It is pouring. The grey drops have become one huge drop and the world is in a flood of wet tones, mixing somewhere between white and black, saturating everything. I am driving home.
I could swear that is the smell of burnt rubber. The car in front of me on the cramped and slowing roundabout is limping forward at a tortuously dwindling pace and I all but stop. I have been praying for this moment for days; I've been praying for a moment to help in an adventurous, slightly daring way. Only when I follow the tyre-less car into the conveniently close fuel station and park on the opposite side do I realise just how adventurous and slightly daring this is. Water is falling out of the sky as if a gargantuan jug is being emptied onto our little piece of 7-11 ground. The leak in my car has already rendered me quite damp...then again, I could still be minimally dry...
I don't let myself think twice. Out I bounce with an inordinate amount of frantic energy, closing the car door quickly behind me, but heaven knows that the rain has already moistened every dry patch that existed on the right hand side of the car. Whatever. That is beside the point. The point is that I am now standing in the pouring rain; beautiful, blue dress saturated in a matter of seconds; patent point-toed heels filling; sock bun appearing beneath my hair. I fling off the shoes and dash for the other car. Standing in a vague shambles beside the delapidated vehicle is a woman with a glazed expression on her face. I've never changed a tyre before. I immediately make a mental note to learn. Over the sound of the rain I yell, "Can I do anything?! Are you alright?!" to which the reply is nothing but a stunned, "...my car..." okay. This might be harder than I thought. I look up and realise that there are four capable-looking (and very dry) young men inside the station, and start beckoning them towards us. No more than one moves towards the door, and even he stops just inside the lip of the entrance. Oh heck. Ungentlemanly gentlemen are not what I need at this moment. After yelling for him to help change the tyre, he blinks his eyes in an extremely aggravating way and smugly states, "Call RACQ".
"Excuse me Ma'am, do you have RACQ? ...yes?" I decide to take control if this spineless creature will not. "They're right down the road," The ungentlemanly gentleman cuts in, irrelevantly, before the vague old lady all but screams, "I can't drive there!--"
"Do you have a phone?" I wrench the conversation out of his grip into my more focused hold. "...yes? Do you have their number?" "Umm...no." Right. I turn to the ungentlemanly gentleman, still standing in his dry haven, surrounded by his magazines, lollies and bubbly drinks. "Do you have RACQ's number? ...yes? Would you please call them for her?" The passive, glazed look has remained on his face. He resembles a dead opposum, but that comparison lingers in my mind for a second only. I want to get out of the rain. He nods in his self-congratulatory idiocy. Thank goodness. With one final look of encouragement to the vague old lady, and one final flash of the eyes to the ungentlemanly gentleman, I leave, running back through the flood to my car. The shoes have filled with water. The car is damp. My hair is a mess. However, a ridiculously wide grin has appeared on my face. I just braved the rain and a dead opposum to help an old lady. This is how I want my life to be. I am living, and it is brilliant.
But I am going to learn how to change a tyre.