I started to cry while driving. I had no idea why. It wasn't just that sense of tears starting to spring that you can hold back with a tightening of the throat. No, this came from somewhere deep. Like a volcano wanting to break loose. Tears unbidden. Tears with plans of their own.
I knew I had to get off the road, avoid being a danger to others. I can drive while crying. I've done it before. Haven't we all? It wasn't even a matter of understanding why I felt so sad.
I pulled over right there and then. Not wanting to break down completely, looking around for tissues, I noticed in the rear view mirror, the sheriff.
Would I get a traffic ticket for having pulled over without a reason? I would soon find out. It was just beginning to sprinkle, when the officer came to my rider side door. I opened it so he could lean in.
He took one look at me, I noticed in his eyes a flicker of recognition. He knew instinctively this wasn't a stalled car problem. Maybe he was thinking, a crying woman, Oh %^*&!".
But he said with concern, "Are you all right, Ma'am?"
I didn't know what to say. (I just started crying for no reason, officer, over nothing?) No, I didn't say that. I lied. Okay, maybe not a full lie, a little white lie. I told him my father died last year... a bit of overwhelming grief struck me while driving... I thought it would be safer to pull over, calm down.
He said some comforting words, I forget what.
And to get me out of danger he followed me to the next exit.