Gear Up

Chapter 8, Blog 1

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang


Another gear? I had another gear all this time?

And didn’t know it?

How THE HELL is that possible?

Maybe I never needed it before. Maybe I was never that terrified before.

Adrenaline, that’s all it was. Adrenal overload initiated by sheer terror.

What’s the deal, you ask. OK. I know. You’re worried I’ll talk about cams or turbochargers next. Right? You might have an automatic transmission. Automatics are great if you just want to coast through life. Take your time. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Me? I tooled around in a standard three-speed for some 48 years, lusting for a four-on-the-floor. To think, I had a sports car waiting for me in the garage the whole time.

It’s gotta be true. I just outran a freakin’ German shepherd as if he were missing a couple of legs.

… don’t kid yourself. It was pure fear …

I have never been that scared. EVER.

The closest I could remember was when I was 7 years old and a bumblebee flew into my mouth. It stung only once, but it hurt a thousand times.

But that didn’t scare me.

My mother told me I would die if I didn’t make it to the hospital in time. You see, my father died from a bee sting when I was 3.

Still, that didn’t scare me.

It was the ungodly, horrifying drive to the hospital. My mother blew through every stop sign and red light in three and a half miles. I’ll never forget it: cars screeching, locking up brakes; people honking, cussing.

I don’t care how old you are – that WAS scary. The tire screeches alone curdled my blood because I couldn’t see what was happening. I was plastered on the floorboard.

Turned out I wasn’t allergic. But to this day, anytime a horn blows, I lose it.

After the bumblebee sting, I didn’t open my mouth for three weeks. With everything bottled up inside my head, I’m sure that’s when I started hearing voices. I got a little touch of OCD, too. Still do.

Now I couldn’t shut up.

“What if I could run like that in an 800?” I asked as I wore a fresh hole in the carpet.

“I could replay it: Man sees dog. Dog sees man. If man doesn’t run like the wind, dog enjoys breakfast, lunch and dinner.”


Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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