Coming down the highway today and I hear a “pop” and the car starts shaking. I pull to the side and sure enough, I’ve popped a tire. Traffic is tearing down the road as I try and remember if I have a spare tire. I have to have someone get Cole at school, that’s where I was headed. I call my dad and at the sound of his voice I break down. My hands shake. He assures me that he’ll get Cole and I call Triple A. Of course, I have used all my calls for the year. But they will come out and change my tire for a fee. As I am finishing up with them, I see the flashing lights behind me. A cop.
I tell him that I’ve called Triple A and he shakes his head, tells me that I can’t be stopped where I am. I feel tears starting as he tells me if they don’t come right now he will have to call a tow truck. I can’t afford that! I start to cry in earnest. Like a miracle, a truck full of city workers pulls up. One of them graciously offers to put my spare on. Thank you! But the spare is flat.
“Look,” I tell the cop, salty tears streaking down my cheeks, “I’ll drive it right to the gas station and get air in the spare. I only live right down the road. Please.”
Probably sick of dealing with me, he reluctantly agrees. He says he will follow me just in case. I pull out into traffic and haven’t even gone a few feet when I hear the unmistakable sound of a flat tire spinning. The spare is flat. Fuck. Ignoring my common sense, I just keep going. For some reason I have it in my head that everything will be alright if I just make it to the gas station. I grit my teeth and keep driving, a horrible sound coming from the road under my tire. I pull into the gas station, finally, a cloud of smoke billowing. The cop gets out, looks at the tire, shakes his head. I grin at him.
“At least I’m not on the highway!” I say brightly, and he shakes his head again, tells me to get better tires. He leaves and I breathe a sigh of relief. I made it to the gas station. I wait for my dad and try not to have a panic attack. Deep breaths. I made it.