God and I Have Issues


Even Texas eventually has to end. At the end of a long day of driving, I eventually pulled into Baton Rouge. But not without a lot of unwanted drama.

Here’s where Google Maps and every navigation system is totally useless: Google Maps correctly told me a right hand turn was coming some two-and-a-half miles away. What it didn’t tell me was that before that happened, I would find myself on a holy-fucking-shit deathtrap of a bridge hundreds of miles above the Mississippi, fighting off a panic attack.

God and I have issues. If God had been on the job, this never would have happened. It gets worse.

So, here I am, in fierce traffic on what amounts to a flimsy scaffolding a zillion miles above a body of water immortalized by Mark Twain, not to mention Paul Robeson’s excellent bass-baritone voice. My brain is “in case of emergency, break glass” mode. This is when I shout for all hands on deck. Angels, spirits, denizens of the ether, everyone. You up there! Look over me! Get me off this bridge alive!

An eternity …

Whew! Deliverance. Thank you, God. You are forgiven. We’ll talk later. Wait …

To my horror, I find myself on a ramp, heading straight back over the bridge. This is the work of Google Maps, with God’s apparent approval. This time, I am driving directly into a brilliant orange globe of combusting helium that poets and meteorologists euphemistically identity as a setting sun. Now you’ve done it, God.

When everything around you fails – breathe. I literally find myself breathing my way back across the Mississippi. Another eternity …

Now, here I am, off the bridge, in some shipyard, Google Maps pointing me over the same accursed bridge a third time. One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi …

I clinch my jaw, I release the brake. Once more, into the breach.

This time, when I reach the other side, I deliberately turn left when Google Maps tells me to turn right. I drive into a neighborhood with real streets and places to turn around. Google Maps resets. I double-check. It is not taking me back over the bridge. God is making Himself scarce. You bet.

I arrive at my destination a few minutes later, the back of my shirt drenched in salty sweat. My ordeal is over. I should be grateful. But as I said, God and I have issues.


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