It was 2 am, and it was so foggy, I didn’t know to be afraid. I was driving maybe 45, and a truck behind me pushed me from behind, once, twice. Here was the luck: not a thing in front of me, I cruised to a stop and pulled over. And then: a cop was pulled over right there, and zipped up to help right away. Finally, while the truck’s driver stumbled away and threw up his liquor, I sat trembling. Had I had anything to drink? the cop said. Not a drop, I said, and I was so glad that was true.
The tow truck driver asked me where I wanted to go. I had been out in Lawrence that night, and I was going to have to spend the night there. Or what was left of it. I directed the driver to my friend’s apartment. Asked him to wait a minute, because I couldn’t be sure my friend was home. Or that he didn’t have a girl up there. I knocked. I tried the door. It was open. And he wasn’t there. I could sleep on his couch, but I didn’t think I’d sleep well waiting for him to come home and flip on the lights. I went back to the tow truck and asked him to take me to a hotel. He probably thinks my friend is the biggest asshole in the world, I thought. I just got hit by a drunk./Get out of here, girl. Get a room.
Years later, I was driving across Oklahoma. Lots of fog. Miles and miles of fog. Don’t stop, said the person in the passenger seat. You have to keep going or someone will hit you. We have to keep going. We have to get out of this. I trembled.
I’m glad to not know what’s ahead. And it makes me crazy. I am into preparation and systems. I like to follow my plan, and then know I can relax. I fantasize that with enough preparation, I will be safe. I wasn’t even a boy scout.
What can I do to prepare to be who I will be tomorrow? What kind of muscle will tomorrow require? Will granola bars help? Maybe a couple of Advil, or a flashlight?
I think my car smells like something’s burning. I got to get some books to read on the planes and trains I’m taking. I have dishes to do. Tomorrow I’ll have sentences to read. Are they simple, compound, or complex? Tomorrow will be another drive. There are places I want to go.