Driving to school is boring. The 5.5 hour drive includes a lovely display of cornfields and cows as your roadside distractions. Plus, you’re constantly reminded that you’ve barely made a dent in your drive: The green road sign reads that you are currently 340, 301, 294…all the way down to 10 or 8 miles away.
To make matters worse, my radio doesn’t work well during this drive. I have to tune to see whether I can pick up a slight, scratchy signal. A signal which is nearly always Christian Rock. And not contemporary Christian rock, at that. I resort to tapes, but since it seems the majority of the public now has car CD players–a luxury not to be taken for granted, let me tell you–tape selection is scant. The soundtrack to “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Best of Kenny Rogers” and “The Backstreet Boys” is about as good as my selection gets.
One thing does break up the drive, though. An I-80 paradise: The World’s Largest Truckstop. A truckstop supersized–it includes shops, showers, a barber shop, movie theatre, and some lovely trucker trivia–with the best people watching you can possibly imagine.
I took the Walcott exit–the tiny town whose claim to fame is this people watching paradise–but I was craving Subway so I decided to skip the truckstop. After my stomach was satisfied, I went to the bathroom and ran into crazy coincidences. I saw a middle-aged woman with a blue shirt that read my school ‘Drake.’ Anyone who knows me knows I’m not one to pass up this opportunity for small talk. I asked her whether she went to school at Drake. She hadn’t, but she had just dropped off her son.
Ok, so it was cool that I found a slight Drake connection on the road–rare, but not unrealistic–but then the coincidence compounded. I happened to be wearing an old Evergreen Park High School shirt, and the woman said she went there too. Now this relevation is crazy–EPCHS has had a total of 2 people attend Drake in probably the past 20 years (1 being myself). I kept talking to her, and she revealed that her son was living in Crawford–which coincidentally was my Freshman year dorm too.
This may not be the oddest coincidence ever–not by a long shot–but it was still odd and gave me a sense of driving Deja Vu. She reminded me so much of my mom–spending the first night overnight because she was sad to see her firstborn off, yet wearing her son’s school shirt to show she was proud of his decision–that I couldn’t help but have a little roadside reflection after the meeting. Is it all chance that we have these coincidental meetings? How often do they happen? I never bypass the truckstop, but did that day. Did I do so to run into my mom’s counterpart? There’s no way to tell, of course, so instead I’ll simply marvel at my chance, coincental meeting.