The experience filled me with apprehension. Shivers again coursed through my body, then passed. What was going on? Although fearful, my curiosity got the best of me and I couldn’t resist sitting in my old Bug. I opened the door and climbed in. It felt so right. The same little eight inch Covico steering wheel, coco mats and custom gear shift, even the small, rubber Snoopy dog I’d received as a Christmas gift from a young leukemia patient when I worked at City of Hope, sat atop the rear view mirror. It was my car, no doubt about it. I glanced down and saw the key in the ignition.
No matter how real it all felt, I began to believe that it was only a dream, a wonderful dream, or perhaps a hallucination, a flashback from some pharmaceutical I’d ingested in the late sixties. No matter, I reached down and turned the key, my car fired right up. The sound of the tuned exhaust was music to my ears. My head swam in sweet memories. Instinctively I reached over and turned on the radio. An old Ritchie Valens tune was playing, “We Belong Together.” It had been one of my mom’s favorites. Without thinking, I pulled out of the driveway, drove forward towards the road, and parked in the shade of the tree. The words to the song running through my head.
“You’re mine and we belong together Yes, we belong together… for all eternity…..”.
I sat there for quite some time staring up the road, trying without success to understand what was happening to me. As I sat there a scene from an old Monty Python movie, “The Meaning of Life” played out in my head. In it the Grim Reaper, complete with hooded robe, scythe and hourglass, descends on a small farm house to take several couples to meet their maker. One character tells Death that they’re not ready to go because they’ve just poured drinks and boldly asks Death if they might be allowed to take their drinks with them. Death thinks it over then allows it. Drinks in hand, they follow Death out the door to their fate. Outside they pass their parked cars and the same character asks Death if they may also take their cars? Again, after a lengthy debate, Death reluctantly permits it. In the next scene they are moving across the cosmos, following the Grim Reaper in their automobiles! I’m not quite sure why this particular thought popped into my head, but it really disturbed me.
I slowly got out of the car and walked around it once more, still not believing that it was really there. It just wasn’t possible. I made my way to the front of the car and looked up the road. I stood there for some time thinking about the tree and the road and what it all meant, but mostly I was wondering what lay around the bend. I was nervously fumbling with something in my left hand and glanced down to find that I was holding the snoopy dog. I didn’t remember taking it off the mirror. When had I grabbed it? I was definitely spooked. I turned my head to look back at the car and much to my surprise, my VW was no longer there! It had vanished and my silver Maxima had returned.
Dumbfounded, I took a few steps back, telling myself again and again that my VW had never really been there, that it had all been in my head, but I just couldn’t quite sell myself on it, particularly since I was still holding the rubber snoopy dog. It just didn’t make any sense. The road and the tree, okay maybe I could come up with some sort of half-ass logic to explain them, but what about the rope and wrench, and the car! How could I explain them? I couldn’t…. Slowly I walked back towards the road…….
To be continued Wednesday June 1, 2011