Photography Places


I made a vow to myself yesterday that I wasn’t going to drive at night again. Kicking around town is fine, and I like getting up in the pre-dawn for a trip; but long trips that end later in the night, when your windshield is covered with bugs, and your eyes are blurred with the lights of a thousand SUVs shining directly into them–no.

Especially driving into St. Louis along that miserable mess that is I-55, I-70, and I-64 from the East. All three freeways combine, and then split suddenly apart into two bridges and then combine again. I know that both routes end up in the same place, but late at night when I’m tired, I forget and when they start to split, I panic, and then screech over to the left.

Then once they combine, you have to immediately get into the one and only lane that leads to I-44, which happens to leave the freeway at a 20MPH curve, slowing traffic going 60 MPH to 5 MPH instantly. But this lane is in the middle of these other lanes, that split into differen roads. You look into the mirror and tap your break like mad, hoping that whoever is behind you sees that the lane has slowed suddenly and drastically.

I didn’t get many pictures yesterday or today. I did find some corn for Scott. Unfortunately, it was behind bars. Good corn gone bad, I suppose.

Good corn gone bad

And I found this odd tree with odd seeds and odder leaves.

Odd tree

I have the balloon race at Forest Park tomorrow, and should do better. The Glow was tonight, but I was too tired.

Dad is safely tucked away in a nursing home. Temporarily we all say, as he gets the therapy and care he needs to be able to use a walker. His roommate is a man who looks much younger than Dad– probably 60’s or 70’s. A handsome man, with hair that is darker brown with some gray at the sides. He sat, very nicely dressed, in a chair and just looked out the window the entire time we were there. Didn’t stop looking out the window. Didn’t acknowledge the activity associated with Dad. Didn’t once turn around.

Next to his small TV on his dressar is a cardboard figure of a car – an old convertible, a chevy I think. Behind it is a older photo of a young man and woman sitting in a car that looks much like the cardboard figure. Above the TV is a corkboard just filled with notes and photos, and an old Navaho blanket covers his bed.

I am burning with desire to take his photo.

Just Shelley

Night driving

I left late yesterday, with the day already ending; tired and numb from the trip. The traffic was light, scattered along the road like crumbs on a path to follow.

In my rearview mirror, I spotted them first: a line of semis approaching me fast. I’d seen this before–a series of trucks moving as one, with road cleared of trouble ahead. Normally I would pull to the left and wait for them to pass. This time, though, I waited a break and popped my little car into the queue.

Into the night, over hills, and around corners a line of nine semis broke the night and the law. Nine large trucks moved as one from lane to lane, passing this slower car and that; nine semis, and one little Ford Focus.

It was a ballet of wheels and motion as the leader would pull out into the passing lane and then the truck behind him, and the next, and the next. The truck ahead of me was metallic with orange lights at the top, and ahead of him, a large moving van, and ahead of him, dark green with black writing, I think. Behind me rode a plain white truck, no markings to see, and behind it was darkness, it was the end of the line.

We drove to the west as the sun began to set, a bright orange ball that burned the prairie around us. Past fields fill of cicada whose sound echoed behind; past other cars who quickly pulled to the left, intimidated by nine determined semis, traveling all in a line. Nine semis, and one Ford Focus.

Through the rosy glow a line of lights spaced just so. I wondered if the semis resented my intrusion, this little golden bug among great gods of steel. But they gave me my space, and waited my move in the chorus we played, as we weaved and we waved, and I think they must have thought me cute – a mascot, perhaps.

Finally the ride tired and I wanted the peace of the night and I pulled over one more time to the left. The white truck behind me hesitated, as if in encouragement, but then with a shift of gears, waiting no man or woman, it leaped into the space and pulled ahead. I watched then as nine sets of red lights, all in a row, wound itself into the night and vanished from view.

I am going to make a poem out of this, you wait and see: the ride into the night of nine big trucks; nine semis and one little Ford Focus.