The Hellhole

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I hesitate to blog stories like this because it sounds too much like I'm making it up in hindsight, but I promise y'all this is 100% true.

Driving home from work this afternoon, I was in the middle lane of I-20 (that's my favorite lane) when I was startled by a black truck suddenly appearing beside me in the fast lane. I saw him peripherally and was quite alarmed, my first impression being that the truck was WAY too close to my car, like partially over in my lane. Upon a few seconds closer inspection, it wasn't at all, but I couldn't shake the jolted feeling of fright.

This was an old black truck that kinda resembled an SUV - obviously a pickup, no second or third row of seats but with a roof that was part of the bodywork and narrow, slanty windows over the part of the body that covered what would normally be the pickup bed. The original paint job was faded in places and a bit pockmarked. I know this seems like a really hippie thing to write, but I was getting really bad vibes from that truck; I don't know another way to phrase it. This was a really strong, awful feeling that bordered on dread.

I'm a firm believer in omens and intuition, so I backed off the accelerator to let the truck get ahead, further away from me. The driver wasn't doing anything erratic or particularly bad other than tailgating the car in front of him - he was in the fast lane and he intended to use it, by gods. I had the feeling that in a few seconds, he was going to swerve into my lane and I wanted to be well back when that happened. However, when the driver failed to intimidate the car in front of him, he changed lanes in a perfectly civilized manner, using his signal and waiting for plenty of space. The black truck headed off but I still had this creepy feeling of foreboding.

As traffic became more congested, I caught up with him in spite of my apprehension. The closer I got, the stronger the feeling felt. I thought I was being silly and starting to scare myself, but this was some seriously bad mojo coming off that vehicle. Imagine if you were driving alone late at night, down a deserted interstate that ought to have plenty of traffic despite the late hour, and suddenly a car appeared, the only car you could see for miles around, which was a red 1958 Plymouth Fury, and that this happened only a few days after you'd finished Stephen King's Christine - that is about 1/4 how dreadful and spooky that malignant truck was making me feel. That sounds exaggerated and melodramatic, I know, but I truly felt that way.

I started to drive more aggressively than usual in an attempt to put some distance between me and the Truck Of Evil. Normally I get into the lane I'll need to be in and stay there; I don't change lanes and weave about or anything. Fast driver, yes - aggressive, no. But this afternoon, I did all sorts of things to get away from that truck. I even got into the HOV lane (high occupancy vehicle/carpool lane) for a couple of miles, it was creeping me out that bad. I didn't even care if I were ticketed, so long as I wasn't close to that truck.

Where I-20 nears I-285, Atlanta's perimeter highway, traffic always slows and at rush hour becomes stop-and-go for a bit. I and the drivers around me were slowing down even though traffic wasn't stopped or significantly slowed anywhere yet, because we knew it was certain to become so at any moment. I was in the far left lane at this point and thought I'd ditched the Truck of Evil, but then I got the knot-in-my-stomach feeling of very bad mojo again and sure enough, the truck was a few cars behind me in the slow lane (leaving one separating lane between us, for non-Atlantans).

My lane was moving faster for a while so I got ahead of the truck and then my lane stopped. I took advantage of the lull to look nervously around for him and noticed that a decently large gap had formed in the slow lane, behind the last stopped car (a Toyota SUV I think), a fact which barely had time to register in my mind before the Truck of Evil came FLYING up the slow lane - probably doing only 35 - 40 but when everyone else is stopped, it looks like flying, trust me - and SLAM-CRASH-SHMACK!!! bashed into the stopped SUV, knocked it into the SUV immediately ahead of it and knocked that SUV into the Accord in front of it. I don't know how much further up the chain might have continued, but that much I saw for myself.

When I got home, I asked Alan to pull up Georgia Navigator. He did a screen shot for me:
That "major accident"? That was the doing of the Truck of Evil.

5 Comments:

  • Wow . . . that's kinda scary but kinda cool at the same time.

    By Blogger A Margarita, at 10:06 AM  

  • I'm glad that you listened to your gut -- or whatever -- and avoided it.

    By Blogger Still Trying, at 1:25 PM  

  • Intuition is a good thing. I'm glad you listen to yours.

    By Blogger basil, at 2:48 PM  

  • Wow. That was amazing.

    By Blogger Nancy, at 9:06 PM  

  • So I'm late to this post because I haven't had any good computer-time lately, but still... Had to comment just to say WOW. Glad you have some scary-good intuition!!! :)

    By Blogger Z, at 9:36 AM  

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