I started out this year in January following our youngest son, J.D., and the U-Haul trailer to Edwardsville, Illinois. J.D. was to begin his internship in sports science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville after he tested negative for COVID later that week. We were stopping for the night in Memphis.
We stayed in Memphis for two reasons. When you’re following a car and trailer at sixty miles an hour it takes a long freaking time to get anywhere. And it’s damned annoying. We had a room in a hotel across the street from Corky’s so we could pick up barbeque – which was the second reason. We picked up the barbeque and I set up my computer and played my set during the virtual open mic on Zoom which went to Rob Case’s Open Mic at Poor David’s Pub Facebook page. (See previous post).
We picked up some breakfast in the morning and headed out. That leg of the trip was shorter, but it seemed to take almost as long. I’d be driving along, following the trailer, when my mind would wander. I’d think “I don’t want to wait, I’m passing this guy.” Then I would remember I was following J.D. and slow back down. I actually started to pull into the left lane once before I stopped myself.
While it was true that I got the best mileage I’ve gotten in the van, it wasn’t enough better to sacrifice my sanity. I always hated Sammy Hagar’s song, I Can’t Drive 55, but I was beginning to see his point. It’s like you’re literally watching the world go by. But, on the other hand, you have time to see everything. Unfortunately, you don’t necessarily want to see everything.
At some point, I have no idea in which state, sirens began to wail behind us. One of the few times that I heard that sound and didn’t even bother looking at the speedometer. Someone from the County Sheriff’s office whizzed by. Then another siren and a City Sheriff went by. Then a Highway Patrol officer. I think a total of six cars from a mixture of agencies in all. We kept waiting to come upon one hell of a situation. But nothing.
I began to think we were cheated, not knowing what it was all about. No more sirens or surprises. Until about five or so miles later. Suddenly we heard sirens again – a number of sirens. Then what looked like the same cars came hauling ass the other way. Nothing we had seen on that side – I had a lot of observational time remember – warranted the “chase.”
Did they get a tip when they went in our direction? And then get a tip that, no, it’s the other way? Or did they go in our direction, then figure out they’d been fooled? So they came back in the same manner, with sirens blaring, so that no one would know they’d been fooled…?…
Edwardsville is a small college town. It’s a nice place to visit, but I didn’t look back when I left. J.D. has now finished his internship, graduated from Graduate School at Texas State University, and is looking for a position.
Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.
Peace be with you.