Trans* Continental — Day Three14 June, 2012
I got a late start today, leaving at a quarter after nine instead of eight. I needed the extra sleep, partly because I was exhausted from the day before and partly because cats do not understand time zones. So when five-thirty rolled across the hands of the clock he decided it was breakfast time and no rational explanation of central versus eastern time zones could convince him it was actually four-thirty and dissuade him from head-butting me until I got up to fed him. After eating, he wandered about the room muewing in that petulant tone that demands answers to such questions as why aren’t you up yet and do I have to ride in the carrier again?
The first three hours of the trip were uneventful. Drove till I needed gas. Fuelled up. Ate a burger on the road. I was feeling good, fairly positive about myself, and even my hair decided to shape up nice. The sun was shinning and there was a cherry glow in my rearview mirror . . . and blue . . . cherry and blue. Shit. It’s a cop. Instant panic mode. Thank goddess, my amended license had come so everything matched up, but would the cop read me correctly? Would he see me as just another woman on the road or as a sicko in drag who needs to be patted down, just in case?
He approached and said “license, miss?”
Miss? Did he really say miss? He did! Not only was I read correctly but I got called miss! I look young! He said he would give me a warning and asked how the trip had been. He spent more time looking at my legs than my face. When he was explaining to me the speed limit in Wisconsin was sixty-five he spoke slowly and reminded me to “always read the road signs; they tell the important information.” Yes, officer. Gosh, I didn’t realise that. But that’s okay because you gendered me properly and are letting me off with only a warning; if you want to assume I’m a flighty girl who cannot read roadsigns, that’s fine. Seriously. I could not have paid the ticket.
After that experience the skies were grey. Literally. During the twenty minutes I sat on the shoulder of the interstate, storm clouds had rolled in. Just a few sprinkles and then the skies ripped open and dropped a deluge so heavy and hard I wondered if animals were going to start arriving in pairs. I had driven into a lightning storm. White and blue streaked the sky with the occasional blast of red and orange. It was brilliant. It was freaky. It was gorgeous. It was way too close to the car. One forked bolt stuck five hundred yards from me! It scared me senseless, but I appreciate the magnificent display now, sitting on a sofa, in my pyjamas.
I pulled into smallville, Minnesota at four-thirty and was at my parents house a few minutes later. Thirteen hundred miles in three days. It was a haul but one made worthwhile by the smiling faces and hugs that greeted me.