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Carol Perkins: Trapped

Previous Column: The Heart

By Carol Perkins

From the restaurant window, I noticed a lady circling her car in the parking lot. "I recognize that woman's body language," I said to Guy. His reply was, "What woman?" I pointed to the window. "She's locked her keys in her car," I said.

She pulled every door handle as if she could open the doors by sheer force. Then she ran her fingers along the edge of each window, hoping to find a crack, likely thinking of a coat hanger. She stood back, examined the problem, and returned to the restaurant. When we left, she was sitting at the bar.

Having locked myself out of vehicles, I felt for her. My worst experience was locking myself "inside" my car and not being able to get out.

This happened at school. As usual, I parked in the side parking lot. As usual, I had worked late, tutoring or practicing with kids for some event. When I went out, the parking lot was dark and empty. I couldn't get inside my car fast enough. I put the key in the ignition, but nothing happened. Dead. Not a grunt from the engine. My only choice was to walk around the building in the dark, find a custodian and call someone for help. Guy was not home. When I lifted the door handle, nothing happened. I couldn't get out. The automatic locks were "locked" and the windows wouldn't budge.

I looked for something to break a window. My foot would not do the trick, so I waited. This was before cell phones. When I tried the engine again, I heard its beautiful hum, backed out quickly, and drove home. The battery had just enough spark to get me there. After that incident, I never liked that car and traded it as soon as I could.

When I saw the woman at the bar, waiting for help, I remember the white Olds that caused my first panic attack. I never want that trapped feeling again.

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This story was posted on 2023-02-16 10:54:59
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