Thursday, September 2, 2010

D Day Minus 174 (September 16, 2009): Right or Wrong?

Both of us prayed the shuttle driver would get us to National Airport fast. Granted it was only an eight minute drive from the Marriot in Crystal City, where l'd left my little silver hand-me down Miata in long-term parking. But it seemed a lot longer. Shuttle Driver wouldn’t shut up. First, it was his views on the Middle East and the United States’ role. Then he went off the deep end on his religious views. So within five minutes, Radical Shuttle Driver, hit two of three topics you should never talk about in mixed company. I swear, if he would’ve mentioned sex, I was going to pull a stunt move and roll out of the shuttle. Right at the intersection of Jefferson Davis Highway and 23rd Street. 

You know I've done it before.  I was with Junior High, camping with my best friend Lori’s family, at Dinosaur Land in Utah. I jumped out of the tour cart when it was accelerating down a hill. Just like Charlie’s Angels did in the seventies. Only I wasn’t as cool. I just scraped my knees really bad and had to limp around for the rest of the vacation. But, you would have liked that we listened to Fleetwood Mac , The Chain, on cassette a million times. Maybe, that’s why you liked it. Enough of memory lane! Back to reality! Radical Shuttle Driver, had me on the verge of reprising my role. Just this once! I know you knew that I was crazy enough to try it again.

I wanted to tell you in the shuttle, “You know I love this country and our freedom of speech, but there is a time and place.” But couldn’t find the right time or place to tell you. Anyway, I’d vote that holding a potential tipping customer hostage with your views, was not the time or place. We played ping-pong with side glances and widened eyes until we got to Departures. At least, I wasn’t thinking about cancer, cures, and treatments. I was thinking, Radical Shuttle Driver’s next stop should be “Clue Mart.”

When we were safely inside the airport terminal, I asked you, “What would Dad say?” You gave me a blank stare like you didn’t hear me or didn’t want to hear. Or maybe you were just preoccupied double checking your license and boarding pass.

“Opinions are likes a**holes. Everyone has one and they all stink.” I said with an evil, bad-mother, smile, which made you smile too.

“Yeah.” You said. “He was pushing to be right. And the more you push something the worse it get.”

“I know.” I said. “Like I told Dad when he was young and cocky – about your age. You can be right and be alone. What I’d say now, in a little bit softer way, is being right depends on a person’s perspective. And it has little to do with the truth or reality.”

We funneled ourselves through security, relieved, to be at the airport on time and with no major incidents. We were quiet, but content, intent on making it through security to find you a PoBoy. When, the TSA agent, motioned us to the desk, I wondered if we were pushing too hard with this cancer. Were we anything like Radical Shuttle Driver and his politics and religion? Was cancer black and white? Did my constant fear only make it worse? Were you trying to make me feel better instead of making yourself feel better? What if we spent all of our time pushing really hard against cancer, only to lose our lives to the fight? As I put my license away and we got reassembled, I promised myself, I’d chill and enjoy the ride.  No matter what. Then, I smiled and asked, “If we find you a PoBoy, can I have a bite.”

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