Friday, June 4, 2010

The Bridge to Somewhere

I used to have this dream that I was driving across a bridge and I was scared to death because I could see the water below on either side and it was a big, scary bridge that didn't look at all stable and it wasn't a bridge an inexperienced driver like me should be driving across.

I remember having this dream many times. I would be in my car and I would drive across the bridge. Then I started driving across the bridge on purpose just so I could prove I could. It was a real bridge and I knew where it was.

Here's the thing: I don't know if I really did it in real life. I got my driver's license late in the game - after high school - OK, after college - and I remember going out of my way to go on streets I thought were scary and I think I went across that bridge every day for a week. I think I did, but I'm not really sure. In any case, this isn't that bridge and I don't know where that bridge is any more - which makes me believe I really didn't do it. But I know I drove across it in my dreams many times. And this bridge in the photo didn't scare me at all.

There's something really cool about driving across country - or half country as it were - when we were kids my folks used to pile us all in this old Rambler station wagon with the carry all in the back where two of us would lay out and three of us would be in the back seat trying to avoid getting the bump in the middle and the folks would be up front. Mommy would fry up a couple of chickens and pack it up with a loaf of bread and when we got hungry we would stop and eat the bread and the chicken with some pop. (I now say soda; pop sounds so funny.)

At some point, we would pull over on the side of the road and sleep. My father was the only one who had a license. My mother didn't get hers until she was 40 - so I came by it honestly. And the rest of us weren't old enough to drive.

I offered that idea to Mr. Honey - that we get some chicken (fried chicken is one thing I have yet to master but I am perfectly capable of going to some place that fries it for you) and we could stop, get some cold sodas and eat in one of the rest stops but he wanted to purchase food. The next time we're going to do it my way for at least one of the stops. We're going to pack a little food, stop and have a little roadside meal. It probably won't be as romantic as I'm thinking but I bet there will be a new romantic that I haven't thought of. We can go retro for one time and then step in the modern world for the rest of the stops.

It will be a tribute to my family's road trips to Louisiana to visit my folks' folks. I just remember it being a fun time. I was innocently ignorant of the fact that my folks didn't have a lot of money and because it was the early sixties and we were black folks traveling to the deep south that there were probably not many places that would have served us anyway.

We're talking about driving to Washington D.C. My sister lives in Baltimore and the Washington Nationals are there. I've done that drive with my folks - it's about 18 hours and I think we could do it in less time than that. It wouldn't happen this year but it's something we're looking at for next year.

Plenty of time to learn to make fried chicken.

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