We drive all day in the rain until we arrive in town. The world is white all of a sudden. Evening lights turns wind blown snow flakes into a tunnel of sparks, star trek warp speed style. We pass by several cars stopping on the side to install chains but the ski condo is seconds away so we push on.
Big mistake. A short but icy slope we didn't anticipate separates us from the condo parking lot. It would have made an excellent ski run. We must look sufficiently sad, dangerous or both, sitting in the snow installing chains on a slop. Several dozen stop to help us with advice, giving the car a push, or both.
We move a little further each time. But finally admit the chains aren't working and the hill too steep and we need professional road assistance. We longingly look to each passing tow trucks on the main street, even waving one down to ask for help, only to find someone had called him to duty from another car, at another road side.
So we call for our own, and then there is nothing else to do but wait. Helpers are departing one by one for the evenings festivity of music and lights. I am so grateful for them, but fear is setting in. It is dark and freezing with snow pelting continuously, and my gloves wet through. I send the rest of the party to walk up to the condo office so they can check into a warm room, and get dinner started.
This is the longest fifteen minutes of my life. I brood miserably while kicking the snow under feet as a gentleman walk up. He is wearing a blue hooded parka, his hands tucked into the sleeves of the opposite arms. I must have looked at him with such despair he stops.
"Do you need a push?"
Never have I heard a single sentence so many times in one night. I shake my head, and tell him the story.
"Oh, are you just here by yourself?"
I nod with determination and tells him the rest of the party are working on "something else".
"I will stay here with you then, until the tow truck arrives."
I nod again. Not quite sure what else to say, but I forget about the tiny frozen bullets hitting my eyes and nose for a brief moment.
He breaks the silence with chats that are not of specific topics, allowing my frazzled mind to follow easily. So it seems the truck arrives in no time. I suddenly realize that I have no idea how to be the driver of this car, especially under the circumstances.
"Can you put it in neutral?" The tow truck driver's question freeze me solid on the spot and I murmur: "well..."
"Do you want me to drive it for you?" He reads my mind again.
"YES please!" I nearly shouted out the answer.
My limbs and face are numb as he bids me good night after pulling the car safely into a parking spot. I thank him, yet it seem meek and pale against the falling snow, roars of the music in the background, and small acts of kindness filling the evening. I feel a hug coming, but he has already turned with a wave back, as if shying away but indeed he is in a hurry. All I see now is his blue parka moving across a world spinning into the darkness, and light.