(Surely!) Everyone has one such weakness. A faculty so underdeveloped, it borders on retardation. Since that's the case, I feel ok to reveal mine. With me it's my sense of direction, actually the non-existence of orientation in my case. Incidentally, I have been compensated, like with my ability to multi-task, which vastly surpasses that of average humans. Or so I believed. In any case, weaknesses, borderline retardation, exceptional abilities - all of these lead me to my James Bond moment.
It was her Birthday and I wanted my piece of the cake that morning, which was that she was fine. She was fine, and it hadn't been that way for weeks. The dark cloud had cleared for today, it was a party in my mind. I rushed through my morning routine to catch her before she left. Dashed out, jumped into the car and drove out. Phew, in comfortably good time! Can cruise along at ease. My familiar route to work. Roads I know like the back of my palm. The car is my least preferred mode of transport and I do avoid it as far as I can. Still I must have driven this route at least, what, 20 times in the last 5 years? Listening to uninterrupted radio is one of the few treats of driving. "Pa pa poker face, pa pa poker face", can't.. quite.. check out my Lady Gaga face in the rear view mirror.. bummer! "Can't read my, Can't read my, N'bdy can read my poker face" maybe if I stretch over a little bit more...seriously do I see another pimple?! What the..! Is there no other part of my youth that my body is capable of preserving, other than the sprouting of pimples? Hey, I wonder if the German's realise that the the radio churns out the same 5 songs ALL through the day, cyclically, in good German order, over and over and over again. The audience must particularly like just these 5 songs, how very peculiar they can be! There goes song #3 again, "Never mind I'll find someone like you-oo..". Huh? Did that board just say 'Unterhaching', crap! Where the hell is that, i.e, where the hell am I?? Must have overshot the exit! No matter, no worry, will just flip on the Sat nav and type in destination...was never very good at single handed steering. Should take me to the next escape hatch.....Song #2. Searching, searching, no GPS...still no FRIGGIN GPS!! Not too bad, hasn't got any worse. I didn't know where I was, still don't know where I am. Of all the things in all the world that we own, a functioning Sat nav isn't one of them! No matter, have myself a very savvy iphone, HA! Don't need no lousy SEARCHING Sat nav! My cellularly occupied schizophrenic eyes go from road....to Sat nav....to iphone. Running out of hands here, will just have to stay on this gear.........blinking red lights, did I just drive past blinking red lights? Much too low for traffic lights, blinking with a tourettic kind of insistence. 'Nbdy can read my poker face', song #2. I see a gate barrier coming down on me, I am driving on tracks. Help...another gate barrier in front of me, almost all the way down...almost home. I missed the bells, that's what level crossings with trains approaching do in India, they have bells that go 'Ding, Ding, Ding', you can't miss it. 'I wish nothing but the best for you'. I stood on the accelerator, not stepped, but literally stood on it, so help me God! I felt the barrier shave the back bumper, angry for missing the kill. The traffic across the barrier stood, as I did, in a daze, disoriented now more than ever before. I heard the train whizz past. Chaka chu chu, chaka chu chu. My 007 moment, James Bond of the day.
The sun shone warm for the first time since winter, not just bright providing light, but warm. The first day in the year that you shed the impediments of the cold, of coat and scarf and gloves and hat....and feel the sun. Nothing more between the sun and your skin. And you feel alive. When I hugged her I knew she was fine, and so was I. And so was I.