Trains & Motels

There is still a romance about awakening to train horns from a distance, a music from the rails so long as one is not up close to them. That one drawn-out note & then a steady rumble of passage. Life was simpler traveling when one could afford a ticket.

I see the occasional pedestrian on the highway – it seems Texas does not forbid this everywhere as other places with their “NO!” signs at each entrance. The men I’ve seen (only two) are sunbaked, dark of visage, carrying only a little. They probably had nothing to begin with but have picked up small items along their treks. I zip by with a fleeting regret that I cannot help them. My car has no room & I have no faith of escaping unscathed by encounter.

Today is push day – close to 400 miles, fifty over my self-imposed daily limit. I am no longer hypnotized by the driving after that distance as the scope & speed & sheer volume of vehicles brings on an adrenaline rush that sustains itself as I try to see everywhere all at once. Exits fly by like jumping fleas – signs up, signs gone elsewhere: I blinked. I am thankful for those way-up-high signs & familiar logos. They give me a point to circle in upon.

This is my first drive across the lower portion of the States. Route I-10 cross states I have never been to with Louisiana & Florida (unless I count one brief church rally encounter with Jacksonville in the latter.)

It is a marathon of focus, a test of feathering brakes & hitting the gas, watching for patterns. I keep an eye on the Freightliners, the Kenilworths, the box trucks; if they change lanes I check to see if I’ve room to do the same cuz something is in the way. I eye auto carriers suspiciously for anything about to fall off – as if. So, there’s a predictive element here, a series of judgment calls changing momentarily. I feel as though I should be donning goggles, slapping driving gloves against my thigh as I settle in the car. Instead, I put a white-light bubble around the Volt, my Sparkle Plenty car. I draw it clockwise all the way around, over & under & then I settle it inside with me. I draw Reiki symbols, an old ritual for safety & grace. I am entering an arena of sorts & I am ready, as prepared as I can be.

Motel rooms are to sprawl in tho I have “areas” – all electronics on the cabinet with the TV (which remains untouched.) My suitcase is slung on the king-size bed – it seems there are no luggage holders anymore. Motel rooms are the final resting places of ironing boards & irons & I wonder if these just get dusted as it’s likely no one uses them. I’m not sure there are even fabrics that will take to ironing anymore. My wrinkles hang out with body heat (sure wish that worked for my face!)

By evening, I am gathering stuff into piles again for easy scoop-up in the morning. The soaps are back in the ditty bag, handy shelves emptied so all is on a surface for visibility. Anything not used is piled in the suitcase for fold’n’sort at departure. Instead of checking under the bed these days, one must look at all the plugs for chargers.

The privacy of a room after a day on the road is grand & well-deserved! On arrival, I close the darkening drapes & turn on the lights which creates a cave of my own.

The coffee is unpalatable for the most part but there’s a mystery about it of whether this cup will be any good. I think some suppliers grind corn into the mix, tastes are so strange but, hey, I’ve been brewing the same stuff for years & I am not in my element anymore. In fact, I will need to now create this as I go.

Travel is still exciting whether for adventure, life changes or sightseeing. I can be more fearful if I choose but anything going wrong would be a fireworks display on the road, it is a gambler’s dream of statistical extremes. My faith is secure as it would be an arrival at destination, whether in Florida or anywhere else more heavenly.

I make a prayer of every encounter since that’s what works for me.

Blessings to everyone on the road today. Stay out of each other’s ways, stray not from approved paths, let us each & everyone arrive alive-o. For me, another motel to stretch out in…not that I need much room. Just some plugs, a fridge & safety to close my eyes & know my Blessings on each temporary homecoming.

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