Writer’s Bootcamp, Day Thirteen


Breaking Down: A tire blows out as you’re in the car with someone on the verge of his/her own breakdown.  Stuck in a small town, you’re about to do something you haven’t done in years.

We were crossing the Nevada desert when she went into hour three of her rant.

“And then she had the nerve to tell me she needed extra help on the project!” she shrieked. “Extra help!  She might as well have said that I wasn’t good enough!  You know what?  She’s just jealous.  Jealous!” She paused to slap her hands onto the dashboard. “But she’s so much prettier than me!  It’s not fair!  If there were a just God in this world, she wouldn’t be prettier than me!”

I sighed and changed lanes.

“And what is that sigh for?” she shot out. “You do think she’s prettier than me!”

“I’ve never met her.”

“That doesn’t matter!  You agree with me that I’m not as pretty as her!  She puts me through all that and you have the nerve to be on her side?”

I did nothing but shake my head and switch back into our lane after passing a big rig.

“How dare you shake your head!” she unloaded. “I am under a lot of pressure and work is tough and I gained three pounds and there’s a zit on my shoulder and I can’t get this guy I’m sleeping with to text me back and my boss is prettier than me and you are not a supportive friend at all!”

I keep silent, focusing more on the tractor trailer in front of me.  I switch lanes again, hitting my blinker and checking the left lane before turning. 

My steering wheel jerked out from under me as I heard a large, “BANG!” emanate from underneath my seat.  My car began to swerve off the road; it took every ounce of my being and both hands on the wheel to get my car into a somewhat guided stop along the left side of the highway.

“And NOW the car is broken!” she cried out. “I can’t believe all these things are going wrong in my life!  Just once I would like things to go my way and I –“

“OH MY GOD SHUT UP,” I snap, shocking both her and myself as the words flew out of my mouth.

“…Excuse me?” she said slowly, cocking her head to the side.

“YOU HEARD ME!  SHUT UP!” I continued my shouting from the driver’s seat. “SHUT UP!  SHUT UP!  SHUT UP!”

She simply sunk back in her seat, face pouting, arms crossed.

“Jesus, sorry for living…”

“No!  You need to apologize to yourself, to me, to the whole damn world for your blatant negativity!  All you do is complain and find problems!”

“I’m in the middle of a breakdown over hear and you’re just –“

“I’m just saying what needs to be said, for the first time in my life!” I shout. “God, I’d rather be anyone else than dealing with you and your problems!  In fact…”

I unbuckled my seatbelt, pushed open the door, and stepped out into the Nevada desert.

“What are you doing?” she said, unbuckling her seatbelt and rolling down the window.

“I’d rather walk in the blazing heat than deal with one more minute of your bitching!” I yelled.

“It’s over ten miles until the next service stop!” she yelled out.

“Worth it!” I shouted, walking away from the car and down the long, lonely stretch of highway.

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