I really am a city girl at heart and it becomes apparent in my own mind every Wednesday night while driving home from my Mother’s house. You see she lives over the hills and through the woods in the next town over. It’s a 30 minute drive through the country from my small town to her large suburb and consequently a long and very dark ride home past a lot of weeds and cornfields with an occasional farm or silo. I am ever so more comfortable driving through the worst part of the city than these late night journeys through the country side. For starters in the city if your car breaks down and your cell is dead then you can go knock on the door of the house with the most manicured lawn and ask to use their phone, in the country you have to walk on the side of the road, past whatever dead thing is flattened out and festering in the gravel on the shoulder to the nearest homestead were you may have to track down some crabby farmer working in his barn. Worse yet, you can stay with your car were someone will pull over and offer you a ride home claiming they know your neighbors aunt’s second husband and therefore proving they are trustworthy enough to not kill you or molest you or talk to you about Jesus or Gays ruining America the whole way home. Let’s just say I keep my cell phone charged.
Then there’s the deer. Anyone who’s left our house has heard the phrase “Watch for deer” upon their departure, we say it so frequently, it’s a phrase mastered and used often by our two year old. Jamie & her daughter were leaving our house not that long ago and while we stood on the front porch Ella shouted “Thanks for coming and WATCH for DEER!” while they walked the whole one block to their house. Seriously, if you hit one just right it can total your car and then it may have the audacity to lie on the side of the road bleating in pain while you wish you had a gun rack in the back of your minivan for just such occasions. When you see their glowing eyes you just have to slow down as the whole herd is hanging about double-dog-daring each other to run out into the road. I think it’s like an extreme sport for Bambi, I imagine after a particularly close call, the daredevil deer is standing in the next field over laughing and saying to his deer buddies “Damn what a rush! Who’s next? I see more headlights! Wahoo!” This constant scanning in the weeds next to the road makes me a little jumpy. It’s just field and field and field going by and you start to see shadows and sometimes a mailbox has a little reflective tape on it and you’re nerves amp up to high alert waiting to see if the reflection moves. It’s just not as relaxing as driving under pleasant predictable neon glow of street lamp every 100feet.
Then there are all the Stephen King books, camp fire horror stories and urban legends to keep one’s mind busy when driving through a veritable Midwestern desert known as prairie. The legend of the Corn Monster and all those UFO sightings and of course the totally true one about that woman who was raped and murdered and left in a ditch and now her naked ghost hitchhikes on Trask Bridge Rd. wearing only a red scarf around her neck, are all enough to scare the beejesus out of a city girl but if you add a little fog to that and then drive slow and scan, scan, scan for deer you can just poke me in the rib and watch the grey hairs appear before you. Give me a monster I can see over the one’s I can imagine any day. At least I can hand my keys over to a carjacker and report my credit cards stolen later, I don’t even know what the Corn Monster wants other than to claw me to shreds, and drag me screaming into the fields to suck on my eyeballs.
Dan wonders why I have to stay up on Wednesday nights to wind down before I can get to sleep.
Photo from www.billemory.com