convertible therapy

Here in the Sunshine State we have a thing called “isolated showers.” What that means is that it can be raining here and not over there. I have driven down the street headed in one direction with the sun shine glinting off of my windshield while the traffic facing the opposite direction is getting wet. When I lived up north and it rained, it rained all over the state… and sometimes it rained for days. Down here it is different, you can actually drive to beat the rain, go around the rain, avoid the rain or just go with the flow of the rain.

Tonight… I raced with the rain.

I dislocated my shoulder while working several years ago and inadvertently chipped a bone when it tried to reset itself. Anyway, I was laid up for a few days with nothing to do but watch T.V. and get depressed. My ex-wife, knowing my mental state, insisted one day we get out of the house and go for a ride with the top down. That ride snapped me out of my doldrums and I have prescribed convertible therapy ever since.

Tonight I needed a healthy dose.

It was like any other night when your mind is in a fog and you need to blow it out with the top down and the humid air making your hair slick back like fish fins. I call it convertible therapy because for about 20 bucks worth of gas you can set your mind straight on a lot of things but you don’t have to talk to anybody and blame all your life’s problems on a mis-fortunate childhood. (though mine did suck, I’ll save that for another post)

Florida’s state flower is the orange blossom and as a phantom companion, she rode with me tonight. I placed a compilation CD in my player and headed out, determined to listen to the whole thing completely through without stopping. Great care had gone into the selections and I wanted to garnish any subliminal messages I could all at once without distraction.

I took off with no real direction in mind, just moving with the traffic. People look at you differently when you go topless, especially when it is cloudy overhead. I’ve had people pull up and warn me of the weather conditions before, but now I did not care. It was a challenge for me and I was up for it.

The rain goaded me on, “you’ve made it this far… how much further?”

Tooling around the city blocks will get you noticed, but opening it up on the highway and rolling out around corners will get you saved. I needed saving. I made my way to the outskirts of town… and then the rain rose up to meet me. My windshield reacted with “you kidding me?” streaks as my intermittent blades slugged across. It was mere spittle, in and out of the fickle coverage would have dried it in a few minutes but I put the wipers on anyway, a testimony to my defiance.

The rain was swirling now, in and out… stronger at times, then weak… reluctant, teasing me. “Come out… no danger here.”

Heading north, following other cars that seemed to know where they were going I was able to loosen up a little, push the speed limit to 65 which felt fairly good. Buzzin’ up about 15 miles and turning onto the Interstate I rapped it up to 95 in a heart beat, the center lines formed exclamation points while the reflectors slipped past like little asterisks. Rain drops pelted my windshield now, but blew over the car’s interior forming a thin veneer canopy contoured to the body lines. I was in a teardrop, a silver streak spotted by big diesel trucks and mini-vans defying the moisture while inside I remained dry.

And the music… “… if you could only see the way she loves me, maybe you’d understand,” selections I might have put on had I been making the list; songs I knew, songs I had forgotten, songs that were new to me. Orange Blossom, you are good company… I’m so close to you now I surrender… but the rain wasn’t giving up that easily.

I bobbed off I-70, spun a u-turn into a gas station with the CD blaring and whined up to the pumps. I was protected here with the covering over the dispensers, the rain waited patiently while I drained my wallet in exchange for liquid gold. I looked around… I was alone. No one else would venture out this night, at least… no one confident enough to enter the race. I could put the top up now and be home free… but home was still about 10 miles away. I gunned it out of the parking lot and fishtailed back on the highway.

Back into the thick of it, “You’ll be sorry now, you should have waited… you should have covered yourself, you should have kneeled down and acquiesced.”

Rain is a patient adversary, it’s little clouds can follow closely over your shoulder and wait for the opportune time to dump all of it’s collective miseries upon you. How you react is the thing. Can you see those clouds building and run for cover? Not always, sometimes you are so preoccupied that those rumblings can seem so far off, they appear minuscule. Other times you welcome the rain, let it wash over and cleanse you, allow it to infuse life back into your roots while taking in the nutrients as if in a gentle bath.

It’s funny, same rain… different outcome. Same source, different recipient. I spoke with these things to Orange Blossom, my phantom companion, but she still remained optimistic… and while others may hide from it, we raced with the rain and won. I made it home, dry as a bone. The raindrops pooled on the pavement as I swished through them, oncoming headlights splintered from the multi-faceted prisms that had collected in between the sweeping arms of my wiper blades. But we were spared the humiliation of returning the convertible top to it’s resting place, we were masters of the cosmos… we were mightier than Thor and his hammer.

As I backed into the garage, I thought about what I had accomplished in a scant 105 minutes with 6 speeds, 9 speakers and a compilation CD. Convertible therapy may just be a state of mind, a change of prospective… phantom company like Orange Blossom or an inner peace that fosters the self realization that the rain comes as sure as the sun shines.

…we are in our element, regardless.



4 Responses to “convertible therapy”

  1. Chantal Says:

    If I didn’t know better, I swear that I was there.

    Your words are magic, your powers of description are second to none….It’s the honesty that keeps shining through in all that you write, with words that are like a morning rain….peaceful, nourishing, hopeful. Thank you for this convertible therapy. I’ll remember this the next time I need to react to the rain in my own life.


  2. damewiggy Says:

    ah, i really enjoyed this. well done.

    my favorite coping mechanism ever. hitting the road.

  3. babychaos Says:

    A long time ago, when I couldn’t sleep, I used to drive round London at about 4 in the morning with the top down… I used to take an umbrella to put up at the traffic lights… Great post. Sums it up perfectly!



  4. 1poet4man Says:

    It a world of competing psychological paradigms, all promising to convert one, from, one state to another, you find one, that is cheap, fun and more importantly – works!

    How did you do that…?.


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