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Late Nights a Horrible Frights

15 May 06 Monday

When it rains it pours!!!

I had a very interesting weekend. Saturday night was the first time I think Ive ever talked on a phone for more than 5 hours! And of all the people I could be conversing with for such long periods of time, it was my friend Robert inScotland, thanks to the use of Skype. I do love Skype what an amazing service. I was having problems talking to Robert a week ago, something about a miscommunication, but I guess now that all has been forgiven. Its amazing how computers have really enabled people to bond and form lasting friendships all over the world through email and the web.

Robert and I were extremely close about two and a half years ago, but lost contact after my grandfather passed away and I got married to Chris. Chris was too jealous and wouldnt have liked the idea of me having a pen pal over in Scotland. He would have seen that as a threat. I was fortunate enough to find him again not too long ago, and we picked up right where we left off. It was as if we never lost contact at all.

His little girl, Emma, just turned 7 in February. He shared a few recent pictures of her with me. What a beauty! She has a lot of red in her hair, a tiny gap between her front teeth, a bright and beautiful smile, and some of the most stunning, expressive brown eyes Ive ever seen on a child. She looks very little like her Dad when being described, but she does have his facial shape and sparkle when happy. Still they are equally visually stunning. Robert has very short brown hair, perfect teeth, a beautiful smile, and amazing blue eyes.

We had the best time talking on Saturday night. He had gone to his sisters house for a few hours before going home and calling me, but while he was there he got a little drunk and made a few videos for me, which he emailed to me while we chatted. They were hilarious! His brother sang an Elvis song to me on one video, and then Robert sang the lead in a traditional Scottish song for me with his family singing backup. But by far, my favorite video was the one where Roberts brother lifted the front of his shirt up over his head. He then proceeded to do the craziest belly dance I've ever seen, all the while singing with a muffled voice through the stomach of his green t-shirt. I ended up laughing so hard that my eyes watered, my stomach hurt, and I got a stitch in my side. It was hilarious! It was a perfect ending to a day that started out so horribly. I told Robert all about my day while we were on the phones.

I started out that morning with my entire day planned. I got my laundry together, got some old clothes on, straightened up a bit, and went to get into my car. I was going to wash clothes, wash my car, get the oil changed, color the gray out of my hair, and get a few other take care of me things taken care of.

I sat in my car excited about the day. I put my key into the ignition and turned. Nothing. I turned it again. Again, nothing. The third time it cranked, but still didnt start up. Me being the stubborn redhead that I am, I refused to give up. Again I tried. And again. And again.

And again.

And Again.

After about a full 40 minutes of refusing to give up, I called AAA. Even while I was on the phone with them I tried again. An again. Until the driver showed up I tried again and again. It just wasnt doing me any good.

We hooked the tow truck up to my little car, and as he attached the hooks to the loops in the grill of my Miata, I tried again, to no avail. We finally towed it to the local shop, less than a block from my apartment. They told me they could let me know what was wrong with my car within about 30 to 45 minutes, so I gave them my cell number. Then I hopped into my roommates car, who was kind enough to tag along during all of this, and we headed to the Laundromat together.

Here I thought I was having car problems.

My finger was actually bruised and hurting from turning the key so much. As I was trying to massage the pain away, I started to pity myself. I never pity myself because when it comes down to it, Ive got it pretty good! I glanced out of the window of the moving car for a brief second, not being able to shake the feeling of self pity.

Things could always be worse, my roommate said. That could have been you!

I looked to where he was pointing. There sat a small black car that seemed to be parked squarely on the sidewalk. A car blocking my view of the front half of the little black one moved, revealing to me just exactly why it was sitting where it was. Police cars surrounded the area, cops were all about, and an ambulance was just pulling away. The entire front half of the black car was folded like a paper fan. On the sidewalk in front of the car, laying horizontally to the sidewalk, was a concrete light post, the base of which had been shattered and blasted several feet in every direction upon impact. Suddenly my finger hurt much less.

I did end up getting all of my laundry done, I got my grays covered, and I took a nice long bath. About the only thing I didnt get to do that was on my list was pamper my poor little car.

I posted pictures of the days events for all my friends to see later on in the day, from when I got into my car until I saw the light pole issue, and I instantly started getting emails from people who wanted desperately to help me in any way they could. I was overwhelmed by the general reaction of my friends. Perhaps I have been to cynical about love, for these friends of mine truly do love me.

The last ten minutes of my chat with Robert I had a little excitement. Somewhere off in the distance, gun shots shattered the still night air. Five shots in total rang out.

One shot. A short pause. Another shot. Another short pause. Then three more shots. It was so close and so loud that Robert began to ask what that noise was. When I told him, I heard a hint of fear in his voice.

"Amanda, dont move. Stay away from the window, keep your light off, and just lay still. Try to not do anything that would draw any attention to you."

"Ok," I said as I cowered under the blanked in my bed. I know enough to trust Roberts judgment on these things.

We finally hung up so we could both get some sleep. I was too tired to let the gun fire in the distance keep me awake. Just as I was about to drift off into peaceful dreams, more shots spoiled the quiet night.

One shot. A pause. Two more shots. These shots were much closer this time.

I laid awake another hour before finally falling asleep, clutching a soft brown teddy bear and my pillow, much the way I would have after a nightmare as a child.

The first few minutes of my dreams were mildly disturbed because of the events shortly before falling asleep. It didnt take long before the mood of my dreams shifted though. I found myself thoroughly enjoying myself on a stroll with dear Robert down the beach. Not once in my dream was Robert involved in a race with any blue eyed stranger. I was at peace.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I woke up around 8:30 on Sunday morning to the sound of my phone ringing at me. I was fairly upset that I wouldnt be able to go to work at the restaurant because of my car problems, but I was grateful that I got to sleep in a bit, especially after staying up so late talking with Robert.

I spoke with a work contact of mine for a bit about their pending trip from the East Coast to California on business for a bit before finally getting up out of bed and getting ready for the day. I reorganized a few things in my room, threw on a pair of jeans, and grabbed my journal. I was planning on walking down to the coffee shop to write for a bit.

I walked out of the front door to my apartment, my shoes clicking delicately beneath me on the third floor balcony. The door slid closed behind me and I made my way to the steps. It was a beautiful day out. The sunshine was warming everything nicely, but a cool breeze from the west cut the blazing heat just right.

I was about four steps down from the top, my little maroon book in one hand, the stairs railing in the other, when I saw a strange sight. A man with four arms was driving up the path to the other apartment building adjacent to my own. When I looked closer, I saw a little girl sitting on his lap helping him to steer the car. I couldnt help but smile as I paused there on the steps to watch.

I was 8 years old again, living in Arkansas with my mom and my brother while Dad was on a one year remote tour toAlaska. We lived so far out on the end of a long dirt path that my mother would often allow my brother or myself to sit on her lap and drive her little blue Dodge Aries. She would tell us things about driving on the road, like what double yellow lines meant, the rules when passing someone, and exactly why it was so important to use ones blinker, but to never trust someone elses blinker.

I still ended up not getting my drivers license until I was 19 years old, but I knew the rules of the road long before then.

The little girl and her father pulled into their parking spot and I continued down the stairs and on to the coffee shop. It dawned on me that it was Mothers Day that day. What an appropriate memory for Mothers Day.

Outside of the Drovers

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