The text, sent from the office near the end of my shift, was shorthand for “Let’s run away for a few hours. This reality sucks donkey balls.” Or something along those lines. She understood.
The point was to find a little zen on the highway, get a little peace on the open road. When I nearly succumbed to road rage just a few minutes into the drive — resulting in photos taken of licence plates and an in-car call to the highway police just as a torrential rain started to fall — I was about ready to turn around.
Melani, my compass, kept me calm and we kept going. And sure enough, things started to turn around as soon as we hit the border. Our border guard was sharing his little booth with another red-headed guard who looked exactly like him. They were mid-conversation — “…so he was just living in this van…” — and didn’t really have time for us. “Where are you going?” he asked, scanning our passports. “Plattsburgh.” “Okay. Have a good day.” Just like that.
The baby had stopped chattering and had fallen asleep. It was one of those times when you had to put on both your wipers and your shades, what with the sun arriving of the (literal) blue through the clouds to the west. We got on twisty Hwy. 9 and wended our way through Chazy, taking imaginary pictures of the fallen-down or boarded-up buildings that line that part of the road.
The roads were a little slippy, but we were alone on them. The spectacular fall leaves were washed out under overcast skies, punctuated with blasts of orange and red on the mountains on the horizon.
I was almost there. I’d almost found my zen.
And then, off to the left and dropping without fear into Chazy Lake, was the most perfect rainbow. Ah. There it is.