who had slipped in front of me and beside a helpful young woman in a rather shiny
Audi A5.  I zigged and zagged back and forth a few times before realizing I wasn’t going to make it.
So I stopped and sat there.

The van at a 45-degree angle, unable to move.  After a minute or so the old
traveler came back to see what was going on.  He peeked down at the
broken white pattern of paint and remarked, “I’m inside the line, aren’t I?”
“Of course,” I replied. “If I were a better driver, I could pull out easily.”

“I don’t know,” he sighed, turning back to the pump.  “It holds 25 gallons.
If I were a better driver, I wouldn’t have parked so far away.”

He stopped the pump at nine gallons and I eased out sans injury
or damage.  The soak seemed superfluous at that point.


I drove slowly to Von’s for Chobani.  Came home and watched old family videos that helped me remember how precious life really is.

Then I went upstairs to watch an old John Ford movie that always makes me cry, before falling asleep.  I woke at the usual time.  Took Ariel for a walk, watching her run free in the park, before turning around to see those same John Ford mountains I had seen upstairs the previous evening.
And I smiled.


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