I got a flat north of Nashville. So, when my tire blew out, and my sister was right in front of me, she didn’t happen to see me swerve across three lanes of traffic and into the emergency lane. She just looked in the rear view mirror and I was nowhere to be found, and thought, “uh-oh.” And then got off at the next exit, turned back around and went north on 75, and drove until she saw me broken down on the southbound side, then found the next exit, and got back on 75 South, and drove until she found me. Because we didn’t have cel phones. i swear to God, it was like living in the dark ages; we are lucky to have survived.
I was just sitting on the back bumper of the truck, because I’d already inspected the blowout. When you are driving from Colorado, getting a flat in Nashville is like getting a flat in your neighborhood. You are so close, and yet so far. You are so tired. You so don’t want to fucking change a tire. Which is good, because it turns out, even if you did, there are no spare tires on Ryder trucks. You have to call Ryder.
So, i sat there, and waited for Lisa to find me, and then told her what was up, and then sent her to the next exit to get drinks and call for help. I sat there a really long time. It was August 2, sitting on the side of 75 southbound, just north of Nashville. It was, to put it lightly, hot as fucking Hades.
Lisa came back. She said it would probably be a couple of hours. Have you ever sat on the side of 75 South in the midday sun for a couple of hours? It is horrific. We plowed through our snacks. The seats of the truck were like molten lava. Lisa was grumpy and sitting in the only shady spot in the truck. She is not a lover of the heat.
It didn’t work.
The sun was high up in the sky. There were almost no shadows. We sat on the back bumper of the truck, because it was the only way we could get some shade. I sat closest to the road, and Lisa sat right next to the edge closest to the grass on the side of the road. We didn’t talk. We watched cars fly by. Each one gave us a hot breeze, and the ones closest to us rocked the van. Some of them honked. Lisa and I sat in a daze, until a red jeep with three boys was coming towards us. There was something shouted, and then I heard and felt a loud, “thunk!” when something hit the van. Lisa immediately let out an “uuugggghhh!”
I looked over at her, and she had something yellow on her face and in her hair. She burst into tears. And, God help me. I’m not proud of it.
They didn’t just toss it either, as evidenced by the splat on the truck, directly over Lisa’s head.
They winged that thing.
We sat for almost another hour until the guy came to fix the tire.
We finally got back on the road. We would have made it home before dark. Instead, we made it home in the middle of the night. And the next morning, I was ready for my new (old) life.
And yeah, really just posted that last one to show that I had on cutoffs. Something else that I never wear anymore, although i would if I was skinny.
In my new life, I would move into an apartment with my sister, and I would meet my future husband in an East Atlanta bar, and move in with him, and get a couple of cats and a dog and drink a lot, and then end up with two kids and a minivan in the burbs, wondering how the hell that happened.
And none of it would have happened if it wasn’t for the red overalls. I’m sure of it.