Whipsaw

I'm taller than I look.

You see, most of my height is in my torso rather than in my legs.  Not quite a supermodel body, eh?

That's why the 6' 5" guy was taller than me in standing in chorus.  At least he was until we sat down.  Then I was taller then him.

This height means that I can't really use the seat belt in the back seat of a Subaru Outback wagon.  I can fasten it, alright, but the belt is so extended that the intertial lock kicks in, and with every moment the belt gets tighter and tighter.  No play for me, no breathing room, just a mechanical torture device.

No seatbelt in the back when my father is driving, well, that means whipsaw.  Everytime he quickly double brakes, or jerks the car back into the lane, or whatever short sighted driving manouvere he pulls, well, I have a lot of mass quickly displaced in unexpected ways.  I tighten and resist and try to adapt, all this while my head is scraping the roof, and well, it hurts.  Lots of stress, lots of strain, lots of wearing pain.

This is, of course, the same as my life.  I am here at the end of the whipsaw, jerked hither and thither at the whims of a couple of people who will be 82 this year who each have their own challenges.  

You know "three gotcha" joke.  But when you are waiting for that third gotcha and you tighten up, the whipsaw can really pull at your muscles, really strain your endurance.  Everything starts to hurt, starting with your neck and continuing until the pounding in your head is almost intolerable.

There is really no way to stop the whipsaw, though.  It just keeps on going as people indulge their own moments.

Once in that high school chorus where we had to come in with a kind of a dance, three steps forward,  two steps back.  I guess it was some kind of training for life.

I was at the end of the long line, and that meant that whatever errors people made ahead of me compounded down the line, so I was always correcting for the rest of the gang. 

Of course I played it for laughs, and people commented on it.  But it doesn't seem so funny after four decades of doing it.

The whipsaw is chewing me up, amd it hurts. 

One thought on “Whipsaw”

  1. 20 essays like this on the caring-for-aging parents subject and your feelings, experiences and humour would put you on Oprah, love.

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