I've said it before, I believe in the timing of the universe, the grand theory that you are, inexplicably at every moment where fate requires your presence.
The weekend has arrived. The two big girls are off enjoying the freedom that Friday night brings to teenagers. And as natural as that progression into adulthood is, I've never gotten used to their absence. I’m the mother hen, worrying, wanting them under my wing when they are away from me.
Tonight, they are off to the movies. I kissed them goodbye, halfheartedly, my mind on something else.
As is the way of things lately, Julia, The Hubby and I are off to dinner- our little family of three.
As we turn on to the main road from our little homestead, we notice a car wobbling, swerving a bit. My first thought is-texting. I preach to my girls, a constant mantra, no texting behind the wheel. I tell them texting is like reading a book when you're driving.
Within seconds, the scene in front of us turns into terror.
We are on a four-lane highway and this SUV is using the road as its personal bumper car ride. Almost sideswiping cars, weaving out of control with no regard for lanes or fellow drivers, horrifically running up onto the median, gut-wrenching inches away from the path of oncoming traffic.
And even though, I am filled with horror at the scene in front of me, this time, I do not spin. This time I know what must be done. I pick up my cell phone and dial for help. Instantly, I am connected to the cool and collected voice of the 911 operator. I swear, they must train a lifetime to be that calm voice, that voice of steadiness, guiding ordinary beings through panic and terror. Because I can sure tell you, if it were me, getting all those terrifying phone calls, I would be all, "OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! WE'VE GOT TO FREAKIN GET YOU SOME HELP! CRAP, WHAT SHOULD WE DO?"
The 911 operator and I are having this dialogue; one that minutes ago, I never saw coming, she-collected, me-terrified, over this monster who by her own negligence, is tempting tragedy. My 911 guide is keeping me centered. She has me direct her to us, forcing me to keep my head on straight. I give directions and street names as we follow the path of this madwoman. At one point, I am in tears, describing the way this pathological driver has stopped for a red light, after the fact; her reflexes way too impaired to understand she is parked in the middle of the intersection with cars honking and swerving around her.
My Hubby, My Beloved, Kick-Ass Hubby drives, keeping up with this madwoman as she careens down the highway, on a destined path to tragedy. He yells, sometimes so loudly I cannot hear my 911 Rudder, pleading for the police, pleading for help to stop this killing machine. At the red light, he jumps out of the car as I scream for him to stay. She is in the middle of the road, stopped, as cars veer around her, blaring their horns at her intrusion. He runs to her car. I see him bang on the window, yelling at her to end this, to pull over. Her reaction is to step on the gas and speed away.
He hops back in the car and takes off after her as I hiss, "Don't ever do that, again!"
He keeps his eyes on this driver, more out of control than any episode of "World's Most Dangerous Car Chases" and says, "I had to do it! I had to! She's got to be stopped. She's so out of it, she didn't even notice me banging on her window!"
I mark every single intersection to this 911 operator as My Hubby, keeping our car behind this maniac is yelling the truth, "Where are the cops! Tell them to Hurry! She is going to kill someone!" We drive, tracking her swerving path, as we wait for help.
For three miles. Three miles.
Three miles on an average day is nothing. It is a couple of songs on the radio. It is a conversation. It's a point to here and there. It is usually not a prayer, a breathless invocation, holding the course with a calm, steady 911 operator. It is usually not a path of terror; a reluctant witness to the certainty that lives on this night will be changed forever.
We are now up to the mall. We are now where my daughters are coming out of their movie, my precious babies, so innocent to the madness unfolding in front of them.
The light in front of us turns red and as I mark our route with my 911 friend, it takes me a second to realize My Hubby has jumped out of the car, again. I see him in front of me, banging on the window, yanking open the door. I breathe what I think could be my last breath. I hear my daughter crying behind me. "No, Daddy, no!"
I say to my 911 guide, "Stay on the line."
And then, My Hubby has the keys and he is standing there as an army of flashing lights descend upon us, there on the highway.
The highway is blocked off. We are told to stay put, there in the middle of the highway. The woman is so inebriated, she cannot stand. She is driving an Expedition, a machine so powerful, it could plow over everything in its path.
I sit there, folks gaping as they're flagged around us, never so comforted by the flashing lights encircling us. I glance at the movie theater right there, knowing what could have been.
We wait and wait and finally we are questioned, thanked and sent on our way.
We go to dinner, more than a little frazzled. The girls call, looking for some dinner. Odawg says to us as we tell her where we are, "OK, we'll be there soon. There's a bad accident with tons of police cars here. It's causing a huge traffic jam."
I say, "My beautiful girl, that is no accident. By the grace of God Himself, the timing of the universe and your father's brave, audacious soul, that is no accident, indeed."
We are in the restaurant, telling the girls our story, when the DUI investigator calls. He asks us our version of the awfulness of those three miles. We tell him, how terrifying, how impotent we felt, watching this idiot play chicken with innocent lives.
My Hubby says, "I know it was a really stupid thing to do, but I had to do it."
And the policeman says, "No, Sir. Not at all. You did the right thing. We arrested her in May on a DUI. Looks like she didn't learn her lesson."
A DUI in May. May. It is the beginning of August.
Those words take my breath away. The timing of the universe . . . this time, it worked in everyone's favor. This time, I kept my heart steady, not giving in to the Dance of Idiots. The problem is, there are just too many more idiots out there, waiting to even the odds.
Today's Definite Download: I wasn't even going to add one, because I thought this post too somber today, for music, but then I thought of the perfect song, Beck's "Loser". Beck is on my list of fabuloso artists I haven't gotten around to mentioning. I guess he's considered alternative, but the thing about Beck is his music is such a cauldron of fusion, it's hard to categorize him. I like him because he's funky, eclectic, weird and rockin' fantastic. Once you start tuning into Beck, you won't be able to get his funkadelic beats out of your head.
This song sums it up with it's one masterful chorus line, "Soy un perdedor. I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me." Nuff said.