On a personal note, I do feel like this is a growing experience. Perhaps you could say that living in Lubbock allowed me to deny reality somewhat, or maybe I’ve just been living in denial this whole time and it’s got nothing to do with Lubbock.
Up to this point, I didn’t believe this was happening.
Yes, I realize that sounds strange.
I had gone to visit it twice, and have an apartment picked out and everything else, but up to this point I really hadn’t made any moves that I couldn’t have said “No, I’ve changed my mind, I’m not going to do this”, and gone back to a fairly normal day to day experience.
Even while packing, I almost felt as though I was just cleaning and organizing my stuff that I needed to do anyway, not actually packing for a trip two states away.
Saturday my back left tire got really low, I filled it back up. Checked it again Saturday evening, it had gone down a little in pressure (thought it didn’t really look lower), so likely a slow leak. By now it was 6PM, New Years Eve, and a Saturday, likely no places open to get it fixed up. The next day was Sunday, also unlikely to get it fixed since it would be New Years Day, and I wasn’t sure I’d have time to take it in, get it fixed, pick it back up, and do all my errands, and load the car.
So I checked the spare. Made sure it was in good condition. I just figured “I’ll get on down the road, it will go flat, and I’ll come back on the spare, I’ll have to wait till Wednesday to get it fixed because of the New Years holiday, and then I’ll leave.
A high wind advisory goes into effect for most of the Texas Panhandle on Sunday. Thirty to forty mile an hour winds with gusts up to sixty. The wind was coming from the south-west so I’d be driving straight into it. No way would I be able to drive through that.
I’m needed in Lubbock. There are people who depend on me. I’ll get outside of town and they will call me and tell me to come back, right?
I say goodbye to the wife (she’ll tell me to stay), I top off the tank (I’ll run out of gas and have to hitch back), I tune into 88.1 (I won’t make it out of transmitting range), I take off the antenna and hook the fm transmitter to the mp3 player (if I do get out of transmitting range I’ll need something to listen to as I drive back), I grab a burger and drink (I’ll need food while I’m waiting for my family to pick me up after my car overheats and breaks down and the engine seizes up), I recheck the low tire and fill it up (it will explore 5 miles out), I reserve a hotel room (I can cancel before 6PM) and, with everything to stop me, I point the car down US 82 West toward Brownfield.
It’s amazing how much ground you can cover when you just press down on the accelerator and keep fuel in the car.
The wind is bad, really bad, I’m not exaggerating. Visibility is limited worse than a lot of fog I’ve seen. I don’t see any objects being blown across the road. But it’s not stopping me.
The tire does look like it’s sagging around Carlsbad, I put some more air in it, I must have checked it 10 times the whole day, and I do put some more air in it. But it’s not stopping me.
I get emails, I get phone calls, I get text (SMS) messages, none of them tell me I have to come back though, they all wish me well and that they will miss me. But it’s not stopping me.
Seven hours later I am in El Paso. How did I get here? Wasn’t I supposed to have been stopped? I was supposed to have turned back, I wasn’t supposed to have made it.
I guess this is real. I really am going to Phoenix.