Lately I’ve been dodging all sorts of crazy objects on the road. In the past few days alone, I have seen a tire in the middle of the freeway, a plastic dry cleaning bag floating American Beauty style, a lone high-heel shoe on a side street, cats, zombie-fied pedestrians who should know better, and, tonight, a large piece of cardboard that flew right at my windshield.
It occurred to me how fitting this road debris is as a metaphor for life in general.
How a lot of the time we try to dodge the obstacles, and thank god a heel didn’t puncture our tire. And whew, good job missing that crazy person who is jaywalking across six lanes of traffic.
And then, there it is.
A piece of cardboard — so huge I bet it would make a good playhouse for Alexa — I just can’t avoid. Swerving would lead to disaster. Braking would lead to disaster. The only course of action is to go full steam ahead and cross my fingers that I don’t end up in a Titanic mess.
I saw it heading toward me, and I rolled down my window in case it clung to the front of my car and obscured my vision. I tried to think a few steps ahead. I hoped the cardboard would pass without incident, that it wouldn’t somehow slide inside my wheel well and cause my car to flip. I gripped the wheel tight. My heart was about to burst out of my chest. Just in case I haven’t sufficiently set the scene, I was driving 70 mph down a crowded freeway, cars all around! Cue suspenseful music.
The cardboard hit my windshield as expected, then gracefully bounced back and slid under my tires. Du-dunk. Du-dunk. The sound of my tires running over the cardboard. Cleared.
There’s a lot of road ahead. A lot can happen in a lifetime. The best we can hope for is more misses than hits.
No time like the present to practice your maneuvering, friends.