The Drive Home...
Interest tidbit when wandering home last night, after the first leg of what is known as "the Turn & Burn," a shift where you close the one night, only to return to open the next morning.
I'm a sleep sissy. Can I say that? There was a time I could go on three or four hours sleep. But that time isn't now. I need 5.5 to be functional, at all, and 7 to be "sociable" and "functional." The math becomes difficult, toward that end following leaving the store late because of heavy shopper traffic, having to stop for gas, and the events that follow...bearing in mind the sole purpose of getting home means that the absolute most sleep I'll get, even if I fall asleep as soon as I lock the front door, would be right at 5.5 hours....
Heavy shopper day. I'll talk briefly about that. Folks, I know that Easter falls on a different Sunday every year. There is a formula, that we've been using for nearly 1800 years, though, which has it falling on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox. Now, I realize that's difficult to fathom, owing to that most of us spend our time glued to some manner of electrical teat, anymore, and wouldn't know the moon if it came to our front door and asked us, for the last time, to turn the Professional Wrestling Down! But it still shouldn't come as much of surprise what with all our calendar devices that we have a way to keep track of holidays. Point is, there is no need to run into the grocery store at 8:42PM the night before, in a panic, looking to buy hams, egg coloring kits, a keg of MGD and a box of Lucky Charms, because you've put it off to the last minute.
There is definitely no need to yell at your friendly grocery store manager when said grocery store has sold through its supply of hams. But we'll let that particular sleeping dog lie....
Anyway. Crazy night. People running into the store to get egg dye at 9:40. Maybe it's that I don't have kids. But to me, part of the fun was dying and decorating the eggs. I guess some houses buy the egg dye and color the eggs so the kids would be surprised. And if I can hazard an opinion: those people are nothing but trash. But, that's just me.
Point of this particular passage is that we wandered away from the store a little later than I'd have wanted, owing to that we had to pick everything up. After a length of time in Customer Service, I'm convinced that there is a fair number of people who go to the grocery store with the sole purpose in mind of moving shit around. No shopping. Just picking up a can of Asparagus, and putting it down next to the panty hose.
OK. Next part of the story? Pretty boring. Had to stop for gas. Was nearly on E. I work in the middle of nowhere. Was able to trade three jugs of shine for half a tankful of gas and a stone axe (which I will call a Tommyhawk) from the local trader Indians.
I ride up Highway 411 to and from work. And as I'm wandering toward the metropolis of Englewood, Tennessee, I see tail-lights lighting up near the City Limit (an ambitious term, a fact to which those of you who've wandered through and dined in Englewood, Tennessee, can attest). I get to the end of the line, and after several minutes of sitting there, I decide to cut through the country to get home.
Again. Sleep sissy. Tommy needum all the beauty sleep he can get.
So, I put two wheels in the grass, and ride up the median, to a spot where I can turn around. In doing so, I think I see something large lying across three or four lanes of traffic near Baker's Place.
A brief word about Baker's Place...I think it's a Square Dancing pavilion. It's a large, square building, festooned on all sides with old tin signs and farming implements. I would not want to hide in there during a tornado. They advertise music and dancing on Friday and Saturdays, and on the rare nights that I have seen people entering and exiting the place (again, when I'm driving home from work--indeed, if I'm not at work, I'm most likely driving to of from it), I have surmised the average age of a Baker's Place patron to be roughly 96.
I bet it's a real damn good hootenanny.
Did I spell that right?
Something large across a lot of lanes. I may be mistaken about that. It was a brief glance up the road. Lots of blue lights, and red lights. And what looked like something long across the road, long enough to cover at least three lanes of the five-lane highway. Horse Trailer? Transfer truck? This blogamathing post?
I wander back to a road I knew. Or thought I did. I knew that I could wander along its length to get to a road that connected back to 411 farther up the line, past the wreck.
Or, so I thought.
I wander up its length, and come quickly to a fork. I use my logic, thinking that I should take the fork that takes me in the direction I want to ultimately travel.
Well. I take that road, and travel under a train trestle. And the road quickly devolves from pavement to tarchip. And from tarchip to gravel. And about the time that it devolves further into two dirt lanes with grown up grass in the middle, I announce to the beautiful night "I don't think this is right."
Well, I'm committed. At least until I find someplace I can execute one of my patented three-point turns.
That place? Spooky graveyard.
I'm not even really one that gets messed up with graveyards.
But, quiet night, dirt road eaten up by trees on all sides. Old headstones. Those I could see were older...not the big, smooth block granite headstones that you see in people recently deceased. These were the old homes of the old dead. Weather worn. Very plain. At least what I could see in that brief moment I beheld the scene. I say that to say that things take on a different look at night. I'm afraid that if I went back in daylight, I would find a beautifully well kept, relatively new cemetary, with gleaming headstones and fresh flower displays, and a Merry-Go-Round that the kids can ride when visiting the corpse of grandma.
But I couldn't see that. I looked only briefly. Because before long, a Pirate Ghost attacked!
Actually, all I could selfishly think was about how badly I wanted to be home in my warm, comfortable, bed.
Also, I think I was thinking about going to the bathroom. Because, if you've known me any amount of time at all, you know that there is no time that I'm not, at some level, thinking about going to the bathroom.
Anyway, I executed my beautiful three-point turn, halfway expecting to turn back and find some manner of ghoul standing in my headlights. Perhaps to disembowel me. Or drag me to hell. Or just remark upon the relative beauty of my mouth.
And I drove back to where I turned wrong, and found my way back to the Old Federal Road, and eventually back to the house.
Where I slept for all of 3 hours. Mostly because I was having nightmares about overturned horse trailers, cemetaries, and Pirate Ghosts who think I have a Pretty Mouth. And if there's one thing I hate, it's Spectral Mouth Rape.
Easter wasn't great, in that regard. I was muchly a zombie. A co-worker relieved me. I made it home, thinking briefly of visiting the graveyard again, just to see it in the daylight. Instead, I went home, went to the bathroom and took a 45 minute nap.
I feel like a new man.
And that man's name, is "Black Superman" Tony Atlas.