So to quell my uneasiness with driving over the Big Mac Bridge, I decided to shoot a little video of our ride. But then it made me start thinking.
If the 15 mph wind suddenly lifted our Ford Explorer from the inside lane of the Mackinac Bridge and hurled it upside down into the waters of the Straits of Mackinac where I can see the white caps roiling a couple of hundred feet under us, would I have the presence of mind to push the button to make my window go down so I could escape to the surface like Sandra Bullock when she escapes her submerged space capsule in Gravity?
I imagine myself being strong and fearless and looking great in a wet t-shirt but that would all be for naught if the window isn’t rolled down. I know about water pressure and all that. I’d be doomed, sinking to the bottom, yelling at my husband because he didn’t think to roll his window down and for taking us on the bridge in the first place.
This outcome is made more certain when I see all the repairs being made to the bridge and realize that it could, after how ever many years it’s been there, just suddenly give way, causing the most spectacular bridge catastrophe in history and we would be done for. Finished. Famous for this one disastrous thing. Everything else we’ve done with our meager lives would be dwarfed by a massive structural flaw.
Yesterday, on a drive from Hastings to Weidman, Michigan, to take a picture at the Incredible Dr. Pol’s veterinary practice, on our way to Mt. Pleasant and eventually to the Big Mac Bridge, we were stopped for speeding. We were followed for a good mile before the cop’s lights started flashing, my husband pulled over and I looked for the registration in the glove compartment.
It was possible he could serve time for this, I thought. He could be handcuffed and put in the back of the squad. I wondered if our marriage could withstand the separation and realized that other couples survive long periods of incarceration and we could, too. I wondered if he’d serve time in Michigan or Wisconsin then decided I’d find the strength to cope with whatever life threw at me. Bolstered by this, I handed the papers to my husband who handed them to the cop who walked back to his flashing lights while I looked straight ahead like Anne Boleyn waiting for the axe.
Where did this catastrophic thinking come from? I have no idea.
I’m not really an anxious person. Looking at me you would see no hint that I’m silently exploring what could be Plan B for getting out of a car submerged in the Straits of Mackinac. I just look like a regular person in the world.
I did once yell at someone that what they were doing could result in burning the house down and the house did, in fact, burn down although not as a consequence of the thing I yelled about, another reason my black butterfly mind hadn’t yet landed upon. But burn it did. To the ground. Yep. So that goes to show that it isn’t crazy to think the Mackinac Bridge could suddenly collapse or that my husband could be imprisoned for speeding. It’s not extreme or fantastical. It’s not wanting to be surprised by the worst thing that can happened. Being ahead of the curve, I would say.
Things happen, folks. You have to be prepared.