Monday, March 16, 2009

Blog: King of the Road

Originally Posted October 12, 2008 on MySpace

~ Friday was a beautiful day, or maybe I should say Saturday was. A good friend had his going away party. In less than a week he'll leave the corn fields of Indiana for the swamps of Florida. More importantly, he'll leave his friends and family for the woman he loves. His mother gave a tearful toast, his 4 year old cousin wrote him a song, and I alone watched the sun come up with him.

~ Driving home that autumn morning between the corn fields I had a strange encounter. I was understandably tired. I was understandably preoccupied. The long night had given me plenty to muse about. It was a crossroads, a time to consider what the past held and what the future may hold. At the first actual crossroad I noticed I needed to focus on the present. It had me trying to peer past harvest-gold walls of corn to know what the next gravel road held.

~ When my car was new a gallon of unleaded gas cost 68 cents. This allowed auto makers to build me a vehicle of glorious proportions. The distance from the top of the steering wheel to the tip of my chrome bumper is 7ft 1in. When I nose up to a cross street and push my cheek against the vinyl grip a blind corner is still blind. As a result of this and other factors, I'm a slow and cautious driver. That first intersection was a good warning, but in my fatigue I quickly began wandering through thoughts again.

~ Soon, I came to the only notable landmark in the area. On a sharp corner you'll find what local children call Dr. Death's house. The front yard is littered with derelict cars. The resemblance to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's auto graveyard is easily made. I'm told Dr. Death himself is an uneasy sight. The sharp, blind corner demanded I slow down. I took the opportunity to look at the compound. "How does this particular house manage to be so creepy?" My answer was laying 3ft ahead in the middle of the turn.

~ He lay there, head-up, looking right back at me completely unconcerned about my 4028 pounds of steel sliding to a sudden stop. Amazing! This dog was amazing not only in size and blackness but in his complete lack of fear. I was a dead leaf blowing in the wind for all he cared. I quickly dismissed the idea of honking at him. He probably wouldn't move and Dr. Death would surely pitch fork me for raising an early morning ruckus. So, I slowly drove around him. He fell from view as I passed. I worried I wasn't far enough over. Being inches from where I'd seen him I assured myself he must have moved, but I was wrong. When I was far enough down the road to see where he had been, there he was, laying in the same spot, looking at me, not caring in the least, not moving for anything.

~ I envy that dog a little, not for his stupidity and definitely not for his roommate. I envy him for his unyielding composure. I'm thinking maybe that's why I drive such a big car. I'm king of the road too. I'm thinking maybe that's why I'll stick with my friends until the darkness breaks. I want to be there for them, unmovable.

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