Reaching Down Deep

volvo-cats-ryan-connersThere are few things more daunting than experiencing what it feels like to lose all the power in your car—while you’re driving it;  no signals, radio, a/c, no power steering (thank goodness for 24-Hour Fitness), engine steadily losing power, everything stops working one by one… just lights flashing like crazy on the dashboard…

And so it was for me one fine Monday about a month ago. Somewhere in the back of my head while taking note of each thing as it failed, one by one, I wondered, oddly, if this is what it’s like to die—nerve centers go dark, one after the other until finally, all systems just stop functioning altogether…
But back to the emergency at hand—I somehow maneuvered my failing Volvo into a parking lot without killing anyone, including myself, in the process; and after I finally manage to park it—I can’t get out. Windows, door locks, nothing works. So, here I am trapped inside my car in the Circle K parking lot on Morena Boulevard after I did such a Herculean job of getting there, thinking hey I was at least bright enough to realize maybe I better get off the freeway. And did I mention it was a very hot day. And the windows were all closed since I actually did have the a/c on—until that went out. Hmm, I’m thinking, well, I could crawl into the trunk from the back seat and find out if that glow-in-the-dark emergency release lever really works (now we know why they put it in there, right?)… I could kick out the windshield…
Instead, I call AAA who proceeds to put in a call to 911 (which I didn’t realize) as well as a tow truck. In the meantime, my boss shows up, walks up to my car—and opens my door. I couldn’t get out from the inside, but someone could get in from the outside, go figure. It was the only door that worked. And it definitely was locked. As was everything else. Then the fire department shows up… and an ambulance. Party time in the Circle K parking lot. They were duly dismissed after realizing that the ditsy redhead wasn’t trapped in her car after all (thank you, AAA).

Ok folks, here’s the cosmic joke: I had an appointment to take my car in to the dealer the next morning, because I couldn’t really put my finger on what was wrong, but I knew something was, and strange messages were appearing on my dashboard but disappearing before I could decipher them. So for the first time since I was maybe 10 years old, I rode in the front of a tow truck. And showed up at the Volvo dealer about 12 hours early for my appointment. I was SO close.
Strangely, I didn’t even look at my chart until almost five days later (bad astrologer!) Nothing really jumped out at me—except, maybe transiting Uranus squaring my natal Uranus that was pretty much exact on that day. My natal Uranus is in Cancer—not unlike a toaster in the bathtub. So electrical things going out one by one because of a failing alternator might be somewhat appropriate. On a day that the Sun and the Moon change signs, the only planet in a water sign being Neptune (but he never really knows where he is anyway, so no danger there, right?)

I was told once, when things mechanical happen, to look at your car as your motivation. So I tried that on for size. The alternator is, quite frankly, the nerve center of a vehicle. Things depend on it to convert power to almost every other part, electrical and otherwise. This little experience had a profound effect on me—even more so than being sideswiped by a semi or broadsided by a van which totalled my first Volvo. Those were unexpected and sudden, and involved someone else.
This one was all on me.
That frightening, almost helpless feeling of knowing that I have no control over what’s going on with this ton-and-a-half hunk of metal that ultimately had control over me; and on the other hand realizing that I had to call the shots and discover that somewhere I did have the resources to do whatever it is I had to. And do it somewhat calmly. I realized later, after finally exhaling, that the whole incident could have been so much worse, for any number of reasons. Past experience has shown that I’ve always had to deal with things like this on my own—people I should have been able to count on just weren’t there for me—and, I’ve always had a really hard time asking for help, from anyone. This was like some timely cosmic test—with the circumstances being just harsh enough to push the envelope without tearing it open and spilling everything in it. I know it shouldn’t be such a big deal for a grown woman, but most grown women my age have a bit more of a support system than I do. So I work through this, figuring it out as I go; wondering what part fate has played, and what parts I can control.

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