Adventures in absurdity

Sometimes, the drive from Nashville to my parents’ house is just plain boring. Most of the time actually. I mean, after you get out of Nashville, you just drive and drive and drive on I-24 until you get to Paducah, Ky. Generally, it looks something like this:

That was pretty much the case for today. Not a lot of traffic. Nothing to look at, though there was tobacco drying in some of the barns. I listened to my iPod (a podcast of “Wait, Wait. . . Don’t Tell Me,” a show I learned about when I googled Mo Rocca the other day) and tried to learn the words to the Getty song, “Still, My Soul, Be Still,” seeing that it’s probably a song I need to internalize.

I made it to Paducah. I made it to Wickliffe, Ky. I drove across the Ohio River and waited to turn so that I could cross the Mississippi. But I couldn’t. Traffic was backed up and truckers were just sitting there, flashers on, waiting for an oversized load that had run into some trouble to get out of the way. Cars began stopping behind me. And there I sat, unable to move, stuck in that little piece of Illinois that sits between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

Eventually, some genius figured out that they had to alleviate some of the traffic issues and got one lane cleared. I waited my turn, crossed the river, and reveled at the amount of traffic stuck on the Missouri side of the river. It’s at this point that I noticed the guy behind me (from Arkansas) was riding on my bumper. I sped up a little, but really, I was already speeding and that road is full of dips and potholes and curves, plus a tractor/trailer was in front of me and I couldn’t go much faster.

Then, it happened. The trucker decided to pull off (on a curve) and I began applying my brakes, but made the mistake of glancing in the rearview mirror and saw that the guy behind me was much too close. I continued slowing to avoid hitting the truck, which was barely out of the road, and tried to maneuver my car into the position that might protect me the most. By some miracle, the guy managed not to hit my car (by inches) and we both went on our way and got around the truck. That didn’t stop the Arkansas driver from putting it into warp speed, passing me in a stretch of road that might have been a no passing zone, and glaring at me. Not that I wasn’t glaring at him. Nope, not at all.

But I made it to Sikeston safely, had lunch with my parents, and then we all eventually came home. My mom is making supper, my dad is working on farm business, and I’m sitting in front of their gas fireplace writing about my day. The holidays have begun!


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