The Taconic Tales or “Things That Could Only Happen to Me”

Alright, so this one is for you, Grandpa, the one who just laughed at me at 2:45am after I barged into your house & woke you up with tales of things that could only happen to me and who just shrugged and said, “Write it down.”So last night (Saturday), I had to travel up to Poughkeepsie for Sara & TJ’s engagement meet-up at Mahoney’s. I left in a good mood after an enjoyable recording of MetroBuzz. Although I was weary of making the trip up and back within the same night (I’m dog sitting again for my aunt), I was still really excited. So there I am, on the Taconic Parkway still near the Bronx/Westchester border, but on the Westchester side. Suddenly, I’m half-blind. My contact is no longer in my eye! I have really bad eye sight. Like, I’m a barely contact prescription away from legally blind. So this is not good. I find a spot to pull over. There’s no shoulder on that part of the Taconic, so I pull over in the triangle shaped area between the parkway & an exit ramp. I’ve found my contact on my scarf, but it must have fallen out because my eyes were dry because it was rolled up and I couldn’t unroll with. I tried, but it would have ripped.I was too far along my way to turn around but not close enough to Poughkeepsie to justify driving further. I would have had to drive with one eye closed the rest of the way in the dark and then the 2.5 hours home much, much later that night. I ended up pouring water from a re-filled water bottle onto it to try to moisturize it so I could try to put it in my eye. I got it to resume regular contact lense shape, but my elbow hit my water bottle (I was too blind & anxious to get my contact into my eye that I had not put the cap back on it) and naturally, it spills directly on my iPod. Fabulous! It wasn’t working on the way there, but it must have dried out while I was at the bar because thankfully, it was working again (knock on wood) for my drive home.

Sara & TJ’s party was awesome. I had a kick ass time. So I was in a great mood again at 12:45am when I left to embark on my 2.5 hour drive back to my aunt’s house, where I am dog sitting again this weekend. Well, my cell phone was dying. It was dying when I got to the party, but I had taken it into the bathroom with me and charged it for a few minutes here and there while I was at the party, just to buy me a little time on the way home with a working phone. I also needed gas, but was hoping that I’d have enough to make it to Queens or Long Island before having to stop. About 30 minutes into my drive, the gas light goes on (damn driving to Riverhead for work with all the stop & go traffic every day). The stretch of the Taconic I was on was unfortunately where the exits led to other highways or across the Hudson River or into Connecticut or whatever.

10 miles pass since the light goes on, it’s almost 1:30am & I turn my phone on to call my dad to see if he knows anything in the area. He doesn’t. I get off at the next exit, but there’s nothing. Like, nothing. I keep driving & see a guy at a stop light. I flash my brights at him several times & wave my arms out the window. He directs me to “Go straight, bear left when you get to a stop sign & you’ll run into a Mobile station.” I head off in the direction he says, call my dad back and go, “I have no idea where I am or where this gas station is, but if you don’t hear from me again soon, it’s because my phone is dead & I may run out of gas so you may have to call the auto club or something. I’m by a Children’s Hospital called—” Yup – that’s when my phone died for good.

I found the gas station & started on my way back. Found the parkway really quickly but I’m still really friggin exhausted at this point because, well, it’s late. Naturally, I’m not paying attention quickly enough and I end up going NORTH towards Albany instead of south towards New York City. The exits aren’t close between (I love how Rt. 95 once you get into Delaware has it’s exits corresponding with miles), so I drive a few more minutes to the Pleasantville exit and turn around to go south. Can we all guess what happens next? If you answered, “You missed the correct exit ramp & ended up accidentially traveling on the service road next to the parkway which then started to lead away from the parkway but were luckily blindly following a State Trooper who turns out was heading towards a different parkway that connected with the parkway you needed” then you guessed correctly!

So now I’m finally back on the Taconic Parkway going south. No cell phone & a half hour behind schedule. It’s around 2am at this point and I’m still about 2 hours from home. My parents have no idea what’s happening to me & I’m exhausted. I sped back to the Throgs Neck Bridge as quickly as I would dare to (with my luck or my level of tired, I wasn’t going to push it). I made a beeline for my grandparents’ house to try to use their telephone to call my parents & Jay to tell them I was okay. I should note that I was somewhat afraid that my uncle would wake up to the sound of someone coming into the house at 2:45am & come downstairs with his gun drawn on me (he’s a cop). But I figured I’d take my chances and I had to pee anyway so whatever.

So that’s basically where this story ends. My grandpa woke up while I was on the phone with my parents. I explained to him everything that had happened to me the entire night whining, “Why does this stuff always happen to ME? Who has a problem on the way there AND the way back?!” He just laughed at me and shook his head and said, “Write it all down.” And that’s what I did! My grandpa is so cool. I ended up getting back around 3:50am. I went to bed somewhere around 4:30 by the time I let the dog out and got changed and woke Jay & my parents up to tell them I finally made it home. A lovely little story about there and back again.

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