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when things go wrong

Another driving story -- this one with Imo. She and I were in Quebec this weekend, checking out colleges she may be going to next year. I was driving and drinking coffee, she was map-reading and telling me how she got the bruises on her arm and cheek (I got kicked and then stepped on, she said, with a kind of sigh. I nodded sympathetically. Men, I said. Who needs them, eh? She gave me her rugby player's laugh and told me to take the next left.)

And then things got dicey. Montreal streets are being repaired right now. All of them. Imo had one eye on the map and another on the orange signs that said that roads were barré. She barked instructions; I leapfrogged across lanes of traffic and deked down alleyways that turned out to be one-way-the-wrong-way. Other drivers honked and gestured angrily. I got very good at a sad smile and half-wave. We finally got to Pont Champlain, only to find that access was barré from this direction, which meant more circling round.

When we did get to the other side of the river Imo turned to me. That was fun, she said. It's kind of cool when things go wrong.

My smile was too big for my face. What a great attitude to life.

Yes it is, I said.

The next sign looked ambiguous. Neither of us could tell if we were in the right lane to go to Sherbrooke. Imo shrugged.

At this point I almost hope we end up in Vermont, she said.


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