Yesterday I drove to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to pick My Favorite Domer up for the holidays.
Today I’m apologizing to all those drivers on I-10 for the stupid move I made that could have taken out dozens of us. Maybe more.
Here’s how it went down:
Domer flew in from The Land of the North for a few days, and I met him at the airport.
It’s a cool airport, with huge Christmas trees decorated in Fleur-de-lis, a stage with a baby grand piano (for itinerant musicians, I guess), an immense statue of Louis Armstrong playing his trumpet, and funky lounge seating everywhere. They even have a cafe where you can get beignets (those fried do-nuts covered in powdered sugar that New Orleans is famous for).
Anyway, after Domer landed (30 minutes late because of a cold front), we proceeded to the parking garage, paid, and headed east toward home.
It was dark. And growing foggier by the minute. And the traffic was horrid, with everybody trying desperately to get someplace other than the road.
I was in the far left lane when all of a sudden, Domer (in the co-pilot seat) pointed to a sign telling us to exit right. I put on my turn signal, checked the rear view mirror, found multiple lanes of blaring headlights, and panicked.
“I can’t do it!” I shrieked.
“Just ease on over,” Domer suggested. “They’ve got to let you in.”
Well, no, not in New Orleans, they don’t.
You see, I’d driven over in the daylight and knew what I was facing. Everybody was barreling along at 80 mph (minimum) and zipping around me like I was parked. They were on a mission and knew where they had to go. Me? I was in a cold-induced fog.
But our exit was fast approaching. I couldn’t afford to take the wrong road and get lost.
With a fervent prayer, I basically closed my eyes, zeroed toward the exit, and only exhaled when I realized nothing had slammed into us.
Now I don’t normally do such foolish, thoughtless things. Especially at Christmastime. Especially with my only son in the car.
And I’m truly sorry if I inconvenienced any other motorists.
I’m just glad today to be alive and on firm earth!