First the "whom": my mother in her red T-bird on Wilshire Boulevard; the "how": when she braked too fast in the rain and did a 360 with me and my sister in it in the intersection in front of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
That was the moment.
I was young. Scared. With a mother who drove like a Jewish bat out of hell. I relive that moment a lot.
But wait, before I forget...did I tell you about our trip to Tijuana when my mother DROVE DOWN A STAIRCASE in front of the police station? The cop who stopped us screamed at us in Spanish, and my mother, who looked a lot like the actress Ava Gardner then, just kept on winking at him. Even though he let us go, I was still left with my mother as a driver, and my sister as a whiner.
What a life.
So what does this have to do with downtown? Before I moved here, I NEVER had a fear of WALKING in the rain. In fact, that was my salvation - since I was too scared to drive. Having little rain drops fall on my face felt good. Refreshing. I imagined myself a dancer like Gene Kelly, singin' in the rain. I turned my phobia into a fun game, since I didn't want anyone to think that I was stuck in a rut.
That all changed though when the big truck turned the corner on Spring & 7th. It was a rainy, rainy day, which meant the streets of downtown turned into big deep puddles - particularly around the corners and cross walks. I don't know who built the gutters here - but they must have been dummies. Okay, I will be nice.
Back to the story. The truck wiped me out. From head to toe, I was covered in water. I looked like a walking, dripping rag doll. With stringy hair and washed up make-up.
Singin' in the rain. No way. I was drenched. Miserable. But not one to be down for the count. I let that little episode slide. Until, I was walking another day in the rain, and an old T-bird with four young guys in it - made a quick turn - and drenched me in water on Main and 4th. That was it - my mother - in the form of four young guys - came back to haunt me.
Then it happened again and again.
No matter where I walked here when it rained, someone got me with their car, truck, ambulance, police car, whatever! You get the picture.
How have I responded to this travesty? Well, some days it's just too painful to leave my loft - for fear of turning into a sponge.
And...for those of you who care...I am seriously considering marrying a rain man. I have decided it is better for him to get wet (and buy the groceries) than me. And maybe just maybe, he will dance away my fears, do a chant over downtown, and be good looking, too.