10/20/2005

Entry Nine: Sitting in the Stand

[A story in many parts: Part Two]

I left my comfortable home turf of Tallahassee at ten in the morning and headed east on Interstate 10 toward Jacksonville. I was to meet my dad at a designated truck stop a few miles north of the city and we would continue the trip to South Carolina together. The trek to Jacksonville was very weird and I fought hard to keep from feeding my fears that I was experiencing an omen. I was driving a 1983 Nissan pick-up truck that, at the time, was 15 years old. Its mighty four-cylinder engine was adequate for driving around our medium sized town but venturing on to the highway systems of America was a bit of a dice roll. Reaching 70 miles per hour was a hope and expecting to maintain that rate of speed for the three hour drive to Jacksonville was not worth considering, much less expecting, so I had padded my travel time to compensate. What I didn't compensate for was driving straight into the teeth of the remains of Hurricane Georges. Although long out of the news, its feeder bands were just now making their way to North Florida and I was meeting them head on. The wind was blowing so hard that I couldn’t top 45 miles per hour--even with my cramping foot mashing the gas pedal level with the floorboard--and the rain was so heavy that visibility ended at the front bumper of my truck. I was getting nowhere slow. Driving through hurricane refuse was unusual and unexpected but what redlined my mystic sensors was when I pulled into the designated truck stop at 12:30 pm, exactly two-and-one-half hours after I left home. I had arrived ahead of schedule. I sat in the cab of my truck, waiting for my dad and wondering how I made such good time. One theory was that maybe God had given me a pseudo-Joshua moment and had suspended time, causing everyone and everything in the world to move at the equivalent of 45 miles per hour in a 70 miles per hour continuum. Or maybe it was like the time Superman flew counter-clockwise around the world and was able to reverse time and the remains of Hurricane Georges were causing the same physical anomaly. Fortunately my dad arrived just as I realized how much math was involved in the Superman theory plus I was figuring out how perspective compounded trying to determine whether clouds moving east were actually traveling counter clockwise. Suddenly, the thought of sitting for hours in a deer blind, alone with my thoughts, began to scare me.

After eating our fill of buttered-soaked vegetables and fried-to-perfection meats at the truck stop “country-style” buffet, we received permission from the owners to leave my car in a far corner of their parking lot over the weekend and we headed north in dad’s car.

All words and images ©2005/J. Colle

3 comments:

mycotn said...

Ah... the '83 Nissan truck. Yet another reminder of our parallel lives. After ditching my under-powered Japanese pick-up, I too downgraded to an ugly, white American mini-sedan. For the Geo's replacement I actually was about to buy a Volvo, but knowing that you'd recently bought one freaked me out a bit so I opted for the Subaru (and got Kim pregnant again just to add some extra distance).

the little one said...

Is this the same truck that caused me to have an outer body experience on I-95 @ 3am...? I love that truck..

Jay said...

Yes, Little One, it is the same truck. You were responsible for releasing one of its nine lives into Nissan heaven but, thank the Lord, you had another life for yourself in your pocket as well. That truck was nothing but love...