A U-Haul in the Passing Lane
I spent most of my mid life crisis looking for my car. I thought it was in C-2, but I was wrong. I wandered aimlessly back and forth looking at the various license plates of all the different Chevrolets, Fords, and Subarus until I came along a sporty looking Porsche. It looked nice --just a couple of dents in the fender and a lengthy scratch down the driver's side door. Some jealous bastard probably keyed it in disgust. I wasn't that jealous.
I continued up the long array of vehicles, but I couldn't stop wondering about the Porsche. I dwelled on it and thought about who drove it. It was probably some rich yuppie or that guy in Kentucky who just won the 85 million-dollar lottery. On that thought, I went back to look at the plates. Nope, not Kentucky. It was from Pennsylvania.
After a while of searching, I decided to back track. I had covered at least a quarter of all the neighboring parking areas and still no car. As I went back, I got to the Porsche and noticed that there was now some one setting in the driver's seat. Curious, I went around the whole row until I was at an advantage of seeing the face of the driver. I couldn't see because of the sun's reflection against the windshield, so I slowed my pace and pretended to tie my shoe. I fell down. After a minute of embarrassed shock, I stood up. I brushed myself off and went over to the driver's side window. I looked straight into the car. It was an eighty year old woman sitting on a phone book.
Well, I eventually found my car and went home. The incident must have bothered me though, because I started having reoccurring dreams. Sometimes, I would look in the car and see a faceless man. Sometimes, I wouldn't see anyone. However, one thing was for sure, I never dreamed of an eighty year old woman sitting on a phone book.
I decided to tell my therapist. He was able to give some professional insight into what was actually happening in these dreams. He said...
"The car is not a car."
"No it isn't. It is a woman."
"It doesn't look like a woman."
"If it looked like a woman then your dream would have obviously meant you had had car problems. No, your mind is trying to face some serious problems, so it has to mask its true intent."
"Yes, it does. Let me also say this. You are the driver of the car."
"Yes, you are."
"Let me see if I've got this straight. The car is a woman?"
"I am the driver of the car?"
"So since 'drivers' typically enter their vehicles --that means your comparing me to a penis!"
"No! The implication of you being a penis is immaterial. I believe you are starting to think in psychological terminology, though. This is good. However, you are still asking yourself the wrong questions about the dream. Try thinking of another question you could ask."
"Why is it that I can never see myself behind the wheel?"
"Well, that is a good question. That means you are afraid of failure during sex."
"Yes, you are. You see... the car represents a woman. Not seeing yourself or even placing yourself within the vehicle is the fear of faulty sex. You are probably having these thoughts because of your advancing age."
"I don't get it."
"Well there are different avenues you can take --some of them even legal."
"No! No, I mean I don't understand."
"Ah! Well, you see driving represents sex, and when you don't place yourself within the drivers seat, it means you are afraid of driving --I mean having sex."
"Is there anything you can do?"
"Of course there is. It won't be too long until we get you behind the wheel and doing the speed limit again."
Over the course of the next few days, I did some serious introspection. The more I thought about it; the more I saw the doctor's wisdom. At first, I thought he was full of crap. All this psychology was enough to make one go crazy. As usual, I was about to discount the entire session, but then he told me the cure. It was after he told me the cure that I started to devote myself to the study of psychology. He told me to buy a new car. Not just any car –the same model of car that I had been dreaming about. The validity of psychology as a science grew on me. He even gave the name of a car salesperson that gave mid life crises discounts on sports cars. His name was Bob Baldenbig.
"Are you Bob?"
"Read the name tag son. What does it say?"
"Well then I guess you answered your own question --now didn't ya?"
"You're here for a mid life crisis discount. Aren't ya?"
"Is it that obvious?"
"Yep. The balding head, the bulging gut, and the whipped look are all good indications. That and your doctor just called and said to give it to you real good --I mean to give you a real good deal."
"That was nice of him."
"It sure was. Now what kind of car are ya' looking for?"
"Well, I kindda got in mind a..."
"Let me guess, a big red Porsche with the works?"
"Yeah, how did you know?"
"The doctor sent me a fax of your file."
"Isn't that a breach of patient - doctor confidentiality?"
"Listen here buddy. Just because your afraid of coming up short when it comes to driving, doesn't mean you have to take it out on me."
"You're right, I guess."
"Now it just so happens, we received a brand new red Porsche in today. I know its gonna seem hard to believe, but used to belong to a little old lady."
"Let me guess. She only drove from home to church on Sundays."
"I'm sure she did. But she also made it over to the mall. We know this because that's where she died of a heart attack."
"Nope, from the position she was found in it looks as though she may have been startled by something she saw out of the drivers side window. Hey, you're looking kindda pale. Do you need to sit down?"
"No, that's all right."
It was all kind of a blur after that. The paperwork, the signing, and the handshake made me feel a little nauseous. It wasn't until he put the key in my hand and gently led me to the car that I began to feel the awe of the act that was transpiring before me. I was about to drive off in my own ninety five thousand dollar Porsche. As he helped me into my seat, the last words that echoed forth from Bob Baldenbig's mouth were an assurance that everyone that buys a Porsche pays twenty nine percent interest. With that said, he shut the door.
The world went silent. It was just the Porsche, a yellow page directory, and I. It felt good. I could feel my hair returning, my gut shrinking, and the sexual energy flowing. Life was great. I started up the engine. It purred like a virgin panting. Maybe the doctor was right. This did feel a little like foreplay. I put her into gear and ever so gently tapped the gas petal. I was down the street and on the freeway entrance ramp before I could exhale. The exhilaration, the acceleration, and the speedometer were all high.
Then it happened. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a U-Haul in the passing lane. I starred at it dumfounded. The audacity of the vehicle was unbelievable. The U-Haul was trying to pass me! Unbelievable. I looked again. The U-Haul picked up its speed and out paced me! It took me a few moments to regain my composure. Then the significance of what had just happened hit me. A U-Haul had passed me! This was going to have serious repercussions on my psyche. The detriment to my masculine self was unmistakable. I could see it now. I would start to have dreams of that little orange truck for the rest of life. No, it wouldn't be of a little orange truck, it would be symbolistic to mask the real intent. I would probably have dreams of Ed McMahon stealing my wife. I couldn't let that happen. In this car no one would ever out perform me. I was going to make my stand right here and now. I placed the gas petal all the way to the ground.
I guess since driving is sex, then wrecking is an orgasm. With that as an analogy, I flooded the whole freeway. Mid-life crises' are an expensive venture. I'm paying for a car that I can't afford to fix and lawsuits from twenty-seven motorists that had been in a funeral procession for a little old lady who used to sit on a phone book.