I am a caged animal in my car
I hit one of those low points today. When the soul feels cold, alone and in a dark enclosed space, squinting up and blinking at some distant point of light. I was sitting in my car, alone, surrounded by my fellow city folk, sobbing uncontrollably because I felt like some forgotten animal left in a cage with no key. Every cell in me wanted desperately to be anywhere else, anywhere but in the enclosed padded walls of my red Toyota Matrix car. The car itself sat purring easily, perhaps distantly aware of my turmoil. My imagination winked and I thought I felt her bucket seats hug me a little tighter, pressing warm support, the only thing she thought she could do for her distraught passenger.
I had thought I would bike to my massage appointment, a sure fire way to get there on time as bikes aren’t so easily slowed by the confines of traffic. But 35 minutes felt like a long time to subject my swollen and spasming back to an already dangerous and grueling ride. So instead, I carefully folded my broken body, dainty with white-hot ready pain, into the bucket seats of my Matrix. I spent the next 45 minutes swearing at every car in my vicinity, including my own. I made it to the neighborhood of my appointment late, un-aware of just how long it takes to cross 6 miles in the height of LA traffic. Sitting on Santa Monica Blvd, watching the distant light ahead of me go from red to green, then yellow, then red again, twice without my car moving and inch, I threw in the towel. I called up my masseur and biting back tears of bitter frustration I told him I wasn’t going to make it and that we should reschedule.
I quickly found a place to pull over where I could pound out my frustration on the steering wheel while lazy tears dripped slowly off my cheeks. I sat no more than eight blocks away from relaxation and bliss but the eight blocks of standstill traffic between me and my appointment was more than I could take.
Once I felt clear enough to drive I set off again into the sea of cars and red lights. So much anger welled up in me, it was startling. I was angry at myself for diving, when I know driving is a large reason why my back is injured in the first place. I was angry at Los Angeles for being so car-centric and so dangerous and impossible to navigate by bike. I was angry at slow drivers, at fast drivers and mindless drivers. I felt my anger pool in the base of my spine, liquid pain creeping into my legs, my stomach. This is why I cannot drive, the understanding unfolded like a flower in my mind: I am a caged creature in my car, forced to assume a posture that strains my back, forced to face rolling walls on all sides, forced to wait interminably long spans of time staring at red. And that anger, that hot frustration leaking out my eyes in tight and heavy sobs, that was the condensed accumulation of all these frightful forces. This moment compacted them to a potent pinpoint of toxic realization:
I cannot drive.
Not now. Not until my back gets better. And even then, only when absolutely necessary which essentially is only when I have a private client I must drive to.
Right. Now. is when I build my life around using my bike for transport and commute. Because I never want to feel like a pain-riddled, caged animal again. Ever.
A fiery fairy who has set off to explore Asia and discover new things about the world and herself. The journey is one to fully realize her strength and an unwaivering faith in her personal power.