For four years, between 1976 and 1980, I worked in the next small city over, just down the Superhighway. It was 13.2 miles to work, after looping around three big clover-leafs, but only 12.2 miles home because – merge lane, merge lane, merge lane.
One winter night, it began to snow just as I was going to bed. I exited the house a little early the next morning. There was almost a foot of snow on the car and driveway, but a 4 to 5 foot pile at the end of my driveway. I lived on a bus route, and bus routes get plowed first.
I thought about shovelling, especially carving a hole through the snowbank, but decided to wait till I got home. I always backed in, so I just barged my way out through it. The bus route led to a Regional Road, which led to the Expressway, which led to the highway out of town, which led to the Interstate, all well plowed, and heavily travelled. I got to work quickly and easily, while the guy who lived four blocks from the plant couldn’t even walk in.
All day, the snow continued, getting even deeper. By mid-afternoon, the radio was telling listeners not to go out, and that every street and road in the Region, including the big highway, was closed. Most employees could get home, even if they had to walk, but what was I to do? Where was I to spend the night, sleeping in the break-room?
One of the young lads in the plant said, “I have an apartment, and live alone. You could stay with me.” By the time we left at 5 PM, the sky was clear blue and sunny, though the streets were deep with snow. As we crossed over, I got a look at the highway – cars everywhere – cars sideways, cars backwards, cars stuck on the shoulder, cars abandoned in the middle, cars banged into each other. I could have driven home, if not for that blockade.
On reaching his one-bedroom apartment, the unmarried male operated a can opener to serve me a gourmet meal – Heinz Alphagetti and dry bread. We watched some TV, and told some lies. As the 11 o’clock news came on, he turned off the TV, and turned on the radio, tuned to a loud rock station, and disappeared into the bathroom.
When he came out, he headed for his bedroom. I said, “I’ll turn the radio and lights off when I’m done.” Oh, no,” he replied, “I always leave the lights on, in case I have to get up in the night, and I need some music to lull me to sleep.” So I’m left on a lumpy couch with no blankets, all the lights on, and the radio blaring in my ear, while he’s comfortable behind a closed door.
There are medicines that will cure sociable diseases, but you can pick up something even worse when you sleep with someone strange. I think I found out why he was still single. 🙄