Surviving the Roberts' Rite of Passage
The dense morning fog started to get heavier as my car lights dimmed. I thought at first it was just my eyes, having been driving for 12hrs. I started cursing myself for not sleeping more than an hour in Arkansas. Each minute the fog got darker, my visibility going from 100ft to 10, going 50mph as trucks blazing their horn as they zoomed past. I had no idea what was happening but the urgency to act started taking hold.
I assessed the situation. I can’t see what’s on the shoulder to pull over, my lights are barely above a lighter tied to my hood. I go to put on my hazards, to warn those behind me of my despair. I hear one click of the signals, then a slow, waning sound as the whole world went dark.
I was driving 50mph in complete darkness. I knew the road went straight, or at least I hoped it stayed true to the past 100mi. I could see headlights barreling towards me in my rear view. I knew in this fog and with no lights they wouldn’t see me until it was too late. I had to find what to do and fast.
Fear sets in. I must do something or else I will die. I must make a choice without time to think, in complete darkness. The trucks lights got brighter, they were gaining on me.
I go towards the shoulder, hoping it is empty of cars and debris. A truck zooms past, swerving to miss my ass end. I start to slow down, driving by feel of the road and shoulder. I can see the faint red glow of Love’s to the right of me. Thank God. Now I just need to find the exit that leads to it before being ran over.
The tires start running over reflectors of an exit. I slowly turn the car right, either going towards the exit or into an empty field. Either one is desired over risking the wrath of the next truck. The right of the car starts running over reflectors again so I knew I was on the exit, just not centered. I was alive, barely, and close to a truck stop. All I had to do in as find the road.
The lights of the passing to truck reflect off the stop sign ahead and I can see the gas sign a block or two to my right. I have survived the immediate danger and now need to solve the cause. The car stumbles into the parking lot and I stop the car in the first parking spot I see, turning off the engine to give myself time to think. I run through the little car knowledge I have, trying to think of what could cause what happened.
I figured I’d start the car and see what is happening while stationary and able to think. I turn the key and nothing. No click, no dash lights, no engine. I was dead in the water. I survived the highway to die of cold and exposure. Another emergency to solve after barely surviving the precious one. God has a sick sense of humor and the threshold guardians are becoming tougher.