Strange Emcounters

Posted on 11 May 2009

Driving north on the New Jersey Turnpike this past Friday, a particular Subaru caught my eye. It had a huge, red Bates bumper sticker spread across its back windshield; and as I cruised past I couldn’t resist taking a peak at the driver. I know a healthy handful of Bates grads, starting with my brother, my cousin, and one of my best childhood friends. Not that I was expecting to recognize the driver (and I didn’t)…but I can confirm that he had that Bates “look.” As much as you can say this about someone you’ve never seen before, only glanced at for a second and can’t hear talking, he looked down-to-earth. Hehe. Not to mention, his Subaru hatchback fit the bill perfectly!  So there.

In the end, though, it was really nothing special; and I cruised on northward, leaving him behind in the dust of both wheels and mind.

I proceeded to spend a fantastic weekend in Woodstock, New York (a.k.a. Hippie-Mecca, U.S.A.–Whoop!) and then hit the road again Sunday afternoon, dropping off various carpool-buddies along the way. Back on the turnpike heading south, I was again cruising solo, listening to some good tunes and great oldies when–POW–there’s the same Subaru, up in front of me! Same sticker. Same color car.  “Whoah, wait a minute…really???” I thought. As I sped up to catch him, I had a strange moment of kaleidoscopic deja-vu–so many things were the same, but I was heading the other direction…and I’d seen the same car only two days ago!…and how is this possible??

But it was him. The same kid! With the same look; but this time I noticed he had a car full of stuff.  Pillows and boxes and big, wrinkly blankets spread over unintelligible lumps.  “Aha! He must be either a student or a recent grad moving south…” I concluded. And as I sped on into the dusty pink, gathering dusk I reminisced about those post-college glory days of open road and swinging doors. I hope Mr. Bates takes full advantage, wherever he’s headed.

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