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I am nothing. I am a single grain of sand amongst billions. I am a single voice within a crowd. I am human, I am god, I am here, and this is what I have to say:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Things to Learn Over 1,200 Miles: Part 1

So recently, as some of you undoubtedly know, I had to take a little trip back to my home town. To do this I decided to drive. As things worked out, I made the twelve hundred-mile-plus trip alone. Why did I decide to do it with as few stops as possible? The only answer I can come up with is “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I did it. It was very much like a religious experience. In fact I think of it being much akin with a Muslim Hajj to Mecca. Like a Hajj, I think it was something most likely only to be experienced once.

I did however have quite a few epiphanies along the way. I learned a couple things about life and, well, about driving long distances. Let’s say, driving twelve hundred miles over the period of slightly more than twenty hours, kind of long distances. Stop only to get gas and relieve my biological function. Preferably at the same time, hey, I won’t even begin to talk about some of the country gas stations I saw along the way. You can thank me for that, and I’ll thank you for not asking me to elaborate further.

Anyway, here are some of the things I learned that I do wish to elaborate on:

1) Cruising along at 70 mph (the legal speed limit where I was I might add), any sudden changes to course trajectory can and will easily lead to a compact car being up on two wheels. Allow me to explain. Prior to embarking on my trip, I slept the entire day--quite literally, actually. I finally woke up around 11pm and was out on the road at midnight.

Over tiredness was not an issue, because, as it was I was quite refreshed. The issue was however, that it was dark and the road was not perfectly flat rendering it physically impossible for me to have seen the thing in the road that was about to make me panic, beforehand.

So, I haven’t been living in Florida for very much time in the scheme of things and to me, it feels like it has not been long at all. I keep telling myself the reason I haven’t met many friends down here is because I haven’t been here long, and not because I spend all my time sitting alone at home writing something, but I digress… Anyway, as an avid appreciator of all wildlife, and having known for some time that the South Florida climate was their home habitat, I have always wanted to see an armadillo.

I never wanted to see one like this, however--large and gray like a giant boulder, suddenly looming up before me in the middle of the road, mere feet ahead of my car. With no chance to break in time I hit them anyway and swerved my vehicle. That was a mistake, and leads me to,

2) If a poor dumb animal, creature, obstruction , or human ever suddenly appears out in front of your car while cruising at 70mph and with no time to break—HIT THE POOR DUMB BASTARD! I can’t stress that last part enough. And I meant it when I said I love wildlife. It always pains me to see dead animals, humans… meh.

But anyway, I swerved, and suddenly, my life was no longer in my control, my car was up on two wheels, I could tell by the way the road suddenly slanted in the view of my windshield, and I was driving towards the side of the highway, where fortunately a lot of trees were close at hand waiting to catch me.

Instinct, or panic, or some other mighty influence guided my hand as I cut the wheel the other way. Fortunately, I was already breaking, and I heard a loud thump below me as the road righted itself in my field of vision, but now, I was heading towards the big solid, median between the separate lanes of the highway.

I cut the wheel back again and the car straightened in the lane, albeit it was the complete opposite lane of where I had started, but it was straight and the view from my windshield was clear from any obstructions. I continued on my way, with the lesson well learned. Should something ever step out in front of my car again at 70mph, with no chance of breaking to save it, I will hit the poor dumb bastard head on. It’s either that, or risk serious injury.

I continued on my way, carefully finding my way back to 70mph. It was now 2am and I had only been driving for two hours. With over eighteen more to go, I realized I was off for a great start.
(To be continued…)

Has anyone else ever had a really interesting experience while on a road trip? How do you feel about road trips in general? Are they something that should always be avoided, or do you love them when the circumstances are correct? Would you be willing to spend twenty hours in a car alone?

Give me your thoughts so I can devour them like candy and respond as necessary. Does anyone else feel Halloween approaching or is it just me?