I am currently living in Sequim, Washington. Tonight I had an audition for a local theater production in Port Townsend, approximately 33 miles away. The auditions dragged on and by the time we were done it was almost ten o’clock and the fog had really moved in. The drive home was white knuckle all the way, unlit roads, full of elk and deer too! There were times when I could barely see 20 feet in front of me. The road dips up and down and often in the dips the fog was pea soup. I concentrated on following that white line on my right and watching for those reflector things that show you a curve in the road… and remembering to breathe. I turned off the radio and never missed it the entire way. It was like my brain needed all of itself just for the driving. Of course it was also Friday night, so the cops had pulled over a few people here and there coming out of Port Townsend which presented another challenge! The flashing lights the cops use here are blinding. They look like mini fire works – I understand that they want to be visible but in the fog these red, white and blue lights are freaky! Naturally this also got me to thinking that if there is a drunk driver out here in this mess we are all fucked. Hard enough to drive stone cold sober.

It was one of the scariest drives I have ever done. Worse than driving in snow, maybe driving in teeming rain like you get in Florida was as bad. Oddly enough it only took me an extra 15 minutes to get home, while I was driving it seemed like hours.

Here’s another thing, while I was driving through the worst of it (nearly the entire time, but some parts worse than others) I really felt like my Dad was with me, in my head and talking to me, keeping me calm and careful. I could hear his voice as clearly as if he was sitting in the passenger seat and not one of my Labradors, telling me that my speed should never be more than visibility and stopping distance; i.e. if you can only see 20 feet in front of you don’t go faster than your ability to stop in 20 feet. Dad often called me “kid” and in the last few miles before I was home, when the fog was thicker than ever Dad was in my head, “you’re doing great kid, just keep on doing exactly what you’re doing, follow the white line on the right, not the line in the center of the road, slow down as much as you need to, don’t worry about the people behind you, you’re hitting the fog banks first, they are following you.” Thanks Dad.

When I got home I poured myself a big glass of wine but I feel so keyed up I don’t know when I’ll get to sleep. I am rethinking my desire to get involved in the Port Townsend theater scene, I don’t think I can take too many drives like that. It’s one thing if I were doing it because I’m a surgeon and had to perform a life saving operation, but community theater…. you get the picture. That would be a dumb reason to die.
Scary shit.

Advertisements