Driving through an earthquake
|Rock, solid... Rock, rock roundly rolling... Rock, rock, rock shifting, sliding, tectonic.
Bertie Mueller loved to drive. On any given Sunday, weather permitting, she would take the MG from her garage and head down the Pacific Coast Highway. She started by sliding her driving gloves over her slender fingers and pulling them tightly up her wrists while tossing her phone back into the compartment. Silent mode. She depressed the clutch, spun the key in the cylinder, and punched down hard on the accelerator.
Then she headed off, masterfully maneuvering each curve of the road, her hands and feet constantly moving back and forth opposing each other in a perfectly synchronous rhythm as the MG weaved its way down the windy coast. As she accelerated, she loved the way the wind took her hair off her neck and allowed it to fly freely over the back of the headrest. On this particular day, however, her drive took an unexpected turn. While downshifting to gain control as the car entered a sharp chicane, she felt the rear of the wheels suddenly lift into the air, and as they came back down, the front of the car lifted, and she was suddenly staring straight up to the sky into a blinding sun. As the front of the car came back down, she slammed down hard on the brake simultaneously lifting off the gas.
The car came to an abrupt halt as the tires screeched. Bertie’s head rocked forward as she had all she could do from hitting the steering wheel. Amid a light cloud of burning rubber, she watched as a ripple made its way down the coast. Surveying, she knew from the twisted frame that this would be her last ride in the MG, but she was a Californian and she accepted her fate.