July 7, 2013
The road to hell, I am now convinced, is paved with cracked iPhone/Android screens that have lost signal in the desolate no man's land of West Texas in route to New Mexico.
Commonly Known Fact (Unless You Are Me): When you lose signal, you lose whatever social ap navigator you've so cleverly thought was your stairway to heaven.
Note: You will find yourself in a predicament of life and possible fracking proportions.
Pecos, Texas. The final frontier. Yes, I wrote that because it is the last stop for gas between Texas and Somewhere, New Mexico X miles away.
We had no mace. We had no wasp spray. And it was likely we had no tire iron.
So in the event of being stranded between nowhere and nowhere and with the stereotype of a burly trucker with a questionable dental plan and a fondness for fracking as our only rescue, I felt with absolute certainty that this was the moment of our demise.
No one knew where we were. No one knew where we had planned to stay. We had no signal.
Being the cool and calm cucumber that I am, I internally panicked. Each mile the gas gauge warned that we were coasting on borrowed time. Each mile was a mile of barren wasteland. A tribute to T.S. Elliot or a cleverly crafted Coen Brother's film moment.
Darkness doused the landscape. Leaving structures for oil rigging called Christmas trees to spark the occasional distant light.
We had gone from 78 miles of gas. To 46 miles. To 28 miles. To what the heck are we gonna do without gas miles. All the while, we began to pass pockets of lines of eighteen wheelers. Their metal bodies stretched along dirt roads. The lights pulsating. Engines purring.
They were mostly like fed a healthy cargo of black gold.
One of those truck drivers was surely going to be the end of us. It would most definitely fit the trajectory of our travel life.
Then on the horizon lights punctuated the evening black. We literally, not dramatically, coasted into the first Loving, NM gas station with 6 miles of fuel in the tank.
A sigh. A deep breath. Lesson most definitely learned.