Blind Curves

This is the first draft of a personal essay exercise in chapter 2 of One Year to a Writing Life.

Drue and I had only been in Littleton, CO for a few weeks, I think? I tried to find photo documentation and recalled that I’d taken no pics because my hands were busy, clenched, glued, sweaty against the steering wheel of our trusty Camry.

I was excited to finally be far away from Baton Rouge, LA. I’d been fantasizing about the possibility of escape since I was of age. I thought I’d made it in 1985 when I lived for a summer with peers in Vail, CO and after scoped out apartments in Long Beach, CA, but nope, hadn’t. Had to return to the decay, backwardness, and stagnation of the deep south, the revolting familiar I knew only too well.

Thirty-three tumultuous years later here I was eager to explore. I googled, “fun drives near me.” There was something called the Lariat Loop, it had good reviews. I asked Drue if he was up for an adventure, yup, so we set out, oohing and aahing at the breathtaking mountainous scenery.

We reached the Lariat Loop highway and as we ascended I peered over the edge of the winding road, my heart began to race. Soon I was navigating blind curves with nothing but a frail metal railing separating us from the vast distance to the valley below. My hands began to sweat as I gripped the wheel while taking slow deep calming breaths.

If I dared to look over the edge my heart would leap into my throat and I’d think, how much further? I crept slowly and carefully up the snaking shelf road. Cyclists zoomed past and local drivers tailgated waiting for a chance to pass me. I told myself better to be slow than dead!

The minutes dragged on as if everything was in slow motion. I kept apologizing for going at a snail’s pace exclaiming, “I don’t want to kill us,” then laughed feebly. It seemed too easy to plummet to our deaths, one false move on a curve and kaput!

After agonizing, yet marveling at it all we began our descent. My jaw dropped and I sharply gasped as a skateboarder passed us, pummeling down the steep decline with no helmet mind you! I was in shock and awe as I watched them disappear around the curve. What if they tumbled off? I was mortified for them, sure that around the next bend we’d brake to avoid their unmoving form splattered in the road, or worse, we’d witness them free-falling over the edge.

It was an eternity till we arrived at the bottom, I took the first road that would take us far away from the treacherous mountain loops. We sighed with relief, relaxing, unclenching our butt cheeks, whew! We made it out alive!

I vowed, never again! I’d research thoroughly before going on any more scenic drives! In my mind, we narrowly escaped death. Even though I was afraid, I soldiered on. Hey, I was a hero, lol! We survived the Lariat Loop, the first adventure of our new life safely (kinda?) away from our haunted Louisiana past.

That’s the end of the essay, lol I’m pooped tonight. Since the Lariat Loop, I’ve gotten caught in the scary mountain roads again at night! Also, I was driving in Rocky Mountain National park and couldn’t stay driving up there for that far, it was getting scary so high up and curvy too! I wonder if I’ll ever get used to driving on the steep, curvy mountain roads? Maybe I need to research ways to not be afraid of it? or perhaps I can go on mountain tours where someone else drives? maybe it’s the responsibility that scares me most. I don’t want to kill us, lol.

I was able to get all of my routine done today, plus I went to the CGC Creative Writer’s video call today and also attended another CGC video call to socialize, they were wonderful! I sat on the balcony and journaled and put dirt in the pots, I need more dirt! I put the moonflower seeds to soak in water overnight and will plant them tomorrow!

I had a lovely walk at sunset on the nearby hill, there’s a new narrow trail along the edge where there’s been more foot traffic since the pandemic. More people are enjoying nature!

I checked the mail and I had a Mother’s Day gift, a fancy box of an assortment of tea, a big rectangular pretty sectioned box that I can reuse! So wonderful! I brewed some decaf Ceylon, grabbed my book and had a sumptuous hot bath while I sipped and read 🥰

I also began an intuition course by Erin Pavlina, super cool! I have a WordPress course I got a couple of years ago that I need to finish, I pulled that up and I’m gonna do a free passive income course by Pat Flynn too. I also have books I’m reading online, they weren’t available on audio and I’m hesitant to order books that are sent, I feel like they’re not essential, I don’t want to put workers at more risk. The libraries are still closed, but they’re doing a trial of curbside at one location to see if that will work.

There’s so much available for me to do, it’s hard to choose how to invest my time, so I’m just playing it by ear, keeping up my main routine, and taking side trips whenever I have space. I’m having a blast! It feels so good to be free to explore! (At home, lol)

I have a little more writing left to do on my other projects, better get to it, I’m tired, but it’s a good tired, ya know?

Love and hugs! 💚

Michelle Miyagi
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