Sunday, November 25, 2007

Welcome to the Road to Hell

At around 1:30 this afternoon, I finally finished packing everything and was getting ready to make the drive back up to campus. Upon opening the door to my car, which was parked outside on the driveway, in the sun, I found at least two dozen ladybugs huddled around the doorframe. Opening the other 3 doors revealed similar results. Had I never noticed this before? I know ladybugs begin to cluster and amass late into autumn, but I'd never seen them seek out the crevices of a car for shelter before.

I grabbed my camera and took a couple pictures of the ladybugs before they began to scatter, and then tried to get them off the car, trying not to think of squished ladybugs trapped between the door, or where else in the car they may have managed to hide in.

Finally, I hit the road around 2pm. And, apparently, it was the worst time for me to be out on the road. Within 15 miles of getting on the highway, I was in stop and go traffic, wondering what the hell was tying up the roads on a Sunday afternoon. That's when I noticed the crushed pieces of glass glittering on the pavement. Ahead was a pretty severely rear-ended accident, though everyone seemed alright. Once I passed the scene, I was surprised that the traffic didn't smooth out immediately. There couldn't be another incident ahead, could there?

Well, no. There were another seven car accidents ahead. One after another in what could not have been more than a 10 mile stretch of highway, I saw cars off the shoulder with crumpled hoods and cracked windows.

What is going on?

I have never seen so many car accidents at the same time. Yikes.

After passing the last wrecked car, my mind naturally wandered along to the morbid thoughts of being in a car accident myself. There are those who think best on the john. For me it is on the road. I often go through a long string of inner narrative, thinking through tasks I need to get done and how I will do them, or reflecting on events of the past week or month or year, or fantasizing about...other things. Yes, I can get deeply lost in thought while I am driving. This is not a good thing. Sometimes my imagination will take over so completely that it is like changing the input from my eyes to whatever is going on inside my brain.

Which basically means I don't see the road I'm driving on. Usually I can hold my thoughts back so this doesn't happen. But when you drive nonstop for 3 or 4 hours straight, it can be hard. And, knowing this, I could see how I could very easily get into a car accident. Not the best of thoughts while actually behind the wheel, I know.

Well, suffice to say I managed to get back to campus safely, and on the last of my gas no less. It's time to get back to work!

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