When I was in college, I bought my first car for $450. It was a 1969 Ford Galaxy that looked like it had been hand painted sky blue with a ½”-nap roller. It had a 390 engine. I know that because it said “390” on the side.
It was a generally reliable car, but occasionally one of the battery cables would work loose from the battery terminal just enough to disrupt the current. So, if I turned the ignition key and heard a “click” instead of the roar of 390 horses, I would pop the hood, wipe away the corrosion from the terminal, and refasten the loose cable.
One day I was driving the Galaxy into downtown Chicago with a friend of mine in the passenger seat. We were barreling down the Dan Ryan Expressway when, suddenly, the hood flew open. All I could see through the windshield was sky blue.
I turned to look at my friend, and his eyes were as big as saucers.
In that moment, I was driving blind. I could see absolutely nothing in front of me. In order to continue my journey, I had to do something about that sheet of metal that was obstructing my view.
Fearing for his life, my friend stretched his head out the passenger window to make sure it was clear for me to make my way over to the shoulder. I just turned the wheel to the right until the Galaxy was safely out of the flow of highway traffic.
Assessing the situation, I deduced that I hadn’t completely latched the hood after fiddling with that battery cable. I addressed the issue by forcing the bent hood back down, making sure that it was securely locked down. Then I resumed the journey with my nervous passenger.
My friend was so shaken by the experience that he got out of the car several blocks before we arrived at our destination and walked the rest of the way. When I finally caught up with him, he was purchasing a pack of cigarettes. I said, “I didn’t even know you smoked.” He replied, “I do now!”
To be honest, I just wanted to tell that story. But here’s a take-away message. In life, sometimes we just won’t be able to see the road in front of us, and we’ll have to pull over in order to address whatever is obstructing our vision before we can resume our journey.
Have you ever felt like you were driving blind?