Today’s prompt has me recall a time I sang in a car by myself. It also wants to know why I remember that song and that stretch of road.
I had it all planned out perfectly. There was no room for anything but a delightful cross-country trip of fifteen hundred miles carrying me away from the home of my first twenty-five years, my family, my friends, and my jobs and taking me too the only love of my life. I knew my propensity for tears and as those were not conducive to driving, much less hauling a trailer for the first time, so I planned it all out perfectly.
The moment the trailer was packed and an extra can of gasoline was safely tucked back there to ward off any mishaps, I drove away. The original plan called for me staying the night with my parents, but the tears of saying goodbye to them to start a long day of driving didn’t suit my plan. Instead I chose to start my day late, after packing, and crash with my college BFF (yes, the same one I got drunk in my previous post). It was perfect. All laughter, no tears. Tears were not part of the plan.
The damnable Red River tried to take me down. As I crossed it for the final time, signaling my leaving Texas, I had to stop at the Welcome to Oklahoma area to keep from losing sight of my goal. A quick call to the love of my life set me back on track. No tears, just the happiness of following this dream called life straight to my life ever after.
But it was in South Dakota that I lost my battle. I’d been hopping random radio stations all day, as the old Bronco I was driving had neither cd player nor auxiliary input. Country was my poison of choice. Add to the limited music options was the fact that my phone hadn’t had a reliable signal since I left my hotel, so I couldn’t even lean on the voice of my beloved or any family to keep me from losing my way.
And then it came on. A song I’d heard what seemed like a million times in my childhood. It was used by Ford to sell their trucks when I was young. I started singing. I started crying.
Cause God blessed Texas with His own hand
Brought down angels from the promised land
Gave ’em a place where they could dance
If you wanna see heaven brother here’s your chance
I’ve been sent to spread the message
God blessed Texas
It encapsulated everything perfectly. Cheesy honky-tonk song that it was with it’s over the top quality, elevating my beloved home to promised land status. I sang along until I couldn’t see from crying through the words. I bid farewell to the State I had refused to say goodbye too. As I rolled over the hills of South Dakota, I grieved the people and the place I had to leave behind in order to find my new path in life and in love. And as the last honky-tonk chord faded into a commercial, I steadied my breathing, wiped at my eyes, and kept driving.
It wasn’t my perfect plan. The tears forced me to realize I’d given up a huge part of my identity. It was, however, the perfect plan. I cried my tears and I finished driving to my home, my heart, and my life.