I swore loudly into the serene surroundings. “Don’t lock the key in the car” and the sound of the locks swishing shut seemed to echo through the trees. I picked up a large, jagged rock from the dusty ground. It weighed heavy in my arms and I fumbled to get a good grip. Starring hard at the red Prius, I willed the window to break by itself. On one hand, I wanted to break the window and the option seemed strangely appealing. On the other, I had no interest in breaking the window to my brother’s car, had absolutely no desire to be in the situation I found myself in. How to proceed?
I focused on the high corner of the rear passenger window, opposite the drivers side. I knew exactly where I wanted the rock to cleanly break through. Maybe if I threw the rock hard enough, it would make a perfect hole for my arm. HAHA! Since closing the locked door on myself, I had burst into several bouts of laughter. “This is ridiculous!” I thought or even said out loud. What a joke.
Even considering throwing the rock caused my hands to shake a bit. I stood a few feet away from the car, lifted the rock above my head and squeezed my eyeballs shut as I heaved the heavy thing at the window. Not smart. It’s best to look at what you are aiming at. I missed my target by over a foot and put a pretty dent into the passenger side door. Shocked dismay, followed by more swearing and laughing, erupted from my being and was quickly absorbed by the hot dusty air. “This is bullshit” I told myself.
Realizing that breaking car windows is not my strong suit and that this was not the time or the place to practice, I chose to revisit option A. The original plan: walk the rest of the way to Leonard Lake and use the landline to call a lock smith. My sister and friends would be at the house and hopefully they could offer some guidance and support. If nothing else, there was a beer or a whiskey I could use to numb the feeling of stupidity that was washing over me.
I flip-flopped down the road, swinging my arms slightly and kicking pebbles. Who knew how far it was to Leonard Lake. Hopefully not more than 5 miles. I tried to keep my head up and enjoy the scenery, light streaming through branches, the occasional stream gurgling near by. It wasn’t long before I heard the rumble of tires on the dirt and saw a large white van driving slowly towards me. As it approached, they gave a little honk that sounded like a cat-call whistle. My low-cut, flowery mini dress would evoke this kind of attention, but I knew from the strange honk and decor on the dash that friends had arrived.
I leaned into the rolled down window, smiling broadly “You have no idea what’s happened” I said to the crew inside. The Miss Lonely Hearts, a sweet-strummin’ band from Santa Cruz, filled the vehicle, hung over and happy. I relayed my adventure, admitting all the ridiculousness that had unfolded back at the Prius. They hooped and hollered, shaking their heads, asking questions and saying “Sorry Girl”. They offered me a ride back to my car to see if they could help. I jumped into the back of the van with the band’s singer by my side. “What do you want to do?” he asked. “Get drunk” I yelled and he handed me a bottle of whiskey from the cooler at his feet. I thought better of it as we rolled back in the direction of my car.
I was drowning in indecision, waffling about what to do. The Miss Lonely Hearts picked their way about the scene. Pulling on car door handles, poking around to find the key themselves, and admiring the dent in the car door. Half the band was in favor of breaking the window, the other half shook their heads, “I wouldn’t do it”. We played with the idea of producing a music video. They would set up and jam out while someone smashed the rear window with the crow bar they had handy. It would be a YouTube sensation! This I could get on board with.
Being in the presence of others, I felt more grounded. I resided to being a mature adult and agreed to a ride back to the main house at Leonard Lake to call a lock smith. Only a few hours later, a giant yellow tow truck would plow through the forest. I would meet the scruffy, rotund driver and he would take about 60 seconds to unlock the car and run my credit card $145 for the job. It should have cost me more, but let’s be honest – the flowery dress and a sense of humor probably got me a discount. This is the state of the world. So it goes.
I thanked the tow truck driver and in an incredibly anti climactic moment, I got into the car and drove back towards the lake. It was an OK Sunday.