The beginning was chaotic. My wife and I were younger people. She had a girlfriend staying with us, no one knew from RL. We also had a small brown puppy on a red leash, a very smart dog.
She and her friend were trying to start a business. As I wasn’t involved, the details are scant to me. I was busy fixing things around the house, working in bathroom pipes around the sink and tub, then dashing over to work on the computer, helping my wife and her friend with their computer and the printer. All the time, the puppy follows me around and I talk to you. My wife will sometimes say, “Oh, no, where is the puppy,” because the puppy isn’t where she left him. “Relax,” I answer, “he’s right here beside me.”
Wife makes a tentative decision. Someone is interested in their business but they have to go meet them, which is a five-hour drive away. Will I take her? We jockey back and forth in the conversation, we me explaining that I don’t want to stay overnight because we have the puppy and there are things I must do, followed up by asking her, are you staying the night? How long will you be there?
She’s anxious with excitement, indecisive and scattered, frustrating me. I finally force the issue: I’ll drive you up and then return tonight. I’ll be driving ten hours. A neighbor comes and takes the puppy.
Then we’re in a car on a highway. I’m driving. I’m in the right-hand land of this divided highway, behind a car. The car is slowing. There’s a motorcycle in the left-hand lane but they’re several hundred yards back. I want to change lanes but the car in front of me is suddenly slowing. Checking my driver-side mirror, I discover that the motorcycle has caught up. I accelerate a little, create space, and change lanes.
That lane is now also slowing by a tremendous amount. What’s going on? I wonder, trying to see what’s ahead. First, we’re no longer on concrete; we’re on a soft dirt path. There are construction signs. The road is being worked on. Everyone, including us, is on foot, following one another like we’re cars.
We’re slowing. Ahead is a vertical pipe. We must climb up that. I’m carrying all of my wife’s luggage plus some long, heavy metal thing. I realize that I’d need to climb without using my hands. My wife and her friend anxiously watch, waiting for my decision about what I’ll do.
I realize, nobody else is carrying anything. They left it in their vehicle. Why didn’t we do that? I intuit that the construction people will transport the cars up to the other end of the pipe. This infuriates me; why do we need to leave our car at all? Why can’t they just transport the cars with us in it?
“Come on,” I tell the others. “We’re going back to the car.” I figure that there must be another way.
We’re back in the car. I drive fast in the opposite direction. There’s a detour sign on my left. I turn the car that way even though my wife wants to stop and think it over. We’re suddenly at our destination. “I knew it,” I crow, pleased.