I hate the saying, “Everything happens for a reason.” I question its veracity, and even if it is true, it’s still annoying.
I didn’t blog last Tuesday because I was crazy busy, trying to get through some work for a writing class I’m in, submit some other work, and resume revising my memoir. It was also the same day that Rustin asked if I wanted to tag along on his business trip to NYC the next day. He’d been working sleeplessly for days, so I figured it’d be nice for us to at least sleep in the same bed while he (and I) was still busy with work in NYC. So, I went.
I was hugely productive on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and even got to see a few friends. (I’m leery of asking my NYC friends to hang out on short notice, so I didn’t see a lot of folks. When I lived in NY, I made plans weeks in advance, so I assume short notice invitations cause people just as much anxiety as they caused me. So if I didn’t see you, please don’t be offended—I love and miss you, I promise!) I’d planned to spend Friday evening reading Priestdaddy on the train back to DC, then to do a whole mess of domestic and community things on Saturday.
But the Nor’easter made other plans.
Amtrak cancelled trains between Boston and DC late Friday. Rustin’s assistant called him and said she’d arranged for a car to pick us up and drive us back to DC—hallelujah for big law perks!
So, at around 5:30pm, we hit the road. There was the usual traffic getting out of the city and into NJ, but we’d expected that. Everything ran smoothly through the rest of NJ and through Delaware. We entered Maryland, and things started to get hairy.
The GPS said that 95 was backed up for miles and suggested an alternate route, starting at the next exit. Well, it took an hour to get the 2 miles to the next exit. At that point, we realized that 95 was closed.
Rustin, being from Maryland, said that we should try I-40, which is about 10 miles away from 95, but could help us go around the traffic. We followed the GPS onto the back country roads in the dark of night. I peered out at the shadows of houses, and I couldn’t help but think of a Twitter post I’d read earlier with a picture of a century-old dollhouse captioned, “Based on my professional opinion, there are approximately 12 to 37 ghosts in this house.”
We passed a house with a sinister blue light shining into the front yard. Next to it, a car parked, and a man in a hoodie got out and started to walk down the street.
We continued following the GPS’ voice, dodging branches that had snapped off trees and fallen into the road. More creepy houses. More ghosts. And then the blue light again.
The stupid GPS had taken us in a circle around this creepy backwoods!
Rustin navigated us back to the main road. On our way, we passed the guy in the hoodie again. He was one of the workers picking up branches—a creepy guy making our journey safe.
When we finally arrived at the mouth of I-40, the road was a parking lot. We squeezed through traffic and made our way to a gas station down the street, where we learned that the bridge there had been closed. There were no roads to the rest of Maryland, much less to DC.
So, we turned around.
We went back to NYC, arriving at 2:30am, nine hours after our departure, just to have landed at a hotel up the street from the train station.
Rustin and I spent Saturday working, and Sunday morning brunching, before finally getting the train back to DC Sunday afternoon.
I have never been so happy to sleep in my own bed.
So, if everything happens for a reason, I don’t know what we missed, but we were meant to miss it. I didn’t finish reading Priestdaddy on the train, so I had to buy a copy. Maybe that’s what all of this was about: buying a book that became overdue to the library.
Everything happens for a reason.