One of the reasons I love to drive long distances is it gives me a reason to stare out a window and think without it appearing to be a waste of time. I’m a big fan of audiobooks and podcasts, but sometimes I just want it quiet. Carla is the same way. Most of the time we’re in sync. We’ve made Yet Another Trip to Gibson City™ to help get my father-in-law settled in his new digs. There’s no part of I-74 from Indiana Highway 1 to the exit at Mahomet, IL we are not intimately familiar with. It’s just over a four hour drive which isn’t bad as such things go. We know where all the good exits are. We know where all the bad exits are. I can make this drive in my sleep and there’s some evidence that I might have done that already.
When I’m out on the highway driving I often think of animals migrating. The Interstates were generally built along routes already used by older roads and many of those probably trace their lineage back to trails used to track animals. So the motorcycles, cars, vans, pickups and semis are this mixed herd of beasts moving from one place to another for any number of reasons. The semis are the elephants strung out trunke to tail. The pickups are cattle. Some are docile. Some rage. The rest of us are of gazelles, sheep and zebras. I suppose there’s still an Impala running around out there somewhere.
Many things along the highway amuse me because I’m easily amused.
- The Crete Carriers trucking company likes to paint “Our Most Valuable Asset Sits Here” in huge letters on the sides of their trailers with an arrow pointing to the cab. “Your most valuable asset?” I think, “Then what the hell is the big trailer for?”
- A driver in another car doesn’t think the five or so miles an hour over the speed limit I’m driving is fast enough, so they come ripping around me. “Hope that penis thing works out for you!” I say as they go by.
- I’m in the left lane overtaking slower traffic in the right lane but I’m not overtaking them fast enough, apparently. The car behind me dives over into the right lane is astonished that he now has to slow down. “Watch a lot of NASCAR, do you?”
- The number of semi rigs with Bible verses written on them that are traveling on a Sunday. So much for all that Sabbath crap.
- How every little town is described as “historic” but are utterly silent with respect to anything that might have happened there or people who once lived there. “Look at us! Not off the map yet!”
I like to drive. The car may be moving forward, but by brain is solidly in neutral.