Atlanta (2006.1) - invocation
The leaves threw themselves like lemmings across the road and I threw the Jetta from 'drive' to 'slalom,' tucking my earpiece into my left ear and beginning to dial. Fall had lit northeastern Alabama to incandescence, each leaf a sun-dappled facet, each turn an autumnal surprise."I'm going to be early," I said, looking down at my speedometer and wishing desperately for any errand on the northwest side of town that could cause me to avoid inconveniencing the person on the other end of the conversation. I had nothing, nothing but a small blue suitcase in the back and the drive to disappear for five days.
(The city of Huntsville considers me a bastard hybrid; I work for a company that provides a public service and receives public funding but I and my co-workers do not receive access to things the official municipal employees receive, such as their pension plan. Still, I receive federal holidays.)
Veterans Day plus a United Way donation secured me a 4.5-day weekend. I had a week's worth of stocked-up conversations with a friend and a few jotted lines of potential shopping plans, but other than that I knew only my trip's duration. I don't often live life without a plan, but I had a budget and crashspace and I needed to just go.