The GPS, in its mechanical voice (void of the warmth Google provides its androids, since I’ve had to resort back to Garmin), tells me repeatedly to get on 95 and its variations. I don’t; I hate driving on highways in general, and especially at night.
Earlier in the night, I was on 95 South heading towards Pawtucket and Providence. I was admittedly worried about the amount of water splashing back behind all of the vehicles in front of me, and to the side of me, and probably even behind me, when the Emergency Alert Broadcast came on. Flash flooding, specifically in the area I was heading. Okay.
This isn’t about earlier, though, it’s about the process of coming back. I could have taken 95 (or 295, or, or, or all of the other options to get back on the actual highway that Garmin gave me) and it would have taken less time to get back home, but like I said, I hate highways. I have started thinking about the long line of Rt. 1 as a second home, given how often I’m on it (heading either north or south), and the impossibility of a wrong exit. Also, fewer people would have been right behind me, urging me to go faster than I was necessarily comfortable going on slick roads at night. No thank you.
So I unplugged the GPS.
There’s something holy I think about the way the road looks after heavy rain showers, particularly when you’re driving under the orange glow of halogen street lights and there are large neon store signs lining the sides of the road. It’s all very glow-y and very comforting. Nobody else is around. I don’t know how to refer to these hours, except by saying that, if it’s late and you’re alone and you’ve got your radio turned up and the DJ is playing songs that are touching your soul, maybe it’s the way modern man can feel imbued with the divine. Wordsworth might have had nature, but we can see in the dark. Then again, steam rising off of the road and creating a maybe eerie, definitely otherworldly fog–though not quite sublimation–is somewhat sublime. I’ll take it over mucking around with strangers in a swamp.