Friday, April 17, 2009

Red Car Stranger

There it was, phew, I thought I had lost him. That red car, the man in the cowboy hat. It had been so long now, maybe more than 200 miles together. I did not want to lose sight of him after all we had been through together. Of course I didn't know this person, never even spoken to him. So how come I feel this connection with the stranger in the red car? O.K., so we have been on the same stretch of highway within a few hundred feet of each other for a couple of hours. Why do I sense this association? Why do I keep checking my mirrors or changing lanes when he does?

I used to drive back and forth between Ohio and Virginia about once a month. I did this for about 7 or 8 years. The trip was a killer. About 450 miles. About 7.5 hours. I used to tell folks that the trip was about half an hour longer than my patience. Every now and then I would notice a fellow traveler who stayed in contact with me for more than a couple of hours. Maybe because the trip was so long and I was looking for anything to break it up, to distract my mind from the tedium, that I would form this unspoken bond with the other driver. I would not be surprised to learn that the other driver did not even know of my presence. Funny, there was always this momentary sense of loss when the relationship came to an end. One of us reached our destination or was forced to make a pit stop. However, I think it is natural for us to want to forge bonds with others as we move along the long roads of life. Just like with the stranger in the red car, it helps to make the journey a little easier.