The traffic was horrible on this evening. I left the office at 4:00 PM. I would have to navigate over two bridges on this evening’s commute. I listened to the first traffic report that indicated a few issues on some of the bridges.
As I passed through the Cassiar Connector. which is a tunnel just past the Iron Workers Memorial bridge (a.k.a. 2nd Narrows), the traffic was backing up and beginning to resemble a parking lot. I opted to take the 1st Avenue exit and travel along Boundary Road to Marine Way and access the Queensborough Bridge via this route.
I was making a special trip this evening as I was on my way to pick up the books I’d ordered.
This would be the first time I saw my work in print.
I cruised along extremely well and motored to Big Bend shopping centre where the traffic kinda slowed to crawl and sorta stopped altogether at times.
I cranked the radio and checked the gas gauge. I had a 1/4 tank and should be just fine. I switched the engine onto economy the sat back and sang out of tune to the songs on the radio.
Time wise I really wasn’t worried as U.P.S. closes at 8:00 PM and it was just 4:40 PM.
The minutes ticked by as the gas gauge slipped closer to empty. The wild imagination that inhabits this head of mine began to nibble anxiously as the possibility of running of gas surfaced.
I reassured myself and my vehicle that we would be fine.
An hour and half on the road and I was now approaching the bridge deck to the Queensborough.
Several traffic reports confirmed that accidents or breakdowns had somehow occurred on every bridge this day seemingly.
Michael Jackson crooned, “I wanna rock with you, all night…”
“You’ll get there” I whispered and ran my hand along the steering column like I would a familiar lover.
I squirted past the accident scene, saying a prayer and hoping no one was hurt. I needed gas and I had to pee!
I seldom venture into this part of the world. Surely there was a gas station somewhere around here? Hadn’t I noticed one at some point?
I was down to an 1/8 of a tank when I saw the U.P.S. building and pulled in.
There was a fellow in front of me wanting to courier a watch face embedded with diamonds. He wanted to insure it for more than $500 which was the limit U.P.S. apparently sets. A kindly woman was on the phone making an inquiry on his behalf.
Twisting my legs a little tighter, I really didn’t mind waiting, I just need to pee!
The woman gave the fellow the phone so that the individual with the expertise could better explain to him why there was a cap on courier insurance.
After a moment she smiled and asked “Are you picking up a parcel?”
I grinned back “Yes.”
I handed her the tickets then asked if there was a washroom I could use.
She showed me where I could find relief. Ahhhhhh!
Upon my return the fellow had left and the woman retrieved my package.
My heart suddenly skipped a beat and crazy excitement began to build.
Completing the transaction my final question was where I might locate a gas station.
She gave me directions and it really wasn’t far. Now I had the car gassed up and a box full books…my books.
I got back on track and head home to New Westminster.
A warm pleasure ran through me then. I had been on the road for just over two hours and that was cool. I was now basking in a strange warm glow as I maneuvered back through rush hour traffic.
The euphoria was building as I crawled back over the bridge. I pulled out my nail clippers and opened the box then fished about and pulled out a book. Reaching out I ran my hands along the cover and felt the tears sting my eyes.
I needed to record this moment and I needed food. There was no way I could cook as every part of my being had surrendered to the sweet emotions that had engulfed me when I saw my first ever book in print.
I order some food and a beer then opened the book reverently.
I gazed down at the dedication page and burst into laughter. My first grammatical error glared at me.
To my daughter I wrote, “Not a day goes by that I do not appreciate the woman you ‘has’ become!’
I shook my head and smiled. That’s just me trying so hard to get it right.
My daughter did the cover and I love it. It works.
I knew I would come across a few spelling and grammar issues but I did try my damnedest to get it right.
And then I was just so overwhelmed by all of it. I did it! I really did!
This is a first. This is a moment that will never come again.
Mistakes and all I’ve put it out there and bared my soul in the process.
While writing this book I found a strength and truth in my vulnerability that surprised me.
In doing this I am experiencing a rush so sweet and pure….this is the first time.
Let me savour this for just a moment or two.