X and I rolled out of the city in the morning on the two-hour drive up to Sacramento to pick up an inherited dresser and bring it back down to her cute little San Francisco Victorian on a hill. We jabbered all the way across the bay, through the golden oak-studded hills, and along the straight oleander-ed 99. We spent an hour in Old Town Sacramento, ate lunch and bought candy because candy is road trip food. I chose licorice wheels and she chose cinnamon bears. We traded jokes with the cashier like we were high school kids.
From Old Town, we drove out to the suburbs. The person from whom we were to pick up the dresser stood in the driveway with his hands on his hips and a near audible disapproving cluck as we hopped out of my Jeep. He had sent measurements which I had checked against Tiger Lily's interior, but wires crossed somewhere along the way, and the dresser wouldn't fit inside. Additionally, we didn't know we also would be carrying back a large majolica bird bath, boxes of china, and a clock for X's mother.
Negativity pulsed from the man. His low expectations out of X, the Jeep, and me made me fierce. Only I get to tell myself I am incapable of something. Part of the reason I chose Tiger Lily is because I believe her to be badass, and to me, badass means capable and surprising. And, she has a roof rack for a reason.
So, we ran to the hardware store and bought ratcheting straps.
It was 99 degrees Fahrenheit while X and I loaded the Jeep and strapped the dresser on top. Sweat curled X's golden hair and turned her face strawberry red. Sweat soaked through my bra and shirt. My feet sweated so much they slipped around in my sandals, so I took my sandals off. Bad idea. The concrete was like a branding iron. I put my sandals back on and kept going.
As soon as straps were tight and cargo secure, we defiantly drove away from doubt.
X treated me to iced coffee, and we told more stories on the way down. We kept breaking into laughter for no other reason than we had won. We had spent the day snacking on childhood candy, asserting our strength and freedoms, proving we were powerful, just like we tried to do when we were teenagers. Except now, we didn't have to try, we just were.