My Split-Personality

Yin and Yang
You know I have a split personality. It’s pretty deep. It’s like you know, that yin and yang thing.See, on the one hand I’m very reasonable, responsible and dependable. (That is if you ask me.) But on the other hand, well, I’m argumentative, carefree, flighty and moody. (So I’ve been told.) Now some people see me as the down to earth, cool under pressure, calmly taking care of the crisis, James Bondish type. While others see me as the wanton, self-destructive, evil nemesis of all that is good. Kind of bad-boy, rapper in-your-face-like guy. You know, like that guy that Jennifer Lopez dates? Well, that’s me, or the opposite of me, depending on how I’m feeling.??I can trace my split personality back to my turbulent teenaged years. Back then, when my personality was being molded and put together, I was also learning to drive a car. And back then my family had two cars. We had this ’63 Rambler Classic station wagon. This was the car that my little brother later drove into a tree while watching girls play tennis. He said he was momentarily distracted by the ‘graceful way the ball arced across the net’ or something like that. Anyhow it put a dent in the windshield from my little sister’s boyfriend’s head. It was no big deal, we never liked that guy anyhow.??Yep, the good old Rambler. It was dependable, docile and utilitarian. One time my brothers and I spent all day driving around, looking for girls playing tennis, then filled the tank with cheap gas. It cost us less than $2, which wasn’t that much even back then. Then when my little sister learned to drive she tried to match wits with a fire hydrant. The fire hydrant won, but to the Rambler’s credit, the windshield wipers still worked. All the while she was stuck on top of that busted hydrant they kept the windshield clear so she could see the fire trucks coming.??Our other car, that I sometimes got to drive, was a ’70 Buick LeSabre. It had some humongous engine in it, what they call ‘a V-8’, with a quadruple-barreled carburetor. It would roar so loud when you floored it that it hurt my ears. I told my dad that it sounded just like the race cars at Indy. He just smiled. It was the first car I was able to ‘peel-out’ in and that was a big deal when I was in 5th grade. Of course when I was 16, I don’t think anybody talked about peeling out.And it was the first (and only) car that I illegally raced in. My best friend had inherited his grandfather’s Dodge, that could go almost as fast as my Buick and we would race each other down a narrow two-lane road, laughing all the way. Of course I didn’t tell my parents things like that. Nor did I tell them that if you were on gravel and spun in circles you’d go so fast that centrifugal force would throw you across the car to the passenger window. But eventually the Buick would slow down and you could crawl back behind the steering wheel and apply the brakes just before you hit a tree or another car. That was educational car. It helped me to learn physics.??So you see, sometimes I drove the Rambler, quietly, smoothly obeying the traffic laws, watching out for the little old ladies and keeping my wits always about me. But then other times I drove that Buick, seeing how fast I could get from here to there, while looking cool, watching the young girls gasp as I jumped out in front of them before they could cross the street, looking for somebody to race, peeling out.??But like all people with a split personality, I’ve become confused, now that I’m older and somewhat responsible for paying for my own tires. So most of the time I’m likely to be stodgy and careful, watching out for the innocent bystanders, keeping everything safe and under control. But once in awhile I’m a lean, mean, driving my racing machine. I’m ready to switch lanes and speed around that clunky mini-van going way too slow.??And sometimes it happens when I’m not driving. Sometimes in everyday life I just like to act dangerous, and sometimes I’m so boring I can’t stand it. I’ll putz around the house, fixing broken things, ranting and raving about the high cost of electricity and why doesn’t somebody turn off a light once in awhile. But then the mood strikes and I just have to beat my teenaged kids to the phone to gleefully tell the teenaged kids calling that I can still peel out. Of course they don’t know what I’m talking about, but hey, it’s my split personality thing.

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