A Loss That Feels Like Winning

March 24, 2017

  I'm convinced that the touch screen that controls the radio/CD player/GPS in my car is haunted by the spirit of a hyperactive five year old. Rarely in the 4 years that I've had this car have I ever been able to use it for any length of time. Sometimes, in the winter (when we have a winter in Alabama) I can manage to get the CD player to actually play one full song after another, instead of skipping from one song to another every few seconds. For this reason, I rarely ever even turn the damn thing on. Typically I will just have a 10 minute argument with Siri until she plays the correct playlist on my phone.

  Well, yesterday on the way home from a very long day at work, I pulled onto the interstate to find that it had magically been turned into a parking lot by the evil wizard of ALABAMA DRIVERS ARE DUMB AS FUCK. Undeterred, as this happens quite frequently, I very aggressively merged myself into traffic with minimal obscene hand gestures and threats to do bodily harm (seriously, what the fucking hell is wrong with you people, that you won't let a goddamn Smart Car merge off the on ramp? It's not like you're going any goddamn where anytime soon...and I'm basically smaller than a fucking golf cart. Stop being dicks). Yay! Success! I'm sandwiched between an 18 Wheeler and some preppy asshole in a big ass truck, wearing a pair of wrap around Ray Bans who is pissed that a tiny blonde in a Smart Car made him let her over. This is just going to be LOADS of fun.

  The only thing that can possibly save me from losing my mind, and seeing if I can ram my tiny, plastic car underneath the semi-truck in front of me is music. I just need my phone and some Masked Intruder or Man or Astroman?, and everything will be just peachy keen. The only problem was, I couldn't find my goddamn phone. I knew I had it when I got in the car, but sometime between leaving work and getting into the clusterfuck of traffic it had migrated from the passenger seat to who-the-fuck-knows-where. Sweet baby raptor Jesus on vegan pizza dough just smite me now. In my moment of desperation, I eyed the little screen that controlled my haunted radio. Could I possible get it to work? Even for a little while? Wearily, I pressed the on button, and waited for it to do it's loading thing.

  Now, what you have to realize is, I haven't even attempted to use this damn thing in about a year. It's just not worth fighting with it. So, I have no idea what is going to pop up once it boots up. Will it be in the radio function, or the CD function, or the GPS function, or will it auto connect to my phone, and start calling and hanging up on random people? WHO KNOWS?!

It was the CD function.
The CD that had been sitting in it for a year starting playing at a deafening level.
It was my ex-boyfriends band.
I braced myself for the inevitable feeling of being body slammed by a Mack truck, and the urge to drive my car off the nearest overpass.
It never came.

  Exactly 10 months from the day he sent me a 3am breakup text, I realized that I was finally completely free. I'm not just patched up anymore. There are no longer any bleeding wounds, no more sore spots. Just a mass of scar tissue that will stay, and serve as a warning in the future. Sitting there in my tiny car, stuck in traffic, listening to a band I thought I would never be able to stomach listening to again, I realized that I had finally, completely healed. In that moment, I felt a powerful sense of peace and freedom. The sunshine coming through my car windows felt better than it had moments before. The maddening stop and go, stop and go flow of traffic was less annoying. Even the taste of my water was more refreshing in that moment. Thanks to whatever moron had probably driven like a drunk toddler, and caused traffic to be backed up for miles, I was able to realize that I had finally reached the place I had desperately wanted to be at when all of it went to hell. The place where it doesn't hurt anymore.

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  1. NO! I drove down 280 twice a day for 4 years, and I will never do it again. This was 65 North. It was backed up from the Junction all the way to Lakeshore.