3 1/2 Inches
So I just got back from Jackson. It made me think of the Dave Barnes song "Jackson." I went to Mississippi 3 times this summer. Choir Tour, Nathan's Wedding, and then Lake Forest Ranch. So this was number 4 since I moved. Anyway, the trip registered 1700 miles total. So, I had lots of alone time, which led me to some odd thoughts. Even odder is that I always have alone time, seeing that I'm retired, but for some reason my thoughts aren't as thought-provoking. ? I don't know what I'm trying to say. Except that tedious dotted white lines can lead your mind to wander.
Rain is frustrating. I love playing in it, hate walking in it, loathe driving in it. Driving in the rain bothers me for two reasons. Well at least two: I have to slow down and I have to pay attention. You know, be a safe driver. I have to watch the lines, turn on my squeaky wipers, stress about my shaky brakes, wipe the fog off my windows. It's just a big ordeal.
A little background for those unfamiliar with my pimped out ride. It blows. Barely. I mean, air. I don't have AC so I go with the windows down--well the back two windows down. The passenger window is temperamental; it goes down in spurts, in intervals. It needs to rest awhile before completing its mission. I don't know if it's laying out a game plan before it gets going or what. My driver's side window goes down 3 1/2 inches. That's not very far for those of you who aren't too good with measurements. Try paying a toll with just 3 1/2 inches. It's tricky. And the toll people think you're just being a jerk and making them reach out of their little cubby hole. Boy they can give some looks for that. But it's not like you're in a position to explain yourself, you have to get going. Try ordering and getting your food in a drive thru with 3 1/2 inches. I know a small fry isn't very big, but it's a lot bigger when you can't get it through your window. And those kiddie Frosties are gigantic! 3 1/2 inches is like the size of a pencil, except you have to BREAK IT IN HALF first. Not a lot of air makes it through 3 1/2 inches. This summer I maintained my weight WITHOUT exercise. I simply drove. In my portable sauna. Sometimes people will pull up next to me to say something, and they'll naturally want me to roll my window down to hear them. It's interesting when I don't. Because I can't. But they don't know that. They just think I'm not even HALF interested in what they're saying. Not even a half a roll down. Just a crack. Who has a conversation without even a HALF a roll down?
A neat little factoid about one of my car's successes: the heater works. At least in the summer. I'm sure when winter rolls around the AC will take over and the heater will hibernate.
Anyway. So my car's defrost doesn't work effectively either. Something to do with the AC I'm sure. So when it rains...NOT FUN. My windshield starts fogging inside. I have to wipe it down. Soon all the windows start fogging. Even my MIRROR starts fogging. I have to roll the windows down to get fresh air inside. So now I'm soaking wet.
My brakes lock up sometimes; other times they kind of give out. I'll put my brakes on and there are three distinct possibilities: a. they'll work. b. they'll lock up. c. they'll give out. Not a particularly safe gamble. I have a 1 in 3 chance of safely arriving wherever I'm trying to. So, when it rains, it's a two-ton game of Russian Roulette. But I pray a lot.
Back to the story. I'm driving into Jackson, and it's pouring. One of the worst rains I've been in. I can think of a handful worse. But I think I had AC and defrost then. So this is on a totally different level. I wish I could explain this effectively. My windows are fogging, but it's not a wipeable fog. It's smeary. I wipe my windshield and it doesn't make the fog go away, it smears it on my windshield. It's condensation, so the water doesn't just evaporate. It just got here. It just moves around on the inside of my windshield. I could invent the double wipers--wipers for the outside; wipers for the inside. Except that NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD would need them. So, the humidity and wetness just wasn't working. I can literally BARELY see. Going 35 on the interstate. Hitting puddles that I had no clue were coming. Windows down, soaking wet, in Mississippi's first cold front of the Fall Season. It was like Jackson said, "Welcome back, Brent. You suck. You freegin', cheating son of..." I don't know, I just felt like Jackson was beating me up, and the only reason I could come up with for a city I lived in to try to kill me, was because I left it.
Well I finally get to Downtown. I have to go vote. So no umbrella, no jacket, just t-shirt and cargo shorts, and FLIP FLOPS. In COLD rain. I hike around Downtown Jackson until I find the courthouse so I can vote early. I go in, get my ballot, listen to the instructions, and drip all over the nice lady and the ballot. I trot back to my car, and on the way it's as if The City said, "What? You're still standing? Well take this." So the faucet in the sky turned on even stronger and the deluge ensued. So much rain that by the time I got to my car, literally 2 or more inches of rain were on the ground. That's ALMOST as much as my driver's side window goes down...
It was a great time seeing my mom, and CARRIE CUTRER! (back from Africa, that's why the caps) and my other friends. Last thought on my trip, at least right now: my storage unit.
It was so weird. I was home at my mom's house, and it was home in its way. I lived there, but I don't really have stuff there anymore. She's there, so that coupled with it being somewhere I'd lived makes it home. Merritt Island is home insomuch that I live here right now. But it wasn't until I walked up to my storage unit and took the lock off that I realized it. I remember locking it up back in May and thinking to myself, "I wonder when the next time I'll be here will be? (you don't always use good grammar in your wonderings...) I wonder what will be going on with me then." Anyway, it was as if I never left. It felt like a movie when you have a flashback. It was weird. Weirder still was how sad and happy I felt opening up the door to all my stuff. Stuff I'd sworn off as needless crap, left me sentimental. Found me at home. I just felt so at ease right there. It was home. Very weird. So, I rolled out one of my chairs, plopped down and propped up for a bit. Like it was my front porch or something. It felt good. Just to sit and think. To reminisce and to dream. To remember and to long for stability again. I love being in a new place with gracious friends. But I really want to be home. Stupid trip made me homesick for a day or two.
A utility man kept walking around the Storage Supercenter and passed by me a couple of times. Finally he said, "It ain't gonna go nowhere sittin' like that."
I don't think he got it.