So, yesterday I drove Kineo to Augusta, to, in fact, Charlie’s Subaru, in order to have Routine Maintenance done.
This may not sound like much of an adventure. To fully understand how very adventuresome it was as an undertaking, you need to recall — or be told — that All of Maine is tearing up the roads. Not only is this the normal and usual Summer Road Construction, but various town are installing gas lines, so additional roads are being torn up for that purpose. In Waterville on any given day, all of the East-West roads may be closed, forcing one to drive through the towns abutting in order to get from one side of the city to the other. This meant, among other things, that I had to choose my route to I95 with care. My information was that the town, or the gas company, had finished with tearing up River Road, so I went that way, and picked up the expressway in Sidney.
For a wonder, the segment of the expressway from Sidney to Augusta was not under construction, so I didn’t get into real trouble until I reached Western Avenue, which is being Thoroughly Torn Up, and the turn into Charlie’s service area.
This is an important turn on a busy road, and in Rational Times, commands its own turn lane, and its own light. And a sign on the wire that supports the traffic control devices, which says:
LEFT TURN ON GREEN ARROW ONLY
Except, someone, in their infinite wisdom, had wrapped about four hundred yards of black construction plastic all around the Left Turn device, meaning that there was no legal way to get into the service area, except to drive down into Manchester, and turn around.
Ahead of me, the traffic coming from Manchester stretched for miles (it’s a long hill; you can actually see for miles), packed like sardines.
I hesitated, wondering WTF?, and in my moment of hesitation an approaching truck stopped and flashed his headlights twice. I seized the day, waved, and made the (illegal) left turn into Charlie’s, where I left Kineo in care of the service manager and retired to the waiting room to read in the lovely air conditioning.
One good thing about the waiting room experience — Charlie is remodeling his showroom, which the waiting room abuts, and the crew had moved the television Somewhere Else, leaving us four old women with our books in peace.
When it came time to leave, I had no fears of the light governing my turn onto Western Avenue; after all I would be turning right, and there was no law nor sign agin’ it.
My light was red, as I approached. I stopped the car, looked down to take the lid off of my water bottle, and looked up again to find that my light was green, the car to my right on Western Avenue had stopped in good order, and a jeep breaking from somewhere in the pack, roaring up the shoulder, slammed into the planet-sized pothole next to the stopped car, lofted completely off of the road, slammed back down onto the road halfway through the intersection and tore off down Western Avenue for the space of about eight car lengths, because did I mention that Western Avenue in that area is being Thoroughly Torn Up, with heavy equipment, and huge holes in the road, and all like that?
My light was still green, so I made the turn.
On the expressway on my way back to Waterville, I almost got pushed off the road by a Wide Load veering suddenly into my lane, but that’s hardly worth mentioning.
Writing-wise, we’re in the home stretch. WARNING: Authors at End-of-Book tend to be cranky. This is due, in part, from having to hold the Whole Freaking Book In Your Head At Once. You should notice no difference in my usual demeanor.
Also? I’m posting a snippet below. If the snippet or any word contained in the snippet offends you? Please keep that information to yourself. Thank you.
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Progress on Dragon in Exile
102,000 out of 100,000 OR 102% complete
She had never seen that lamp before in her life.