Fog is thick, I can count on one hand how much experience I have had driving in this type of weather, and panic involuntarily shivers my bones. A 50 plus kilometre drive ahead on a busy freeway. My brain is hissing thoughts that I can’t drive in the dark let alone through a never-ending wall of mist.
You can miss a year says the devil on my shoulder. No I can’t I spit back.
Bag bulges just a little, notebook, pens, a range of coloured ones of course, colour that drives me. Though I invariably only use one or two, wonder that people think I’m weird. Looking for husband to say I’m going now. Maybe he’ll say something about the fog. He does not. Just as I am about to blurt out my hesitation, I pause, my mind clears, the fire is back in my belly, and I swipe that hesitation of my shoulder.
The journey of an hour no more, no less so I thought. The venue is closer than last years, Baldivis, the May Davis Library. I’ll wing it; follow my nose, a clear visual set in my mind. No need to start Navman, that will holler and ping at me for the whole journey.
The radio distracts, a visual of the library still there front and centre, the turn off though is not.
The bright lights of the BP service station is fighting to be seen through the fog, spotted, just in time as I veer left off the freeway. That’s the one I swear, I remember the sign, though I think it’s supposed to be on the other side on the road, isn’t it? The car crawls up a rise around a bend, and I continue back onto the freeway, that’s not the one I want.
That’s not the landmark I am looking for, oh dear.
I continue through the fog, going 90 in a 110 zone, now I worry that others will beep their horn to hurry me up. Nausea settles in my chest, bile, slow to rise. I only have ten minutes left before kick-off. Hand blindly scrabbles about in the console, eyes straight ahead, searching for that Navman, I give in, and that bloody thing will just have to ping at me.
The car veers to the right, I correct left. Both hands back on the wheel, driving at a speed of now 100 km, my fingers stab the electronic screen. Crap, I’m to turn back and drive for twelve miles states Karen calmly and politely.
No parking, go figure, typical. Feeling and hearing the underbelly of the car scrape, my shoulders scrunch into my neck as I mount a curb and come to a stop, on sand that has a little bit of grass poking through fighting for survival.
Running through and across traffic, nodding sorry, to safety and the back entrance of the library. A wall of glass, where is the door, more panic, I pat the glass pushing on the way to find an entrance.
Where I come across two silent women who eye me over, slight smiles cross their beautiful faces.
‘Sorry, sorry I’m late, I got lost’. I’m helped with a name tag and directed at a floor to ceiling height fabric coated muted avocado coloured door.
Naturally, the door opens with a dungeon like creak, heads turn. I slide into a seat where a woman smiled and nodded to me, she is kind and I feel safe.
I’m truly, embarrassed. Imagining I hear the whispers and tut tut’s as I entered, heads will turn, a burning flush will settle on my chest, my cheeks; head and gaze will be lowered. If I can’t see any displeasure at the interruption it isn’t happening is it?