Two hours into my 13-hour drive home Monday, I wondered if I’d really make it. I think I actually thought a thought along the lines of,“What if I ditch my car in Memphis and Tuck and I fly home?”
But I popped some pills (Tylenol), tossed out a Facebook status about how I wasn’t sure the condition I’d arrive home in, and I settled in for the long haul. The really long haul.
A really long haul with no AC and 96-degree heat because what's a road trip without AC in 96-degree heat?
But in all seriousness, I'm getting too old for that shit, and it's probably time, after 22 years on the road, to hang up my road warrior hat and don my paranoid old-lady driver bonnet.
Because that's what I've become.
The symptoms are all there. Blinker on 45 seconds before merging so everyone in a 2-mile radius knows I'm comin' over. At least two car lengths between me and the car in front of me, allowing enough room for people to pass me on the right and still squeeze in between me and the yahoo in front of me. Honking and cursing at people who cut me off (OK, maybe I've always done that). Frantically scanning my front seat and grabbing my purse to make sure I didn't leave my wallet at the last gas station. Walking at the rest area for 10 minutes at a time.
And then the pain.
The magnificent pain in my knees, hips, femurs, my collar bone, shoulders and long bones in my arms. The numbness in the tops of my legs, the ringing in my ears, the trembling in my hands.
I'll embrace the old lady in all her old lady demands until the next time I want to travel. By then I might have forgotten the pledge I made all the way home from Kentucky that I would never (ever!) do that drive again.
It's the open road after all. And I'm in love with it.