Never underestimate the therapeutic power of driving 80 mph along a coast.
With the top down, radio blasting Bruce tunes.
I was cuddled in blankets up to my chin just a few hours earlier, my chest heaving after each volcanic cough. The Flu Siege had snared me, synced with Spring’s weather change, despite my near-hermit ways. The churlish cherry of Luden’s had replaced my favorite Beaujolais. With crumpled Kleenexes as coasters.
Despite the florid dreams that the spirits fostered, I wasn’t having fun. It was time for Girls’ Night Out.
Polly the Poodle didn’t mind seat-belting. She’d been there before, many times. What she minded was being hauled away from her doggy dreams. Legs working like windshield wipers on warp speed, I could tell that she’d caught the rabbit– and she wasn’t a hound.
Just don’t tell her that. Her boy friend is a hound, and she knows I don’t approve inter-racial dating.
As I do not approve of people who shake my hand and give me the flu. I caught this damn bug while in Bible Study. The devil did it, I know.
I back the Corvette T-Top Coupe out slyly, pretending that it’s motor whispers rather than reverberating like the rocket it is. If Mrs. Cartwright lifts a curtain corner to scrutinize our shared car court, I never mind.
The radio knob beckons, but I discipline my fingers to wait until the coast road. Just as my foot accelerates the vehicle from 0 – 60, my fingers pump sound into the silence. We are off.
Just as the T-Top is off, to elevate my head into the stars. It’s a sublime night, few other cars to crowd my style. Polly doesn’t mind that my unkempt hair reforms into a wind-swept style. Her ears fly behind her. Even her tight blonde curls begin to unwind.
I’ve barely achieved warp speed, when the tickle re-claims my throat. I try breathing shallow; I try breathing deep. Polly swivels her head to watch. She’s a good dog.
Hack. Hack. Cough. Cough.
My initial forays are soft and light, like my foot now eased off the gas. I have a dog’s life to consider as well as mine.
Whew, that passed. Like the cityscape behind me. I’m grooving down to the beach. My music approves.
Another cough seeks to match the rocking drum beat. I try to calm myself yogi-style, but the anti-Christ of Coughing has taken hold.
Then I remember the cough drops I stuffed into a pocket. Fumbling around, fingers scrambling like a climber on Half Dome’s face, I fish the prize out.
I place it between my teeth, wrestle the wrapper, hoping to hurl the cough drop into my mouth, deftly with my tongue…
The wind catches it, and it sails into the night air. So much for the good idea of T-top off…
Polly the Poodle snags the cough drop in her teeth and then drops it into the tray. I retrieve it and succeed with my intention. Cough stalled; drive on.