I opened the driver's side door of my dark blue Corolla and ducked inside, shutting it once I was settled. I had just finished dropping my girlfriend, Abi, off at her close friend's house for the evening. As I pulled down the long gravel driveway, or rather down and then up a sloping hill on the other side, my mind drifted. I thought of how odd it is that a mind can be assured of its love for someone at a specific moment in which no distinct feeling seems to spark such an assurance...
Awhile after turning left out of the driveway, I came to a sudden bend and instinctively activated my left blinker as I rounded the corner. I do that at times without even thinking when the road curves sharply. Abi often breaks into laughter when I do so. Well, more like a spontaneous giggle-squeak of sorts. For some reason it is cute.
So, naturally, I thought of her. As I reached to grab my phone out of a little plastic nook in-between my emergency brake and my seat, it occurred to me that texting and driving was not the smartest plan. Having halted at a stop sign, I texted her after checking to make sure no other cars were in sight.
As I merged onto county highway 350 I passed a graveyard. It perplexed me at first, because there seemed to be lights hovering several feet off the ground. Passing closer, I saw that the glow was actually from illuminated crosses, perched atop various gravestones. My first response was to think of each of the souls represented, all of which, at least to my knowledge, I couldn't have known. If the first response was slightly melodramatic, my second response made up for it with its practicality as I mused on the assumedly exorbitant electric bill such a cemetery must incur.
I passed a little bridge and noticed a growth of something like prairie grass, swaying distinctly and yet communally as the unseen wind moved each individual stalk. The darkness was somehow exciting, as if there was a new mystery or adventure just beyond my sight which would be revealed if I only searched for it.
My reward for these abstruser musings however was far from exciting or adventurous, consisting of a sudden realization that I had passed Hogan Hill and a resulting u-turn in the Day/Night gas station parking lot. A blonde, who for some reason I assumed was supposed to be working the desk inside, stood outside under the overhang, talking with some man or other who had wondered by. They didn't seem to notice me as I passed.
As I finally made the correct turn onto Hogan Hill, my tires contacted some sand and grated against the pavement. I use "grated" loosely, for at the time I couldn't think of a comparable noise with which to describe it. I felt my tiredness setting in. I noticed a row of trees on the left. Most of them divided into two separate branches four or five feet up and stretched toward the sky in a somewhat straight configuration. But near the end, the right side of one of the branches was different, it had grown sideways before it turned upwards, like an arm bent at the elbow.
There was a road on the left, "Days Way," I decided it would flow better if it was called "Days Ways," but soon rejected that conclusion because it was only one road and therefore "ways" would not make sense logically. Then, I wondered what would happen if the sign were taken literally and whoever lived there only used the road during the day. It would certainly be inconvenient. After this reflection, I chastised myself for being ridiculous.
I drove down into a little valley. As I climbed the other side, the road seemed to stop just in front of my headlights and instead of continuing straight in a horizontal direction rose perpendicular, as if it was a road to heaven traversing perilously up a previously undsicovered flat side of earth. But of course, this was not actually the case and I continued on, aware that the phantom road to heaven might very well indicate I was tireder than I thought.
I turned right onto highway 48, noting the red, digital letters of the firestation sign scrolling the date across the screen. I passed a gravel driveway with a house number printed on a green sign, 19953. I had never payed attention to that sign before.
As I neared home I heard my phone buzzing and sensed the interior of the car lighten a little as my screen glowed, indicating a text. I turned into the driveway and parked behind the Jeep. The text was from Abi. I decided it was nice to begin and end my drive with a text from her.
I stepped out of the car. My mind mused on the fact that I very rarely notice little details around me, especially in light of the business and flow of life. But tonight, driving home from Heidi's in my little 2001 dark blue Corolla, I did...