just phyllis

just phyllis
Small Town, Indiana, USA
November 13
Blogging with PTSD --------------- "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo Buscaglia _____________________________________ All works ┬ęPhyllis45, the author of this blog. _____________________________________ Also posting at Our Salon http://oursalon.ning.com/ http://oursalon.ning.com/profile/Phyllis


NOVEMBER 7, 2012 9:25PM

Driving Down Highways in the Dark

Rate: 6 Flag


I am in a mood, and I don’t really know what it is. I am tense, a bit frantic feeling. A lot is going to happen this week. I will be turning 50, and we will be marking the first anniversary of my mother’s passing. Which one has me more on edge?

I was thinking about writing about all of the fools who are talking about “Going Galt” now that the “President of the Moochers” has been re-elected. “Packing up our jobs and going home.” Someone is actually going to close their business and put 400 people out of work because of what might happen now that President Obama has retained his office. A web page I came across had illiterate people talking about cutting down their spending and not supporting their local economy. A few were talking about quitting their jobs or making themselves disabled on purpose so that they could suck down resources and make the country go belly up that much faster. What solid citizens these people are.

I don’t feel like doing the research needed to make that argument tonight, though. I went to a visitation for a friend’s father tonight. Flashbacks were part of the experience as this was my first visit to a funeral home in a year. Driving into town was rough- my cell phone charger has a huge light on it that was glaring into my right eye and distracting me. Then the funeral home was in a part of town that I don’t frequent so I got a bit turned around. I got there, though, and found my friend. His granddaughter came up while we were talking, and he introduced her to me but not me to her. I told her my name and a female assessing look of recognition crossed her face. Ladies, you know the look I mean. I met her look squarely, but I have no idea what she meant by it. I left shortly after because it was getting late.

Driving home, all I wanted to do was to keep driving. I grew up with Mom & Dad driving our trips at night because my sisters and I slept through the trip that way. As well, some of my best trips have been after dark. Back in the days when truckers were nice, and would flash their lights at you as you drove on the roads with them. Now, they try to run you off the road. That trip through Tennessee in 1999 really pissed me off.

The dark highway and the headlights were seductive. As you can tell, I didn’t give in. I would have had to end up here, anyway, and I have to work in the morning. I’m already tired from last night so a night cruising dark roads only to end up here when I wanted to be there wouldn’t have been conducive to rest. I haven’t wanted to hit the road like this for a long time. Is it a good sign, or bad? I guess time will tell.

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Turning 50 is a big deal. at least it was for me and my friends. Like a turning point of decision.
Hitting the road can be really cathartic, almost as if one is leaving an old ideal behind for the sake of a new one, symbolically.
Is there a traveling companion with which you might share the experience, feel less anxious?
Peace to you
Hey, Phyllis.
If it's any comfort at all there's a sixty year old guy down here who'd ride along beside you just about anywhere.
Your writing is going places I've never been, and I'm loving it. Go you.
Turning 50 is a big deal -- the surprise is how much more wonderful 50s is than 40s. The 40s trick you into thinking it's all downhill from here. The 50s let you know it's just a U-shaped life and you're on the way back up.
That's been my experience anyway.
Hey, if you ever find you are behind the wheel and just cannot stop driving, you are welcome here in Oregon....now that's a drive!
Your writing has been getting better and better for awhile now, your posts are a treat to read (if that's not obvious by how often I show up here : )).
I have been so restless today, I understand your mood.
I could get in the truck and drive to Indiana right about now...
I always found driving at night was peaceful, contemplative. The loneliness and pain in my soul was somehow abated, or at least put on pause, when I drove through darkened streets.

The harsh outlines of the daytime world, the dirty walls, the graffiti, the piles of trash, the despairing clouds overhead, all disappeared. There was just me and the headlight's illuminations and maybe the moon.

And something else. The promise of something different happening. Most people saw the darkness concealing evil, the next Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees ready to end your life in terrible pain. I only saw it is possibilities. The possibility that I might find someone to love, something to believe in, something to reaffirm my faith in existence. True, little of that ever materialized in life, but in the night, there was always hope.

And I've felt that even before I could drive. I felt it riding my bicycle into a neighboring shopping district from my suburban home. I felt it driving home from my late-night radio show in college. I felt it driving on highways and city streets.

I'm glad you discovered the beauty of the systems of the night.
aha. " female assessing look of recognition crossed her face.
Ladies, you know the look I mean.
I met her look squarely,
but I have no idea what she meant by it."
(i must ask a metaphysical question here: how much of that LOOK
is ...a mirror? How much do you gals project
into it? )
as for turning 50, age is meaningless. chronologically,
even biologically!
every Body is different. Ages at its own pace.
At 50, you could be halfway through a life
that will really pick up in its second half-century.
I am halfway to 50. 45.
I feel about 25 on a good day,
85 on a bad one.
And my body ? It goes about its business.
Getting clues from my Mind.
I have such lovely memories of sleeping in the back seat,
hearing a comforting inaudible murmur...
my dad, talking to my mom...
Great description of where you are. Night driving is symbolic of so many things. Glad you are ok. 50 isnt so bad...wait until you are 65! Yikes.
PW. it is a big deal, but today it's about Mom. 50 has always been a goal, though. I remember figuring out what year that would be when I was in 2nd grade in Mrs. Guard's class.

Kim, climb aboard! I'd love to have you.

JT, are you here yet? :) My 40s weren't what I expected but were fabulous because I regained my mental health. So watch out, world...

neutron, you said it so poetically and so well. Thank you.

James, if you had ever seen "the look", you would know it. Ask your sisters.

zanelle, 65 or dead? I'll take 65. You sound like you're enjoying it, though, so it can't be all bad.
luckily i am seeing BOTH sisters sunday.

so i shall ask.

but also long lost brother P will be there too.

we got our own looks.

hah what fun.
Cool- family reunion with all of the sibs! I'm very happy for you!
Road trips can be good at any age. I took one earlier this week on a winding, narrow mountain road through the redwood forests. Being within a few feet of precipitous cliffs as I maneuvered hairpin turns certainly woke me up. Made me realize we're all closer to oblivion than we think! R