This is one of the images that will be in the upcoming “What Texas Means to Me” show at the wonderful Austin Art Space Gallery and Studio this coming July.
The other day, I was driving, and this bright orange Jeep pulled in front of me. It was the brightest orange I had ever seen a Jeep. Did you ever see a bright orange Jeep before? It was so bright, I almost wanted to poke my eyes out with a stick, I could not believe it. Then, the strangest thing happened. The radio started playing that old song, that song with all the words in it, you know the one I mean, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” That’s such an interesting song, actually, it does have a ton of words in it though. It struck me how really very different from today’s music it sounds. I mean, it’s not like my favorite song, it’s not like the world’s going to stop all of a sudden and I’m going to drop what I’m doing, curl up, and listen to it, it’s not one of those songs, but I did notice it. I mean, it’s kind of one of those songs that’s hard to miss, right? It’s sort of…well…I guess you’d have to say “striking” in that way.
Yeah, so the radio’s playing that song and I’m driving alongside this wild orange Jeep thinking, “what the heck is going on here?” Is this like some alternate universe or something? Did some nuclear experiment or large hadron collider go horribly wrong and leave the world in some sort of odd state where it needs to be “reset” or something? We’re kind of screwed if it did that right, because, I mean, the whole world doesn’t have any kind of a giant “reset” button, at least not as far as I know. I mean, if it gets stuck, it gets stuck, and we’re all just sort of stuck, right? Not much we can do about it once we get it in that state. Why, we’d be just stuck at stuck, wouldn’t we?
Then, I look down and notice my car is about to hit 55555 miles. Wow. What a weird Vulcan mind meld we got going on here. I’m about to hit 55555, following some crazy ass orange Jeep while listening to “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” I mean, what are the freaking odds or that freaking happening to somebody like you or me on a day like today? Pretty freaking crazy if you ask me.
Just as I hit the 360 bridge, the famous iconic bridge in Austin, my car gauge rolls into 55555 and I pass the bright neon day-glow orange Jeep. The speed limit’s 50 on that bridge, on account of the wind currents and all, and the ship’s about to sink on the radio. Even though I only have a sonic view of that, I’m looking down over some pretty choppy looking water myself, as I cross over the Colorado River, and I’m thinking, once again, what are the freaking odds, man, what are the odds of everything just coming together like this.
There are always a ton of cops out by the 360 bridge too because, well, you know Austin needs the money and all, so I’m cautiously passing the bright orange Jeep, keeping an eye our for the radar trap. That’s when I look down and notice my speedo-I’m doing 55 mph just as I cross the middle part of the bridge and the car rolls into 55555 and the Captain’s gone down with the ship. The bells are ringing and “Superior ain’t giving up her dead, not with the gales of November” coming this early in the year and I’m thinking, “man, that’s a whole lot of 5’s and this is going to be one HELL of a day.”
Ever have a day like that? I hope you never have a day like that. It’s a bit too crazy for words, a day like that is-really it is.
Until next time…