Neil Gaiman says:

Neil Gaiman says:
pic by Allan Amato

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Plums in PEI

It is a beautiful long weekend summer morning on the Island. The sun is shining, a cool breeze wafts gently through the dark green maple and chestnut leaves, dappling the Little's new deck in cool shadow.

The drive from New Brunswick down the 11 out of Miramichi and through Shediac was fine. The road was clear and the speed limit quite high, so I made good time. Just before the turnoff to the 16, there was tons of traffic however. There had been an accident; I could see the black smoke rising from a cluster of vehicles in the distance. The sky turned dark and thunder rumbled in the distance. Rain hammered on the windshield as I listened to an old Music from the Glen (Atlantic Bridge.) I was hung up behind a huge camper with another truck and camper right behind me.

We waited, waited, waited. I turned off Cherry Bomb (the red Echo) to save gas. Also, she's been making this odd *thrummmming* noise sometimes, so I was a little worried about it. Cars further ahead decided against waiting anymore and did U-turns in the road, heading West. Some cars peeled away from the back and drove forward on the shoulder, then cut across a dirt track to try and get some headway. I thought it would be better to wait; since I didn't have a clue where the "dirt track" lead. My map said to go on the 15, and after my previous mishaps vs Lake Simcoe, I decided not to chance it.

After about 1/2 hour of sitting, cars slowly trickled out, heading towards me from the accident. One tooted joyously at the release of the jam. I threw on the Pogue's "If I should Fall from Grace with God" and found myself lurching forward as well. We spooled like thread, closer to the scene of the accident; as slow as cars trailing a hearse at 20 km/h. We passed two cars with a crumpled one between. Ahead was what I thought was a broken transport rig's cab. What it was was the front end of a tow-truck with the empty burned out shell of a huge camper hanging on it. All the belongings were charred; it was so pathetic and awful. Bicycles dangled from the back, forlorn and out of place.

The cars drove soberly by the scene, passing the rescue vehicles, police and other crew. I couldn't believe that the other truck that had driven towards us had beeped merrily like that... how could you do that if you had HAD to have seen the accident? What kind've person could jauntily honk at the sight of a burned vehicle..not even knowing if anyone had been hurt (or killed?)

I drove, listening to the Pogues and watched as the sky bled rain, then cleared. The sun burnished the clouds like pewter, then silver. I saw the Confederation Bridge and my heart jumped in my chest. I was almost there! The sea shone like silver, glittering dark where the clouds reflected against it. Over the rise of the bridge, I could see PEI's farm fields like yellow strips of gold against dotted green and black. The wind was crisp and tangy with salt. I left the mainland behind and eagerly drove the last stretch to Kensington. Finally, arrived around 4:30pm and got wonderful bone-crushing hugs in, just as it started to rain once again. Settled with beer and chats, girlie giggles from the twins and hearty halloos from Troy and Carol, I felt the last knotted tension in my back release.


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