so on i pressed, sans air conditioning (for the sake of gas mileage), down the flat, hot roads of the deep south. all told, having visited my sister in boston before i took my leave of new england, i had traveled through: massachusetts, connecticut, new york, new jersey, pennsylvania, delaware, maryland, virginia, north carolina, south carolina, georgia, alabama, mississippi, and louisiana in under a week. for the record, north carolina, south carolina, and georgia don’t welcome you; it isn’t until you pass into alabama that there are “welcome to” signs to let you know you’ve arrived.
so, at long last, almost fourteen hours of driving later, i was welcomed to louisiana. i cheered. but that’s because i didn’t know what lay ahead. see, no one had told me about the bridge over lake ponchartrain. i mean, i guess no one would think to. it’s not like they’ve seen inside my recurring bad dreams where i’m in a car traveling over a wildly long bridge that rises up up up, hiding that the other side of the bridge isn’t there until i’ve arrived and find myself plummeting down into the depths of water below.
yeah, bridges in my bad dreams often look like the wildly long lake ponchartrain bridge, which has no sides and rises up up up in the middle so that you can’t see what’s happening on the other side of it until you reach the top and are suddenly plummeting down down down toward this vast expanse of water-all-around which surrounds the long stretch of low road that comprises the rest of the bridge. i literally had to grit my teeth to get across that thing. if i ever do leave new orleans via car, i think i will have to go through texas.