Did you know that you can fall asleep with your eyes open? while driving? while dreaming of trucks as strange dragons and dinosaurs, mutating into ever odder forms as they pass you, flying by on wheels made of melting monsters? It happens, though thank God it didn't happen last night.
I was tired when I started, my front seat companion more awake than I was. I was prepared to prepare an uplifting hot beverage to take along, but could not find the cups, the damn paper cups. I heated the water in the microwave and had my tea while standing in the doorway, the garage door open, the auto waiting for its inevitable adventure. Then, after finishing off the tea, I popped open a can of cola for good measure and gulped that down as well. I was ready, sort of. Though all that diuretic liquid would have consequences later. Whatever, there are always rest stops.
The drive started fine, with the usual stop for gas (or unusual, as I have started filling the gas tank the day before) this time at the Chevron, which had regular for only 2 pennies more a gallon than El Cheapo Gas across the street, which is where I usually go. This time I was off to a very late start, why oh why can I never pull myself away from the computer on a Friday night. After merging onto the freeway I realized I'd left my good glasses (blind as a bat without them) back at the house. Damn! Those are my decent pair, the ones that DON'T make me look like a complete four-eyed dork. Imagine having to go to work with the ones I had on. Plus the lenses on these were all strangely scratched , making clerks give me equally strange looks in response when I went shopping while wearing them (or maybe it was something else causing those looks).
"My glasses, where are my glasses?"
"Pull off the road so we can look."
No, not on the freeway, I wasn't going to. That's for real emergencies (well, this was one too, but not enough of one to risk life and limb over). Instead I drove on to the backtracking exit, briefly confused as to direction to go, saw the lights, turned left and made it to a brightly lit parking lot. I went to the trunk and looked in my bags. I never forget my glasses. I made a quick call. Look for a black case, soft, yep, those are them.
I drove back to the house, retrieved the glasses, and was happily on my way again. An hour into the drive I knew I wouldn't make it. There is no worse feeling than being so tired all you want to do is lie down and fall asleep, but know you can't, no matter what, and with hours still to go. Awful, awful feeling. The rest stop, not the answer, no time to sleep, lower back killing me. I stop anyway, get out, use the cricket filled rest room, avoid the cricket filled sinks. Back to the car, trunk open, searching for my giant Wal-Mart bought bag o' teeth-rotting candy. Candy will do it! It will keep me awake! Yeah, right, any excuse to eat candy will do.
Almost there, just a few miles to go, and my passenger seat buddy says, are you all right, want me to drive? What? Now? We're almost there, coulda used you way back there, friend. Now I'm on a mission, and I'm going to complete it. I'll have been tested, unlike anyone else. Ready to run for President now. I have the experience!