Driving Cross Country
Tell us about a time you were being carefully watched, or a time you were stuck somewhere you didn’t like. How was everyone else acting? What did you do?
“I was driving cross’ country, umm, from, basically from California back to Chicago a few years back. And, it was just me and the dog, basically, and a lot of stuff cuz’ the wife and I, well long story, but the wife and I had been on the west coast for a couple weeks, and we had gone wine tasting so there was a case of wine in the car, and we were near Mount Hood where there was skiing in the summer. So there was skis in the back of the car, so, the car was full basically.
I was bringing all of our stuff back and she had to stay a little bit longer and fly later, all our stuff and the dog. So you know, 10:30 at night I’m cruisin’ down I-80 in Nebraska, I think I’ll call my grandfather, you know, I’ve gotta find something to do right now to keep me awake.
So you know, we’re catchin’ up, and a deer saunters out, and I veer. And it keeps sauntering faster, and I veer. Boom! You know, air bag goes off, umm… the horn is going off… I can’t really see…its dark outside of course. I quickly tell my grandfather I’ve gotta go. I get the car over. The dog is just completely bewildered, it has no idea what’s going on.
So we get out of the car, and I look up the road and see a silhouette of a deer carcass on the shoulder. You know, there’s truck headlights flying by, and I look up the road, and it’s dark. And I look back down the road, and it’s dark. And I look for a mile post, and I don’t see one, and basically at that moment I knew I was in Nebraska. And I was panicked. So the horn’s still going off, it’s draining coolant, so I can’t even hear to make a phone call quickly.
So, we start walking up the road so I can make a call, and I call the police, and well, you know, a nice officer comes, eventually, but they’re asking me, “Where are you?” And I’m saying, “Well I’m… I’m in Nebraska. I…I don’t know? Let me go for a walk, maybe I’ll see a sign.” So, we had to walk. I suppose, it seemed like a long ways, basically a quarter-mile or something. Finally, we saw a sign.
So anyway, the story goes on, and on, and basically we end up in a hotel in Lexington, Nebraska. A hotel that doesn’t really wanna take dogs, but I thought they would. I just gotta’ talk them out of it, out of, you know, making me sleep out on the lawn that night. And of course, next morning, I’m tryin’ to find a rental car and all this stuff, and they want me out of there because I’ve got a dog.
And so basically, I’ve got all this stuff in this wrecked car, out in front of this hotel, and I’m sitting there. Lexington is not a big place, so I’m having a hard time finding a rental car and getting all that worked out. I’m sitting there in front of this hotel, and it’s getting hotter, the dog’s panting, you know, bored out of her mind. And I’ve got skis, and I’ve got wine, and I’ll be sitting there, like, feeling about as trapped as you can feel. Even though, you know, you’re not, like, in the cage literally. There was about a an hour there where I had no idea what I was gonna do.
I got out of it. I got a car a, eventually, and got back to Chicago. But it was an amazing experience feeling completely trapped and powerless really.”