Saturday, June 15, 2013
After a particular challenging day at work, I was glad to escape to my car so I could head towards home where I could collapse on my couch under the cool breeze of a ceiling fan. As I sat in my car that had baked to a nice 104 degrees in the middle of the asphalt parking lot, I rested with my head on the air-conditioner vents praying for cooler temperatures. While certain it has nothing to do with age, I've recently begun experiencing sudden onset hot flashes. They come on quick, without warning, and according to my family, my mood changes instantly, as well. In my defense, I would imagine anyone's mood would change when they are about to spontaneously combust. I've seen those pictures of the tiny pile of ashes sitting on the pile of clothes where an unsuspecting victim once stood. Of course, if I were to suddenly burst into flames, my ashes would be found sitting next to a pile of laundry waiting to be folded and nobody would ever notice. They would shake the towels out and assume I was at work or out running errands and have no idea that I was now floating about the living room disguised as dust. Hoping to avoid spontaneous combustion, I peeled myself off of the air vent, put the car in gear and headed home.
As my car approached forty miles per hour, I glanced over to see a bright green cricket attached to my window holding on for dear life. He had the same look I had when attached to the air vent - a look of total despair. I noticed his little cricket feet grasping the window in a desperate attempt to hold on. I empathized with the cricket and slowed my car down to thirty miles per hour to see if his hind legs would still flap in the wind or if he could secure a better grip. Before long I was driving down the highway doing 20 miles per hour watching the changing disposition of the cricket as he continued to hold on to the last shreds of hope. I passed many a grassy area where I could have stopped to release the cricket from this ride of terror, but I was determined to get us both home to the safety of my house.
I passed in and out of hot flashes and speed zones as the fearful cricket stayed with me clinging to the side of my car. Of all the challenges I had faced that day, this was the challenge that consumed me... Could I round the corner at thirty miles an hour and still keep Jimminy attached to the car? It was like a video game with a real live player. I realized the craziness of this as I slowed traffic behind me. My daughter called and asked where I was and I was embarrassed to tell her I was three hours away from home because I was now traveling 5 miles per hour down the parkway in an attempt to secure the fate of a hitchhiking cricket.
You'll be relieved to know that the green bush cricket and I both made it home safely and he was gently placed on a leafy clematis plant where I'm certain he is still recovering from shock. It concerns me that the summer heat wave and pre-menopausal behavior are having such affect on me and fear it may be a very long summer in these parts.