Monday, March 26, 2012

Big adventure in small places

Most people learn about the hero's journey in high school. It's the standard hero-driven story arc, usually involving a quest, a mentor, a fall/loss, a rise to power, and success, in some semblance of order.

But some days, just getting bananas from the store can seem like a quest--complete with villainous cashier, an evil witch in the produce section, and a perilous parking lot journey. It's how we handle these mundane adventures that defines and prepares us for the real ones. (Or not. I may just be saying that because it sounds important). This week is all about these tiny epic stories, the usual unusual. A hero's quest in a bottle.

My mundane adventure has to be my commute. Some days, getting home from work seems to span three centuries and several monarchies. I work about forty miles from my home, giving me a commute that can be anywhere from forty minutes to-- well, my record so far is about three hours.


Let's just say it's a well-known fact in San Diego that no one can drive in the rain.

The major freeway I take most of the way home has its issues. It's relatively well-managed for traffic volume, but add water falling from the sky and the whole thing seizes up. Mostly because there's little to no drainage on the darn thing.

The last time we had a big storm, I limped my way home around mid-afternoon, pretty much convinced I was going to die. People were in that scary speed range where you're going just fast enough to do some damage if you lose control, and the road was so slick and wet and there was so much wind that my car was getting blown all over. And then I reached a dip between valleys.

Essentially, a small lake had formed on the freeway.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm being a wimp here-- but here's the thing. I, too, am a San Diegan. I hardly ever have to drive in bad weather conditions, so I just plain don't know how to handle them. When I hit that giant puddle, I was all of a sudden blinded by the wall of water kicked up from my tires, and had the sensation that I was floating more than driving. It was pretty terrifying.

It didn't help that I had twenty of my new best friends surrounding me the whole time.

Now, I did make it through. But I'm scared of it happening again, despite the fact that it most assuredly will at some point. Ah well. Maybe I'll take an alternate route next time.

What do you do when the weather's bad?


Keriann Greaney Martin said...

Yikes! People around here are either zipping around everyone else, or driving about 10 miles per hour on the freeway. I'm always amazed that I make it home unscathed!

Unknown said...

I hate driving in the rain. If that would have happened to me I probably would have done something stupid like slam on the breaks. I'm not well known for keeping my cool at the wheel so I aplaud your calmness in faces your quest. Well done young padawan. Or something like that.