60 mph – 52 mph – 43 mph – 33 mph – 21 mph – 12 mph – 5 mph – 2 mph – 1 mph —- stopped.

I sit stopped at the red light of La Paz and Cabot on the 5 freeway offramp. 

I feel the presence of a car pull up into the lane to the right of me. Naturally and curiously I turn to see who my lane partner could be.

A beautiful 2014 Porsche Panamera 4s with tinted windows and a sparking white paint job sits next to me. 

I see a woman “hot” and petite who must be in her mid-50s. Her hair, long, blonde and perfectly curled, it is only thick because of the best extenstions in town. She wore a white chiffon blouse that cut perfectly to accentuate her perky and overdone tit job. 

Her left ring finger is weighed down by her wedding ring.  It most likely costs three times the amount of my student loan debt.

“The Tiffany Setting” engagement ring, the one that girls drool over, the one that we all want, it is THAT ring. Yeah, 2.5 carats with a wedding band. Holy, that’s a down payment of a condo… on your finger.  

She forcefully pulls her hands off of the steering wheel to cover her face. Just like that, she crumbled into her hands. She sat there crying and screaming like it was the first time in years to have ever felt pain. She adjusted herself to lay her perfectly botoxed face onto the steering wheel, sobbing like a child who lost her first pet, stinging like a hopeless bumble bee. She felt much like a heart broken and split into jagged edges after saying goodbye to someone whom you are not ready to say goodbye to. She may have felt different; however, that is what I felt as I sat 20 feet from this Orange County housewife. 

Now my lady and I, we sat at that light for no longer than 60 seconds. That 60 seconds felt like an hour. I continued to stare at her without blinking. 

I mean good manners would imply to not stare at a stranger as she cries her freaking eyes out. Last I checked I am wearing a men’s Obey tank-top that reeks of sunscreen and is three times too big. I am wearing yoga pants with no underwear because, well lets face it, I have yet to do laundry. I am wearing a swimsuit as a bra… guess how much that I care? I don’t.  A woman to dress like this does not abide by the common statures of manners 101. So I sit and I continue to stare.

At this point she is damn near choking and hysterical. She coughs it out. Then she starts hyperventilating but has managed to not throw her face at the steering wheel for a second time. (Good, that means she is in recovery of the breakdown).

Slowly but gracefully, she turns her perfectly shaped noggin to her left and and latches onto my eyes. She doesn’t let go. I don’t let go. Without thinking, I decide to communicate to her. I mouth to her, but whisper at the same time, “I… am… so… sorry.”

She is breathing slower now. (Good, she is calming her heart rate). She inhales deeply and exhales as her eyes roll back and forth like the eyes of a glass doll. She closes her plumply collagen filled lips and gently smirks at me. I read it as a sign of “thanks”.

The light turned green and I before recognizing it, she was gone and out of my life forever.


I must admit, I sat impressed at this lady’s ability to get her shit together within that minute. 

She either: 

1. is an expert at breakdowns or 2. did not get it all out

At first, I didn’t know this woman’s reasons for her breakdown, nor do I know why it happened when it did. As cliche as it sounds, I know that it happened for a reason. 

I, Danika Iselin Hale Miller, claim to be the queen of anxiety attacks and/or emotional break downs in a moving vehicle. Shit, I am at a minimum of one emotional break down per week. 

These break downs are no joke. Sometimes, if I am lucky, I will be in my neighborhood when my eye balls swell up with tears. I can easily pull over regardless of the extreme blurriness in my way.  That way I can’t manage to harm someone else or myself. Though a few times I really really really haven’t given a shit about the safety of myself. 

Here are a list of reasons why it is best to have a melt down in your car:

1. There is only you.

The worst is when people swarm to you in the middle of the shit storm. Calming me down by your misunderstanding of why I am upset is only making me more pissed off. GET THE EFF BACK HUMAN. Let me go through this process by myself. Besides I don’t need your pity. 

2. Adding onto number 1, your car doesn’t speak to you.

I own a 2012 Fiat Pop 500 in green whom I have respectfully named “Fiatnam”. The Fiatnam does not ask if I am okay. She doesn’t hold my hand and get me a glass of water. She lets me put my energy into her. She doesn’t ask questions when I am slamming on the breaks or pushing down on the gas peddle. She does her job. Not only does she get me from point A to point B but she is an incredible therpist. She. Just. Drives. 

3. Independence calls for screams

You tend to really make a lot of damage when you are alone and psychologically vomiting through your vocal chords and tear ducts. Like you can scream AS LOUD AS YOU WANT BECAUSE YOU ARE IN YOUR GLASS, STEEL, IRON, ALUMINUM, TITANIUM, AIRBAG CASE OF EMOTIONNNNNNNNNS. 


4. Driving is therapeutic. 

Some people resort to retail therapy. I hate malls.

Some people resort to watching pornography. I just end up comparing my body. 

Some people take drugs. I don’t need drugs because I naturally trip dah fuq ouuuut.

Some people drink alcohol… well okay, I drink a lot of alcohol. *as she pours her third glass of chardonnay*

However, there is nothing more liberating than driving down PCH at 3 in the morning. It is a journey. I lose myself in the pedal and find myself in the steering wheel. When the windows roll down and the sunroof pulls back you can feel a layer of skin roll off of your body. A dead version of yourself is found in the dried tears, mixed with the smeared mascara. Just like that they turn into pixie dust flying out of the car to lay in the gutter forever.

5. Music stings the wounds and covers them up.

Here is a sample of songs that I listen to when I want to feel void: I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry, The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani,  Rollin by Kid Ink, Sweet Home Alabama by Lynard Skynard, Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix. 

Songs that help me feel sexy and make me want to destroy the earth: Feeling Good by Michael Buble, Skin by Rihanna, Partition by Beyonce.. and ALL THINGS CREATED BY LADY GAGA.

Songs that make make me sad: the list is pretty durn long. The last song that got me was: Can You Feel the Love Tonight composed by Elton John but sang by my favorite characters in the Lion King. 

Songs that will make my heart bleed out of my freaking eye balls: September by Earth, Wind & Fire, Sing a Song by Earth Wind & Fire, and Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. 

Not like anyone gives a shit, but all of theses stages of songs are chosen to be played at specific times during a psychological melt down. 

I was listening to Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison as I sat at the cross roads of La Paz and Cabot. Not by choice. I don’t usually choose that song unless if I really want to throw hand sanitizer on my open wound, that is known as my fucking heart. 

I hardly even noticed that Brown Eyed Girl was playing because I was so focused on my pretty lady. Maybe I was over-thinking it. Maybe I created this false world that she was connected with me within the same song. I started to believe that she connected to this song stronger and harder than I ever could. She had to have been listening to Brown Eyed Girl on KEARTH 101 LASSSSS ANGELEEESSSSS. 

I have told an important girl in my life, that I believe over-thinking is necessary for the creative. How you channel it is what makes the obstruction of over-thinking become a beautiful and necessary process in the cycles of life.  

Even though my lady and I were close in space we were seperated by our security in automobiles. I was safe and she was too, but we connected on a spiritual level that made me apolgoze for something that I have no control over. For whatever reason, I sat right next to her and she lost her absolute cool. For whatever reason, she helped me focus on someone and something other than my pain. 

The light turns green. A second passes. I can feel my heart beat through my chest and I can see him smiling as we listen to Morrison preach “Do you remember when, we used to sing? Sha la la…” and just like that my lady was gone, and just like that my pain inflated…

1 mph – 2 mph – 5 mph – 12 mph – 21 mph 

Sha la la, la la, la la, la la, l-la te da




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