Saturday, June 9, 2012
Prozac to the Rescue
I get it. I know that millions of families live apart due to circumstances beyond their control every day. Or circumstances within their control. They do it. There are men and women serving remote tours of duty, leaving loved ones home without them. There are volunteers, missionaries, tourists …. there are all kinds of people who have to be away from their families for extended periods of time and they make it work. I'm not hard of getting it. It's just that that's not the way my husband and I have done it in our nearly twenty years of marriage, that's all. So when Jerry was abruptly called away to work in California for the summer, I was a little shocked. It's not that I am completely dependent or helpless, it's more that we are partners, friends, roommates and our lives mesh together like a fine ballet. Okay, perhaps our ballet is not all that fine, but it works for us and now it's out of whack! The first week my husband was gone, my car died. Dead. In the middle of a busy intersection on a rainy, dark Sunday night. After several offers of assistance by some less than desirable gentlemen and a somewhat unpleasant ride home with a neighborhood tow truck and his wife, I began driving a borrowed work van until I could secure another vehicle. Happily, three weeks after leaving, Jerry was able to come home for a long weekend. A long working weekend, but home nonetheless! His plane came in last Wednesday evening at 11:55pm into Baltimore. According to Mapquest and the little navigational lady in my phone, the airport in Baltimore is a mere 55 minutes from our house. But it didn't take 55 minutes. It took 158 minutes. Not that I mind, of course, but I had to get up at 4:30am the next day to go to work. I decided to take Prozac along for the ride. Prozac is our little rescue puppy and the only one of our three dogs who actually enjoys a good car ride! He's also extremely protective, so I thought he would be the one I would want with me if my van broke down on the BW Parkway in the middle of the night! So, we are crawling along. The Parkway was literally just that: a parkway. We were simply not moving. At one point, we came upon a vehicle pulled over by a policeman. Both lanes were literally moving at approximately 1 mile per hour, so I was watching this poor fellow for a good long time. I was shamelessly staring at the perp as he was being frisked and handcuffed. I mean, traffic was NOT moving and I was simply watching the only thing of interest on the road. The car was pulled over on the right side of the road. Prozac was sitting in the passenger seat and was warm, so I rolled down the window a bit so he could get some fresh air. I was petting and softly talking to him while I stared at the arrestee. I actually made eye contact with the guy for what seemed like, I don't know, five or ten minutes. An embarrassingly long time. You know how moments seem to stand still in time? Like when something is about to fall on your head and you can't move fast enough to avoid impact? Or like running in a dream? We were moving more slowly than that. And the scene played out before me with ridiculous clarity. I saw the man's sweatpants, tennis shoes, a spot on his tee shirt …. his eyes looked a bit blurry but he seemed calm. I am still embarrassed that I just stared at him! Rubbernecking at it's finest! I watched the officer pat down the legs, kick them apart with his own shiny shoes while he flipped his glistening handcuffs off his belt and snapped them onto first one wrist and then the other ~ meticulously routine. Methodically hypnotizing. WOOF! Zac let loose the loudest, most ominous big-boy bark I've ever heard come out of his little 10 month old mouth! Zac is all black and it occurred to me that while the officer and perp both saw me in the car, they probably didn't even know Zac was there! I jumped! The perp jumped! The cop reacted! And the last thing I saw as I made my mile an hour get-away was the besweatpanted wrongdoer hitting the pavement.