Worse Than Crazy
by Rose DeShaw
After I prayed and prayed
and prayed, God sent me a husband. Just like the
song in Guys and Dolls, I knew that
my love had come along. Unfortunately the car
nearly came between us.
I bumped into him driving
around town, the casual way you did before
Facebook, mostly through the church around which
my entire life revolved. He was three years ahead
of me in high school. Earnest, skinny guy with
big blue eyes, military hair and a way of
listening so intently youd think what you
were saying was important.
One time, in our late teens,
hed given my sister and I a ride home in
one of his series of clunkers. The engine cut out,
going up the Division street hill (every town has
a major artery named Division,).
Get out and push, he suggested,
leaning over to open the passenger door. (We were
both sitting in front so as to be near him).
There we were, church
clothes, 3 inch patent leather heels and full
skirts with crinolines, ruining our manicures on
the rusty back of his old Pontiac while he coaxed
it to start again which it eventually did.
We spent most of our gas
money hauling around the church youth group. In
those seatbeltless days, we got 9 people in the
backseat, (which was a long padded bench), five
on the bench in front, forgoing the third layer,
as the driver had to see and the windshield slant
wouldnt accommodate more. Occasionally a
further two sat across our feet on the floor in
back, which made 16. Nobody volunteered to ride
in the trunk though we occasionally considered it.
My father was very against
such overloading and threatened to take away my
1950 Willys jeep if he caught me doing it.
So of course I passed him the following day with
the radio blaring, the usual 14 bodies in the car
and a ladder strapped to the top.
Among many flaws, the worst
thing about this jeep was the tendency of the
front seat to inexplicably slide back while you
were driving, especially on steep hills. I found
this particularly irritating the one time I was
driving barefoot, delivering my brothers
pet skunk across town. We didnt have a
skunk carrier as it was more or less domesticated
but whenever the seat slid back, it would rush
out and nip my feet. So I kept them raised
Now both anniversaries are
coming up. Its been nearly 47 years since
the day we married, 47 since I agreed to stop
driving before I killed myself and whatever
innocent pedestrians strayed into my path.
Occasionally I still have nightmares about
driving till I wake, find him next to me and
reflect again that both were really, really, good