"Here! Mum! Turn off here."
It was hailing. I couldn't see the street signs.
I braked to turn right. I was dawdling anyway but the car kept going sideways, sliding across the hail stones, heading for the kerb and someone's picket fence. It just kept going. I thought, she's gonna go over. There is nothing I can do.
I saw a similar thing in Dunedin one icy morn; cars full of commuters coming off the snowy mountains, heading for work in the city. I stood safely away and watched them slide into bonnets, bumpers, kerbs, windows and street signs. An ungainly brake-free balls-up: ice and gravity and some killer skates that looked suspiciously like vehicles with people inside them.
It seemed to take an age to slide across the tar today. I was thinking, I've gotta get some tyres with better tread - I've gotta keep her off the kerb or she'll go over - I no longer have any say in this scenario - someone on Radio National is talking about the carbon tax - hold on but not too hard coz it hurts more if you are tensed up - I've gotta get this car out in a slimy paddock some time and learn how to deal with this kind of shit - please don't go over - please don't, car.
We stayed upright and squealed into a stilled, sweaty mess.
My heart was just ... bleating.
Pearlie said, "You alright Mum?" Bless her for the first sentiment she expressed. Too often I underestimate her.
"A glass of wine and a few moments in a quiet room, and I'll be fine, Pearlie," I said, when I'd settled down a bit.