Saturday, December 20, 2008

So you think that was stupid

I left you after my maniacal dash to Kennedy Airport. After completing my wholly inappropriate, unnecessarily dangerous escapade, you would think that I would come to my senses. I would be thankful that I escaped with my driving record, my car, and my health intact. If that is what you thought, you would be sadly mistaken.

I woke up the following morning to predictions of the first significant snowstorm of the winter. "Lock the doors, put the logs on the fireplace, and hunker down". I guess the message got lost in translation to me.

I finished work around noon. Most people had not even bothered to come to the office. The snow was now falling at a significant clip. I got into my car and headed home. But that was not my ultimate destination. Some 120 miles away, was the beginning of my vacation.

It had been a tough year in the office, with clients and phones exploding in front of my eyes.That would be forgotten as soon as I got out of the area. But I had to get out of the area.

The drive to the apartment in Fort Lee was bad, but not impassable or impossible. I could do this, and do this today. The lunacy of that decision would become self evident in short order.

Joanne, Richie and I packed up the car and headed to the Berkshires. We had taken this trip hundreds of times over the last few years. It was a 2 hour walk in the park on most occasions. 2 hours into this trip, I would wonder what I had been thinking.

The roads were bad, the storm was locked in, and the visibility was diminishing rapidly. That was the best part of the journey. Early on, it was clear that crawling was the speed for the day. As the snow piled up even on the highways, third gear became the goal. Then, the highway closed in front of us. Detour led to another detour. Zigzag, and road maps were our companions on this trip.

Then the fun began. The windshield wipers seemed to trap the snow and turn it into ice on a moment's notice. The drill started. Pull to the side of the road, or the highway. Joanne and Richie began the jackhammering of the wipers in a futile attempt to create a world I could actually see. It was of no use. Every few minutes the road basically disappeared in front of me. I was left trying to chase the lights of the cars ahead. If they went off the road, I was next in line.

The muscles in my neck tightened. My back stiffened. My eyes hurt from the strain. And yet, in my continuing lunacy, I carried on.

Minutes became much more than just 60 seconds. Hours went by, and still the end was nowhere in sight. We had turned this into something it didn't have to be, and there was no rational explanation for my behavior.

Six and one half hours after we began, we pulled into the driveway of our Berkshire home. Richie and I had now spent two consecutive days trapped in a car for hours while I battled the traffic and my own idiocy. Somehow, at the end of it all, we stood there, hunched over, but intact. Stupidity had triumphed again.

I would like to say I learned from my misadventures, but I would only be fooling myself. I think I am doomed to being an idiot forever. Does anyone want to drive with me on my next journey? I think my son's seat is available.


Anonymous said...

ok. so perhaps that trip to GB was not a brilliant idea. but the trip to JFK was not a futile attempt--had it not been for the crazy, life-threatening driving, i would have missed my flight. and not only would i have missed my flight, but it might have been days until i could get on another. so, i cannot fully condemn your actions. although, my heart rate is just coming back down to normal.

Robert said...

My daughter always tries to see the best in me. Sometimes she has to dig a little deeper, but she always seems to find it.

I love you, Alex. Enjoy the powder out West.