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Monday, March 7, 2011

Right On Ludington

I don't know why I did it.

I wouldn't normally consider myself a stalker.

Yet, I found myself drawn to the mid-sized maroon Saturn for several blocks.

The young woman driving the car was crying.

Sobbing, in fact.

At stop lights she would wipe her eyes, blow her nose and wail. It was a sunny day and both of our driver-side windows were down and I could feel her pain.

She was oblivious to anyone around her. Why is it when we are in our cars we believe we are alone and safe from the outside world?

I continued to follow her.

I was intrigued.

What would make her weep like that and where was she going?

Did she just lose her job? A loved one? Was she mourning the loss of a relationship? Did she find out she was pregnant or maybe not any more? Perhaps she had received medical results of another kind and the prognosis was grim? Maybe it was as simple as a poignant song that came on the radio and weeks of tension were finally being released as she quietly sang along. Whatever it was, my heart went out to her.

Why?

Because I've been that woman.

When the Saturn turned right on Ludington Street, I kept going straight giving her the space she deserved.

This post is for The Red Dress Club's writing assignment, RemembeRED. This week's prompt was to imagine you are meeting someone for the first time. You want to tell them about yourself. Instead of reciting a laundry list of what you do or where you're from, describe a scene from your life that best illustrates your true self.

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35 Comments:

Blogger Erin said...

My heart aches! I've been that woman too!

March 7, 2011 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Poor woman crying by herself in her car. I'm sure we have all been there before and it sucks. Great post.

March 7, 2011 at 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

Your observation about human behavior in cars is so very true.

March 7, 2011 at 11:16 PM  
OpenID writingwithchaos said...

I've been there too, though I usually won't drive while I'm doing it.

I really enjoyed reading this.

I'm so glad I finally made it to your blog!

March 7, 2011 at 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Dana said...

I love the way you developed the story. I read it, thinking, "Oh no, she's not going to say something to the woman, is she?"
Because, of course, I've been that person too. Sobbing at the wheel, driving despite torrents of tears.
Then, your last sentence. You went straight. Gave her space.
Great ending.

March 8, 2011 at 3:28 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I love this, I think it says everything about you without telling everything. I have been that woman and it is comforting to know there are people like you on the same road.

March 8, 2011 at 4:08 AM  
Blogger I Thought I Knew Mama said...

Great post. We learn about you all while being focused on another woman.

Visiting from TRDC.

March 8, 2011 at 5:07 AM  
Blogger So Who Is The Crayon Wrangler? said...

I love this moment that you have captured. Your intrigue, compassion....it perfectly described the "YOU" that has powered all your blog posts.

Well done (but I wish you had kept following her :D)

March 8, 2011 at 6:32 AM  
Anonymous tracy said...

This is so beautifully written. Seriously incredible. xo

March 8, 2011 at 7:20 AM  
OpenID hastaclaridad said...

The safety of our car gives us the illusion of being alone, of being invisible. I've seen a similar scene take place and all I could do is give her a mental hug (does that even make sense?) and hope that things worked out for the best.

March 8, 2011 at 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Elena @NaynaDub said...

I agree with a lot of the other comments - I love that it was about someone else but still told a story about you. Great post!

March 8, 2011 at 8:25 AM  
OpenID caitlinsconcepts said...

I always hate seeing other people upset... especially in those situations where there's not even the opportunity to offer a hug or a kind word. =(

March 8, 2011 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Nichole said...

I love this, Tonya.
This story truly reflects who you are.
Wonderful job!

March 8, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger andygirl said...

I used to drive a maroon Saturn and maybe a day I've driven sobbing. driving is what I do when I'm upset. it clears my head. probably not the safest activity, but nonetheless. :)

March 8, 2011 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

what a great look into your character from a simple observation of another person. this was a great example for the prompt. thank you for writing.

March 8, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

When you see people like that or even visibly upset it makes you wonder what happened. I think we're all a bit curious.
If the opportunity arose would you speak with her?

March 8, 2011 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Not Just Another Jennifer said...

What a great moment to tell about. I know what you mean about feeling like we're in private in our cars even though we're really right out in the open. I'd never stand in front of open windows in my house and think I was invisible, but I do in my car all the time.

March 8, 2011 at 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Rebekah C said...

I felt like I was in the car with you, following her. Well done. What a poignant moment: we really aren't alone, we all suffer.

March 8, 2011 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

It is hard to see another in pain like that.
And still allow them their space and dignity.
I wonder if she saw your concern as clearly and you saw her distress?

March 8, 2011 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

Oh I've definitely been tempted to follow someone who I've seen crying too. Even in restaurants, when I see a woman near me crying, I can't help but try and listen to what is going on. We've been there and we want to be able to sympathize with them somehow.

March 8, 2011 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger WTH am I Doing? said...

I have been that woman too. In those moments away from the eyes and ears of people who know us. That little moment of time to myself to truly feel what I feel.

*sigh*

Very lovely post.

March 8, 2011 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Home In The Hollow said...

So true...I've been there too! Space is needed to deal with life's drama! Great job!...:)JP

March 8, 2011 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I have so been that woman, and I've seen other women do this too.

This truly shows your caring, empathetic heart, Tonya.

Well done.

March 8, 2011 at 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Leighann said...

I've so been that woman.
And secretly?
There were times when I wanted someone to notice and ask me if I was ok.

March 8, 2011 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

I felt like I was in the car there alongside you.

I loved your empathy and respect for that woman, and your writing.

March 8, 2011 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

I am always intrigued by random people I see in distress...or even just totally happy people, I just wonder what's up? What happened?

And the giving of space and letting her go? That's SO you, from what I know. You care, but you understand.

Great job!

March 8, 2011 at 5:20 PM  
Anonymous MamaRobinJ said...

I would do that too. And I've been that woman as well.

Love the empathy here.

March 8, 2011 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

An interesting way to look at it. Everyone needs space.

Visiting from RDC

March 8, 2011 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Soge shirts said...

wow that really hit home. I really emphasized with the woman and with you.

March 8, 2011 at 9:33 PM  
OpenID Sara said...

Are you sure you weren't following a blue jeep? I think that was me in the car. Always nice to hear you have soul sisters out there. Nice post.

March 9, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Galit Breen said...

i, too, have been that woman! You nailed this one. Perfectly.

March 10, 2011 at 1:31 PM  
OpenID Barbara Shallue said...

I have been that woman many times. Great job conveying the scene!

March 10, 2011 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Crystal Jigsaw said...

This is great, very mysterious and wonderfully written.

CJ xx

March 11, 2011 at 3:37 AM  
Anonymous mysoulforsale said...

It always gets me that on the happiest day of one person's life, another person is having their worst day. The world really is quite big.

March 11, 2011 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Carri said...

We've all been that woman and that's what makes this post so powerful. I loved it. There is something about our vehicles that make us feel safe, isn't there?

March 12, 2011 at 6:02 PM  

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