Thursday, 20 February 2014

Saved by the Billboard

New to driving in this area, detours are a genuine fear of mine as in, me having to take one when driving by myself.  I have developed set routes that I drive with a level of comfort.  One night after dark, I encountered a closed road; the police were directing everyone to take a right hand turn down another road I had never driven before.  This would take me in an almost opposite direction from where I was going.  Even in daylight, country roads are long roads.  You can drive for miles and not encounter a house and the farms you do notice seem to have a sameness about them; at first glance they all have the silo and big barn behind or to the left of a two story dwelling, more or less alike.
Starting out on this detour, I thought great, I'll follow this car in front of me.  However, not too far along he put on his signal and turned off up a narrow pathway; not the route I should take for sure.  I drove on in the dark, my anxiety mounting just a little, trying to orient myself to get around to where I needed to be heading. You have to understand that I'm a person who always joked about needing remedial orientation training, I'm that hopeless at directions. In this situation,  I was thankful of my habit of keeping the tank full of gas; being overly cautious sometimes works out so at least I did not have to worry about running out of gas.
Suddenly, on my left, I spied a very large billboard, so big you just can't miss it. This billboard is memorable as it advertises something called an adult store, one with thousands of items apparently.  I'd seen it before and always thought it incongruous in the Canadian bucolic farming countryside and therefore, very out of place.  But, as I said memorable, happily for me because in that instant I knew exactly where I was. With one more road turn, I was back on my route and breathing the proverbial sigh of relief.
 Later I found out the cause of the detour was a car accident and the next day on the news I heard a young child who'd been in the car, had died later at the hospital.
  Such a tragedy; I felt badly then that I'd been so wrapped up in myself and my own inconvenience which was so trivial under the circumstances.