I dislike driving. Well, to be perfectly honest, I hate being in a car, whether or not I’m the driver. I had a friend who loved to drive. City streets or interstate highways; it didn’t matter. She just liked being behind the wheel of a car.
Bill asked me recently what happened to make me so fearful of car travel. I pondered it for a bit, and finally reached a bizarre conclusion. I think part of my fear of car travel has to do with the fact that I was in the hospital for 30 days in 2011 because of a bowel perforation. I recognize that 30 days in the hospital has nothing to do with driving. It’s just that the experience made me realize that bad things really can happen to me. Prior to that, my brain knew that fact, but my heart didn’t.
When I was younger, driving didn’t bother me at all. I can’t say that, like my friend, I loved to drive. It’s just that I didn’t really give it a second thought. When I lived in Leadville, for example, without a second thought, I would get into my snazzy red mustang and drive over Independence Pass to Aspen for lunch. For those of you unfamiliar with Independence Pass, it is perhaps the scariest mountain pass in Colorado. The road is narrow, and there is a tiny little stone fence that theoretically prevents you from death. What’s worse, many RVs travel that pass. If you come face to face with an RV, you close your eyes and hope for the best.
But yesterday reminded me that car travel — especially in the city — is really not fun. Bill had some deliveries to make for a property tax case on which he is working. He needed to drive downtown to the office of the Board of Assessment Appeals to drop off some copies of a brief. Then he needed to drive about as far west as you can go before you run into the mountains — specifically, Golden, Colorado, to drop off copies of the same brief.
“I’ll go with you,” I told him. “It will be fun. It will be an adventure.”
Well, adventure is not quite the word I would choose. It was hot. Traffic was awful. There were accidents that slowed traffic. On two separate occasions as we were driving on busy streets, a broken stop light caused us to go a whopping 2 mph, that is, when we were moving at all.
Still, when we reached our final destination — the Jefferson County Building, which is appropriately referred to as the Taj Mahal because of its extravagance and frankly, its lovely location — I sat downstairs as Bill ran the brief up to the necessary office. I sat in the lobby and looked out the huge windows at this view…..
In my next life, that’s the building in which I want to work. Of course, I would have to live in Golden, which is far, far away from the rest of our Denver family. (But since it’s my next life, maybe they will live there too.)
While dropping off the paperwork, Bill characteristically befriended one of the support staff. He mentioned that he was hungry, and she told him about a pizza place in Golden with delicious Chicago-style pizzas.
Off we went. Unfortunately, this was one of the times that we experienced the broken stop light. A solid 20 minutes later (and it should have been a five-minute drive), we sat ourselves down at Wrigley’s Bar and Grill…..
The pizza was ordinary. But the beer was cold. And this sign indicated to us that food wasn’t the top priority at this particular watering hole…..
We survived our “adventure” with plans to spend today in the car for as little time as possible.