Zooming down the freeway at 75mph with the top down before the sun comes up – still cool wind cutting around me and music volume slowly being increased to offset the whooooooooooosh. My adrenaline attempts to drown out the self judging of my music choice: The Scientist by Coldplay. It’s not in my regular rotation but it popped up on shuffle and I found it a fitting compliment to my mood on Easter morning.
Jack – she’s a good girl.
As a tween back in Anchor-town, our family had one of those monstrous RCA televisions in our basement. It was one of those that was the size of an old school Volkswagen Bug, with the push button numbers and the red 24-esque font read-out instead of the flip tuner, and when dad splurged and brought it home (presumably to keep us in the basement) we felt oh-so-fancy in our pre-cable, pre call waiting, shag carpeted rec room.
My older brothers had two VHS tapes they rented and “lost” the summer of the new TV – ones that we watched so many times I was continually surprised the tape didn’t melt to the heads of the VCR.
Many nights and mornings of hormone insomnia were spent playing my share of those two “lost” tapes, they were flicks I never would have selected for myself. The movies? Trading Spaces (most of the dialog to if challenged and which I still regularly quote) and – more importantly – Terminator.
Sarah Connor was it. Strong. Independent. Fierce and triumphant in the face of certain death, lost, alone, scared but persistent, feminine, and…she drove a Jeep. Somehow I managed to draw parallels, and identified with her as my mother was picked apart bit by bit by disease and damage she no longer wished to control. Heart surgery, amputations and alcoholism were part of every day life. Sarah Connor had seen worse, and she survived it: with balls bigger than any mans and a just a hint of lipstick. If she could battle intelligent machinery from the future at the same time as heartbreak, surely I could handle what I was being given.
There was something about that final scene of the movie, the one where ‘s worn and ragged and she’s at a filling station in the middle of the desert with the requisite tumbleweed rolling by and a German Shepard in the passenger seat. In the scene she’s brutally aware and unaware of what her future holds. A bandanna rolled and presumably preventing sweat from rolling down her forehead, and she’s sitting in the Jeep with the top down recording a message to John Connor and a little boy pops up and snaps a Polaroid of her. The same picture her son will use to find her in the future/past, the picture that captures her heartbreak and hope. There’s some dialog and she throws on her aviators and rolls off towards the storm and the mountains in the distance.
Oh, it haunted me. It haunts me still.
So when the temperatures eek themselves anywhere within 3 zip codes of warm, when I can leave the house and tap into my formerly Alaskan tolerance of cold – I take Jack for a bath and strip her bare for our annual rebirth.
The top down, the wind snarling knots in my short, fine, ever graying hair, we hit the open road and embrace my inner Sarah Connor.
PS I’m still in denial about James Cameron having anything to do with Terminator
PSS If you want to watch the scene I mentioned, I found a clip here.