Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Long, Long Drive

Carl here!  Everyone's in the car, ready to go camping.  But.......there’s always that moment of uncertainty, just when you’re about to turn the key, when a thousand thoughts flood your mind.  A mental check list starts to scroll. Questions start being asked.  What did I forget to do?  What did I forget to bring?  I know I’m forgetting something.  Oh well, take us to warp factor 1 Mr. Sulu.  Off we go….. Oh, by the way, I always talk to invisible Star Trek characters.  Not that I’m crazy or paranoid…..

I never really liked to drive long distances.  I always made it a point to work close to home just for that reason. My current job is only 1.5 miles from my house.  My previous job was only a mile.  If I could work at my house it would be perfect. If I didn’t have to get out of bed it would be perfect.  What kind of job could I do from my house and not have to get out of bed?  Hmmmm, I don’t think my wife would appreciate that one.

It seems like the first hour of driving is always the worst for me, especially on the New York State “Toll”way.  For some reason when we first start off I’m always tired and can barely keep my eyes open. Everybody else in the car is having fun, playing games, relaxing while I’m trying to keep my eyes from shutting.  It gets really bad when I drive at night.  Every biorhythm in my body is telling me to go to sleep.  My right side of my brain is telling me, if I close my eyes for just one second everything will be alright. Thank goodness for the left side of my brain.  LISTEN TO ME IDIOT, IF YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES EVEN FOR ONE SECOND YOU’RE A DEAD MAN.”   That was my left side brain talking.

I really think the problem for me is what I call “The White Snake.” You know; those broken white lines between the lanes.  They’re constantly coming at you, spaced perfectly apart, never ending, sometimes turning, sometimes straight, weaving in and out, following every car movement just like a snake. The White snake actually knows what I’m thinking.  If I speed up, it speeds up.  If I slow down, it slows down.  It also anticipates my turns.  If I turn into the left lane, it turns right.  If I turn into the left lane, it turns right. It knows exactly what I’m going to do at every moment. 

The White Snake is also subliminal. It’s a hypnotic Moores Code to the brain, saying, go to sleep, go to sleep…. “Stop it White snake, stop it!”  Oh…sorry, I almost dosed off for a second.

But it’s not the only thing that bothers me while I’m driving.  Just as you get used to the White snake coming at you, the road decides to throw you another distraction, which I call the heartbeat.  Thump thump, ---------- thump thump------------thump thump------------- thump thump!  That’s the sweet sound of your tires thumping on perfectly spaced road indentations and in perfect sync with the White snake.  Thump thump, line, line, line, line--- thump thump, line, line, line, line---thump thump, line, line, line, line--- thump thump!  It drives me crazy.  It’s like the Chinese Water Torture: drip, drip, drip, drip.

(My right side brain talking) If I close my eyes for just one second, everything will be alright.   LISTEN TO ME IDIOT; IF YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES EVEN FOR ONE SECOND, YOU’RE A DEAD MAN.”    Thanks again, left side of my brain, and to you Mr. Spock.  Logic reasoning does have its good points. 

There’s still one more problem I usually have to deal while driving, my wife.  If we’re any substantial distance from home and its passed 9:00 pm, I’m the one driving and she’s the one sleeping.  She’s sleeping while I do all the work.  It kind of reminds me of my marriage.  The sleeping part doesn’t bother me that much, its’ the snoring part that does. So now you have thump thump, line, line, line, line, scqhuaaaaaaaa--- thump thump, line, line, line, line, scqhuaaaaaaaa ---thump thump, line, line, line, line, scqhuaaaaaaaa --- thump thump!  It sounds like a symphony from hell.  But like anything else in life you find ways to deal with it.  Turn up the radio.

Camping fun with Carl, signing off.