I traveled to the scene of a crime last week with a lasagna in my back seat.
As I learned later, I had forgotten to bring it into the house after my daughter’s field hockey banquet the night before, exhausted as I was after the daily quest to juggle a new job at The City Paper and single motherhood.
But I digress … I was sitting in the newsroom that day when I heard “kidnapped baby” on the police scanner. I grabbed a notebook and my car keys and tore off to learn more.
I met up with our photographer on the road and was two inches behind his van as he careened at the speed of lift-off along small side streets and around corners. We were rushing to speak with the mother before the Big City news outlets caught wind of the story.
That’s when I heard the first crash in my back seat.
When I turned right something slid across the seat and smashed into the left passenger door. Left? The opposite and … boom! What the hell?!?
I didn’t want to lose the guy ahead of me so I didn’t risk a backward glance. My first (irrational) thought was there was an animal in the car. I was instantly terrified, having heard something scrabbling in the wall of my 200-plus-year old house the night before.
Then, I wasn’t sure. A hubcab of this new (to me) car shot off for no reason at a stop light recently. Was something breaking?
Stop it! I shouted, to no one. Imagining claws, teeth and hot breath on my neck. Or worse.
When we braked I peered over my shoulder. I felt nervous, as if about to press my face against a hot stove. And there, balancing precariously at the seat’s edge, as if waving hello, was the rectangular glass dish, wrapped in aluminum foil. Seriously?
So, I felt slightly idiotic. But, why wouldn’t my nerves be frayed? It’s been seven years since I’ve worked as a reporter full-time. And I’m still finding my way with work needs, kids’ needs, and, of course, my needs. So, I will cut myself some slack.
In general, things are great. Of course it’s a challenge to get the story during the day, jump in the car when the whistle blows, and race home to put on the parent hat. That relationship is still in the discovery stage, as are so many things around me now.
I haven’t written in this blog for a long, long time as I’ve made the transition to a new job, and a new life. And I have missed it.
But here I am. Finally. And I hope to be seeing more of you.