OMW: I-95 Adventures, Vol. LXIV
First off, this was a truncated, express version, with extenuating circumstances. Although I had planned before I even left home to return within about a month to settle some affairs back in Harlem, I was not expecting the weather that we ended up receiving (at least until the week prior, which was well after everything was planned and plotted out, obviously). Thankfully, most of New York City and northern New Jersey (the two areas where I had to be) were mostly spared. If I had to go out to Suffolk County, I’d probably still be out there right now. Especially poor ol’ Port Jeff.
At any rate, I made a pit stop at my parents’ house on Thursday night, following the completion of a mandatory memorandum due for class that day. I got about three hours of sleep and woke up with the sunrise to begin the mad dash to beat the snow to New York.
I failed. Miserably.
I was making great time, however. I stopped every two hours because I had been low on sleep and wanted to ensure that I did not have any alertness issues on the road. I got to the exit off the Turnpike for those heading to the Shore before ice pellets began to form. I was still doing my usual speed (I had the perfect vehicle for managing such weather, thankfully), but once I hit Edison, it was a wrap. I went down as low as 35 MPH, and did that all the way to the Lincoln Tunnel.
Had I taken the George, I would have sat on it for an hour before crossing into the Heights.
The tunnel wasn’t too bad; just all the normal express buses from Staten Island and the local buses from north Jersey that area always on the left lane when you need to make the turn on Dyer to head Uptown (which was of course blocked off, necessitating a trip DOWN to 34th St. and over to 10th Ave. in order to avoid the gridlock on the West Side Highway. 10th/Amsterdam was actually not bad at all, to be honest. My car had serious traction, so I was good money. I hit the Upper West Side, and in trust UWS fashion, a bunch of smegma-brained idiots began doing things that smegma-brained idiots on the UWS do: thinking they run everything, several of these limpwrists just casually strolled out in front of oncoming traffic (traffic with the right-of-way with a green light) as if you’re just a) supposed to stop because their Above-Holy carcasses choose to randomly stroll out 50 feet in front of a vehicle traveling 35 MPH and/or b) you’re AUTOMATICALLY going to be able to stop on a dime if you get close to hitting them. This one imbecile pulled this stunt on the backside of the 1-2-3 station on the 95th St. side on Broadway. He not only walked out without the right-of-way, but STOPPED DEAD IN THE STREET, looked at me like one of those wild deer in Virginia who think they own the interstate at night, and then shot me a smug look.
I stopped dead in my tracks, rolled down my window, looked at him as if I was Tony Soprano and he owed me 10 points on a vig, and sat there for about two seconds (had been sitting on my horn before stopping) and then sped off. Someone was on the right lane beside me and nearly skidded out to avoid hitting this schmuck.
I was already trying to beat a nasty cold, was irritated due to traffic, had a hunger headache (hadn’t eaten all day) and was frustrated because I was up against time. So he was about to feel my entire wrath, pause.
I got back to my building without further incident, cleaned out the rest of my things, and headed to Paramus.
We got swept in under a foot of snow, which was no problem. I dug out of it in about 20 minutes, sped off to handle the remaining errands that needed settling, and made my way out of town Saturday morning. The snowstorm caused me to miss out on my mans’ party, which was originally scheduled on his actual birthday (the day the storm arrived), but was pushed back to Saturday evening. Had this been my only reason for coming back to town, and I would have still be required to leave by Saturday, I would have really been livid. Everyone was apparently able to get home safely and were at least responding to my text messages while I was there, which is the best I could do on this trip. Apologies to all.
If this had been North Carolina, I would have been shut in all weekend. NO QUESTION.
I made great time down the Turnpike, without incriminating myself in any way possible, I’ll suggest that everything was “smooth” until I hit Nash County in North Carolina off I-95. MORE SCHMUCKDOM.
Speed Limit is 70. People are on a line a mile long doing 60-65. Same with the right lane. I’m livid. Anyone who knows me KNOWS that I make Tom Coughlin look like the welcome man at F.A.O. Schwartz when it comes to timeliness and punctuality. I had an appointment that evening, and not only do I want to be on time (in my book, that’s 10 minutes early), but with consideration to my COUSIN’S schedule, I don’t want to hold her up either.
That trip from Nash County to Raleigh took twice as long as it should have; both for the funeral procession on the left lane, then this game of cat-and-mouse that these two jokers were playing on New Bern Avenue later on. One is driving too slowly for everyone’s liking (most specifically, the guy right behind him, who was right in front of me). He would speed up, then slam to a dead stop, trying to bait the guy into hitting him. The guy behind actually had to swerve.
My father told me before I ever began driving on my own to look at least five cars ahead so that I don’t get caught having to slam on brakes and rear-end someone (and potentially end up hugely liable in the process, for those who don’t know traffic law). I was a safe enough distance behind them, but I sat on my horn for a good mile and a half. Yeah, you can say this is one of the times that the negative stereotypes about New Yorkers is true. I am not patient when I am up against time and you are acting like a horse’s neck on the road. I was able to pass on the right lane, but I probably dropped every expletive in the book with my window down and this clown trying to speed off.
My cousin will tell you, by the time I got to her house, I was so jumpy and jittery that I sounded like Kenyon Martin giving an interview circa 2001. It took me a while to calm down. The rest of the trip was uneventful. I stopped to see my sister and my parents, and then headed back to Charlotte at 3 AM.
I am just glad I made it in and out of that mess without incident.
*Side Note: I have zero tolerance for peoples’ drama; regardless if it is a blood relative or a “longtime friend”, so like Biggie used to say, “If you don’t know, now you know”, because I will speed off, cut you off and disown you if you try to bring me into your mess. This trip elucidated that point for a couple of people, and the reality will hit them in a few months when they realize that I don’t play when it comes to my time.
Thanks for all the prayers, well-wishes and those who have sent care packages, gift cards and other things that have aided in this transition to North Carolina. It has been greatly appreciated (and please keep them coming, seriously!)