Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Life As A Summer Rerun

(Just realized that this post I wrote over the weekend never published. I am recording it solely for posterity (HA! Punny!), as the irony and/or coincidence was not lost on me.)

My older sister was here for the weekend, attending her high school reunion. Unbelievably (if you knew my sister), she managed to catch an earlier flight, so I had to scramble to get my sorry ass over to my aunt's house (Bremerton), where she was staying for the night. At the time, I believed all four of the siblings were going to converge at the aunt's house, so I couldn't call in "lame." No excuses jeans.

I opted to drive over, as it is only about an hour and a half (as opposed to the hour long ferry). As I was driving, I was listening to a CD made by the most recent ex. Not in an emo sort of way, but more of a closure kind of way. I made my peace with all of that and was listening to the CD in a more positive way. Not exactly reminiscing, but not rewriting history either. Just enjoying the music and fondly remembering the good stuff. Closure, it is a good thing.

The phone rang and it was B, wrapping up some unfinished business. The conversation was very cordial and cool, but then it started to rain hard. The sky ahead looked ominous, and all of a sudden, I was in the worst torrential downpour I have ever experienced in Washington. I told B to stay off the road, that I needed to get off the phone, and his voice was panicked. I hung up abruptly and Darbs (in the front seat) knew immediately that we were in deep shit trouble. I turned off my phone, the stereo (unbelievably, Open Your Eyes by Snow Patrol was playing) and I just white knuckled it.

I was in the far left lane, just to the right of the carpool lane. I couldn't pull over without fear of being rear-ended. I just had to keep going, albeit at a lower speed. I will forever be impressed by my fellow drivers on I5 that day - we all turned on our lights, stayed a healthy distance from each other, and just persevered. It was, without question, the scariest drive of my life (aside from the flash flood on the trip home from Notre Dame). Not unlike months prior, I became fixated on what would happen if I had a fatal wreck. Still technically married, last person I spoke with was my husband, mindful of the rules regarding wills (and unnamed spouses). Utterly fixated.

Holy shit. What a fucking repeat. Was I going to pull over (in the full light of day, but with enormous risk) to write another will? Jesus, sequels suck, and I didn't want to do that. Then I remembered a feature on the Blackberry - a voice record. I couldn't pull over for fear of my safety, but I turned on the speaker and recited a will. I revoked all prior wills and left my meager estate to my sister. I recited everything I knew about wills and the prior history and left detailed directions. I got through the random storm (we don't have those here) and finally pulled over. I replayed what I recorded and wrote (again, on a legal pad) a letter affirming the contents of my Blackberry. The storm had let up, but I was so shaken by the experience that I left nothing to chance. When I finally made it past the Tacoma Narrows bridge, I exited to the nearest mailbox and mailed my chicken scratches to my office.

(Incidentally, it arrived yesterday and my penmanship leaves a lot to be desired. That said, I am remarkably detailed in a crisis and it probably would have held up, not that anyone in my family would have challenged it.)

When I got to my aunt's house and recounted the tale, my aunt immediately remarked that my experience was similar to the Christmas Eve freak out that I already chronicled, which, of course, I realized. (I wrote this whole thing out within an hour of arriving at her place)

I am having my will rewritten (again) tomorrow and that whole shit will be nailed down yet again. Lord knows, I hate repeats, but this one? Pretty telling, all things considered. Even if my last conversation was with B, I didn't want the rules of law to give him back our life, which is deader than Anna Nicole Smith. I also realized that, if something awful happened to me, I would want my sister and her daughter to reap any financial benefit I could leave them.

Sounds utterly morbid, and yeah, this story isn't nearly as entertaining, but seriously, how often can one person have an existential crises while driving in a freak rainstorm? Two times is more than enough for me.

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