Sunday, June 28, 2015

Waze and Meanings

On my last trip to Arizona, I was delighted at how well my social traffic app works to share real time traffic conditions and save time and gas money. I was just passing Riverside when I picked up a fellow Wazer on map chat. Her user name was Corn Salad. I have no idea how she ended up in my network but I’m glad she did.  

She alerted me that there was a speed trap around the Hemet area so I slowed down and saw the exact spot where the Highway Patrol was monitoring traffic. The next thing she warned me about was some debris in the center lane. Several minutes later I passed a corrugated carton that had fallen from a truck. It may have been empty but hitting it would have been scary.

The next alert happened around the Indio area. She reported having a terrible hot flash that lasted at least five minutes. Sweat was dripping down her back and when she looked in the rear view mirror, her face was bright red. The next thing I knew, I was having a hot flash. I broke out in a sweat and when I checked my mirror my face was the color of a ripe tomato.  

Just as the quickly as it came, the hot flash left but now she was reporting a profound sense of loneliness. The emptiness she felt was causing her to feel claustrophobic. I felt like the doors of my car were inching in on me. I struggled to breath normally. I took in great gulps of air but then I realized I had forgotten how to swallow.

I was coming into Blythe when her post said painful memories were bubbling up and she had just burst into tears.  I quickly got off the freeway to stop for gas. I was a little nervous about getting back on.  I made sure I went to the bathroom and bought a couple bottles of water and some beef jerky.  I still had about three hours of driving left but I wanted to allow some space between Corn Salad and me. This was just way too spooky.

About fifteen minutes outside of Blythe, I had the strangest thought. What did my friend, Debra, mean last January when she said, “Am I the only one who cares about fashion around here?” In the next moment I was sobbing uncontrollably. I pulled over and stopped to compose myself. My breath hitched as my crying subsided. I decided to stay put for a while. Corn Salad would have to blaze her own trail without me. As for me, I’m grateful that Highway 10 had a soft shoulder to cry on.

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