What's this all about

Chronicling my steps to becoming a published novelist, and the randomness of my life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OMG Y'all (part 1)

This last weekend I drove out to Lubbock, TX to visit my very good friend Lindsey. There's nothing really remarkable about that in itself. Just a 5 and a half hour drive cross-country to see an old friend.

Except that I'm directionally challenged.

It should have been a straight shot with one turn. One turn. I zigged when I should have zagged.

So there I am, the only car on a pitch black, two-lane highway with only the moon and big empty cotton fields keeping me company, no clue where I'm at and my cell phone won't work because I'm out of range. Not. Cool. And I passed by a restaurant named The Feed Bag located directly across from a dead skunk. Because that's appetizing.

I'm going in and out of spotty coverage when Lindsey finally calls me to ask where I'm at.

"I don't know," I groan. "The last form of civilization I saw was a place called Jean."

"Bahahaha! Have you gone through Olney yet? It's the  home of the One Armed Dove Hunt."

"Maybe...I'm not sure. There's nothing out here. Hold on...is that? OH MY GOD. There is a grim reaper, on stilts in the middle of the street!"

That's right. Let me say that again, this time with emphasis. There was a GRIM REAPER on STILTS in the MIDDLE OF THE STREET.

Oh, Sweet Jesus, what new hell is this?  Thought I.

I somehow made it past the grim reaper and his scythe without taking him or anyone else out as I drove by, and continued on into the black nothingness that is West Texas. A few hours later and I was all alone again with no cell service and no clue where I was. I remembered that I had a map in my glove box so I pulled over to the side and parked in front of about 5 deer.

"Alright, it's cool. I am not lost. I got this." I told myself as I rummaged through my glove box. I found my proof of insurance, some tissues and a gun, but no map.

"Eff my life."

I sat back in my seat and looked out over my steering wheel. The deer stood there blinking at me as if they were saying "Who doesn't carry a map with them? Stupid."

"I'm not the stupid one. You're the ones eating grass on the side of a highway that doesn't even have a shoulder.Stupids."

I figured the best thing to do was to just keep going. I would have to get reception again at some point. A couple hours later and I could no longer pronounce the names of the towns coming up. This is when I started to get worried again. I pulled over at an Allsup's in Quanah to buy a map.

I found a map of Texas (now 40% larger!) and spread that bad boy out right there in the store. I traced from where I had left to where I was supposed to have gone and then started looking all around for Quanah. It took me several seconds. My eyes drifted up towards the Oklahoma boarder. I saw it.

"You have got to be kidding me."

I was about a quarter-inch from Oklahoma.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Texas geography I am including this map so that you can better appreciate my dismay.

This is where I was supposed to go

This is where I went

I took a moment, folded that map up and stood in line behind a girl in a shirt that said "Boogie Woogie Mamacita" with jeans that were about two sizes too small, and then back tracked a good 35 miles to find a highway that would take me to Lubbock.

I left DFW at 5:00pm Friday. I should have arrived at Lubbock at 10:30 pm Friday. I actually got there at 1:45 am Saturday.

What a disaster.

Once I finally got there, my weekend was great. I went to a corn field maze shaped like Buddy Holly, got my hair did and got to have a lot of laughs with one of my very good friends.

I could have gotten angry and stressed out about being lost - and if I'd ended up in another state I probably would have been. But I kept my cool and chose to just accept it. Some of the best stories I've ever come away with are from times that I've gotten lost.

I actually think it's kind of nice that even in these times where technology is everywhere and you can trace where people are just by knowing their phone number, it is still possible to be completely alone and get completely lost in a true middle of nowhere. I actually felt at ease in the blank spaces of the map; with just me and the moon.
Thanks for reading! =)

(This is just what happened on the way to Lubbock. Come back later to read about what actually happened in Lubbock)