I found out my driver is in college and this is his first summer staying the full year in an apartment instead of returning to California. We talked about surfing and the fact that neither of us knew how to swim in deep water, and I admitted I was a little afraid. I asked if he had any phobias. My driver said he was definitely afraid of heights. He was a little iffy on flying, but he couldn’t even imagine something like the Grand Canyon. I told him I used to crew for a hot air balloon. That immediately had him worried. “Just you and the balloon and the basket? No way. No way.” I didn’t even try to talk to him about finding a good pilot. If you are afraid of heights, it doesn’t matter how good the pilot is. It matters how much protection your Depends offer.

I asked him if he had other fears. My driver said he also had a fear of snakes. He said he was at a wildlife center when he was around the age of 9 with some friends, and they happened to be visiting when the holding tanks with the snakes were being cleaned. The center still allowed everyone to roam around but the glass for some of the tanks was taken out. My driver had gone over to one of the tanks to point to a snake but his hand had gone through and nearly touched the snake, and he freaked out. He didn’t want to touch the snake, and he certainly didn’t want to be a meal.

This is the weird part: everyone he talked to about it said it didn’t actually happen. Nothing like that happened. But he remembers it as if it did. So now he doesn’t know if it was a real memory or a dream memory. But either way, he is stuck with this snake phobia that seems to have had a definite starting point. I told my driver that it doesn’t seem like he is missing out on much, because a snake isn’t as cuddly as a cat or dog. [I know, I know, snake lovers love to talk about how affectionate their snakes are. It’s just not the same.]

As he was dropping me, my driver told me he would have to let me out, as the door wasn’t working properly from the inside. This reminded me of the car my family had for a time when I was growing up. We got the former cop car from the town next to us, and it still had the doors disconnected from the inside, so whomever was sitting in the back seat couldn’t get out unless the people in the front let them out. I told the driver he could insist on me or other passengers rolling down the window to get to the handle, and he said that others slid over in the seat, but he didn’t want to put me out because I’m very obviously disabled. Super, super nice young man.

Snake And Dove Botanica beach towel

In A Dream – hot air balloons over a field poster

It Was All A Dream – Biggie Smalls-inspired bath mat