Friday, February 15, 2008

highway patrol

I had to take a trip over the last few days. That meant getting into my road-worn, dented and dinged, missing the sun visor, turquoise blue, '93 Subaru. I love this car. Without it, I never would have seen the volcanic shore of the Pacific coast. My little Subaru has traveled from the east coast to the west, to Toronto, to New Orleans and countless other spur of the moment explorations. The inside roof is lined with postcards, coasters and ticket stubs from many of the places we have been. She has been a faithful friend for the last six years.
So, on Tuesday morning I loaded her to the brim again with canvases, art supplies, clothes and technology; and headed north. I had a 14 hour trip ahead of me.
As Tuesday evening slipped into midnight and the headlights in my side mirror no longer had many followers, the road secretly sighed for a casualty; something to stop and remember the gravel that lay pressed beneath the asphalt.
"Just one tire, that's all it will take," the pebbles within the road impishly giggled. So they reached up and plunged their sharp little fingers into my rear driver-side tire.
The road had its companion.
It was dark,
and raining,
and midnight.
A few squarely lit trucks lumbered by but the road just ushered them forward.
So I sat in the dark, waiting for the rain to stop, or the sky to grow light; hoping the road would grow fickle and want to give up the weight.
The rain blurred the windshield as I kept my eye on the rearview mirror, watching the occasional pair of unstopping headlights. The darkness concealed the road's depth.
And then I saw them; the blue lights that wouldn't flicker by. Highway Patrol.
A flashlight brought back dimension. The graveled asphalt scowled under the jack and the extra pair of feet. And with the spare tire free, my Subaru and I could finish the journey.

So a special thanks goes out to South Carolina's Route 20 Highway Patrol. Thanks Sonny.