It was a hard day of work out in The Real World. If you haven’t stopped in to visit before, I’m a “professional storyteller.” Yes, when I was young I got a whuppin’ for “telling stories,” and now people pay me to do that. I confess I told a different kind of story in those days.
Telling stories is a “performance,” and my adrenalin runs high all day. As soon as I leave “the stage,” all of my energy drains in a rush. As a result of that exhaustion, I had one of those experiences today that frighten the heck out of me. I don’t know if this has ever happened to any of y’all. If it has, you will know exactly how I am feeling at the moment.
I loaded my gear into the car and drove home. The next thing I knew, I had my hand on the ignition to turn off the car. I was parked in my own driveway, with the sudden realization that I remembered absolutely nothing of the drive! I had been on “autopilot” all the way home. This means that I had the potential to be a very unsafe driver. It scared the livin’ daylights out of me.
This was not the first time something like this has happened. Sometimes, I just get lost in thought while I am driving. I actually write stories in my head while I am toodling down the road, and those usually turn out to be the stories my audiences like the most. I’m that woman you saw on the freeway just talking and waving her hands around. Yes, it looked like I was crazy and talking to myself. You just figured I was talking on my cell phone with one of those Bluetooth earpieces, but I wasn’t. I am crazy and I was talking to myself.
Once, driving for nine hours home after a full day gig in South Texas, I was developing characters for a ghost story (now a piece that I perform at festivals with my husband playing the blues guitar in the background). Here’s the paragraph that was coming together:
An interesting looking old man he was. His coffee colored skin was wrinkled like crepe paper. His long neck looked like that of a turtle sticking out of the starched collar of his crisp white shirt. His black pants were ironed with a sharp crease, his shoes were spit polished until they gleamed, and he wore a snappy black fedora on his grizzled gray hair. Over his right eye, there was an black patch, like a pirate might wear. A long jagged scar bisected the wrinkles on his cheek below it. But, the most amazing thing to me was that the old man could play that guitar so well when he was missing the ring finger and the pinkie on his right hand.
“Sometimes, All A Man Can Do Is Play The Blues”
by Shelly Kneupper Tucker
Now, during this trip, I had been caught in a flood and had several other harrowing experiences. All I really wanted to do was get safely home, but I got sidetracked by my thoughts. Suddenly, I saw that I was about to cross the Red River into Oklahoma! I had driven more than thirty miles past my home in the middle of the night. I missed seeing all of the road, because I wasn’t paying attention.
I’m sitting here plumb tuckered out. I can think of many other colloquial expressions for “tired” that also apply. I’m too pooped to pop; my git up an go has got up and went; I’ve been through a wringer and been hung out to dry; I’m worn to a frazzle; I’ve burned all my coal; I’ve got an axle draggin’ in the dirt; I’m an empty shuck; and I feel like I’ve been rode hard and put up wet (read nothing else into that phrase, please).
As I sit here thinking about all of this, that old demon “Introspection” has started whispering to me. Was this my karma nudging me? How much of “The Road” am I missing, because I’m not paying attention? I’ve been spending a lot of time concentrating on this computer lately. My poor Spousal Unit is feeling like a “Blogging Widower.”
He has gone to get some Chinese take-out. When I get my “second wind,” I think we will go hear some music at a local bistro, drink an ale or two, and just spend some time together. A night out will do us good. I think it’s time for me to spend some time with the other passenger on my travels down this road of life.
Y’all have a good evening and watch yourself on The Road.♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥