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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Ride in the Country

Yesterday I took Stan to the Dentist, and afterward I was going to head off to the Cottage Grove Post Office as I always do when I take Stan to the Dentist...a errand driving consolidation type thing. It was hardly a consolidated trip.

As you approach the Dental Office/Fitness Center/Bank/Who Knows What Else building complex going east on Cottage Grove Road, you turn left, then another left to get into the parking lot. I guess I had been on auto pilot, so I knew I had to then turn right, then right again to get back out to the Cottage Grove Road intersection, where I would at that point turn left to head to Cottage Grove. I've done this several times before. I know how to get to the Cottage Grove Post office, it's the easiest trip in the world, just a straight shot down Cottage Grove Road. Except my mind was occupied. Earlier that day, an ebay customer, a Disney Witch who bought over $200 worth of merchandise from me and had not yet paid after 18 days, became NARU*, which meant, I was out that $200. Sure, I still had the merchandise, but I'm out the time initially organizing her stuff into neat little packages, I'm now out the time having to put her stuff back into the original packages they came from, I'm out the time contacting her asking her when she was going to pay, I'm out the time having to file to get my Final Value Fees back (she bought a lot of items) and I'm out the mental $200 that I had planned on using to pay bills. Bitch. Psychotic #&@*!%$ "My Bank is issuing me a new Credit Card and I haven't gotten it yet" Bitch. So that was on my mind. So when I exited out the back entrance of the parking lot, not the entrance I came in, my Autopilot turned right, then right, and then left. But since it was not the entrance I came in, I needed an extra right in there before the left. So I headed out toward Cottage Grove Post Office, but not on Cottage Grove Road...on Sprecher Road.
*Not a Registered User

Stan and I had remarked as we were heading there how Cottage Grove Road was getting more and more built up. Years ago after you went over the I-90 Overpass, it was all country. Not any more. And as I headed out on Sprecher Road, which I thought was Cottage Grove Road, it seemed even more built up. It seemed weird. I didn't remember that median. And where was the 55 mph 2 lane country road? It was now 40 mph and a 4 lane. Everything looked different. And what was that interstate underpass? I didn't remember that before either. Things sure changed in the few months we were out last. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention before. Maybe they were always there. Maybe I just couldn't remember.

I drove quite a ways, thinking at any moment the scenery will start to look familiar. It never did. After about 3 miles I got a strange panicky feeling. I realized I had no idea where I was. I retraced my steps and realized my error of prematurely turning left and not getting on Cottage Grove. I figured out I was going north, not east (it was a cloudy day...there was no sun to guide). I then thought if I turn right, I'll be heading east at least, and then I could find another north/south connecting road to Cottage Grove. I turned at the first stop sign I found, Nelson Rd. I headed east about a mile, but I don't think I'd ever been out there before and didn't know where it would lead me. I decided to turn into a country residential neighborhood road that looped around. I then took Nelson back to Sprecher (which had turned into Reiner at some point...roads do that a lot around here), and then back to the Dentist office/Cottage Grove intersection, and then back out to Cottage Grove to get to the post office. By the time I finally made it back to the Dental Office, Stan was still waiting for his appointment. I was hoping that wasn't the case. I had hesitated calling him on our cells because I wouldn't want him to get the call while he had dental junk in his mouth. He had been worried why I had taken so long, fearing I'd been in an accident. No, the car was fine. But was I? It was all like some surreal dream. I have dreams where I find myself in the middle of some country area and I don't know how I got there. That's what this was like. I hope it wasn't some early senility. I'm hoping it was just a preoccupied mind. Stupid Manic Bipolar Disney Witches on Shopping Sprees.

As we drove home, I started thinking about the Homologous Streets of Madison and Fort know, a street in Madison that reminds me of a street in Fort Collins. Then it hit me...they'd make great names for characters in novels or movies:

Monona Lemay. Elizabeth Milwaukee. The twin brothers, Winnebago and Williamson (Willy) Remington (very old west sounding, that). Mason Atwood. Stuart Buckeye. Sherman and Johnson Shields. Harmony Pflaum. Mr. Nesbitt Bingham Hill (proper English chap). Drake Midvale. Lesser Loftsgordon**. Sheldon Forster...Stan might not get that one...I had to look it up myself...Sheldon is the road by City Park where we fed the seagulls heart-shaped biscuits and Forster is the road that goes by Warner Park where we hear frogs in the spring.
**I totally see Lesser Loftsgordon as a William H. Macy Fargo Jerry Lundegaard character type.

Some of the street combo names make better sounding places, like Washington College, or University College (Stan says it was just a college with no panache, so they named it "University College" to make it sound better.) Then there's the employment agency that all the graduates of University College end up going to, "First Prospect."

There are probably more homologous name possibilities, and I've exhausted my mental map of both cities. I used GoogleMaps to help me remember street names, and in doing so I found all these names of neighborhoods in Fort Collins that I didn't know existed when I lived there. If I look at a Madison map, neighborhood names appear...Tenney-Lapham, Greenbush, Old Market Place, Carpenter-Ridgeway, (oddly, my neighborhood, Schenks-Atwood, is not shown). But GoogleMaps shows a whole new side of Fort Collins that never existed to me before: Sinnard? What the heck is Sinnard? (just north of 14 on I-25) Black Hollow Junction? (between Sinnard and Andersonville...actually, I did hear of Andersonville when I lived there). Side Hill? (east of Parkwood). East Dale? (around Stover and Locust). And here's a shocker...Omega!!!!! (corner of College and Horsetooth). Back in high school, there was a spot called Omega that was behind an old Safeway store off Prospect and College. It was undeveloped near a creek. People went there to get stoned. That's all I'll say about it. Not really sure of the places I parents live between "Old Fort Collins HIgh School" and "University Acres," although I only heard them refer to it as the latter. When we lived on Grant Street, it was either "Mantz" or "University North." On Peterson, it was sort of triangulated between University Park, East Dale, and Old Fort Collins High School. Very weird sensation thinking about this stuff. Just last year, I was there. Visiting. I had fun. I love vacations. But I can't go every year. I guess it's part of the deal I made with Chief Niwot.



Blogger Ann said...

Wilson Walnut...doesn't Wilson St. near where that German restaurant we never went to remind you of Walnut near old town, Stan? Wilson Walnut sounds like quite a character.

OK, here's a weird one. There is a street intersection in Madison that is Margaret Atwood. I need to photograph the signs some day.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Dilemma: Packers LaPorte. Think Carl's shack, Stan. The one that is torn down (in Madison) is on Packers Avenue. Although LaPorte is a great name, Packers isn't. However they are Homologous roads. LaPorte Packers. Some meat packing plant in this fictional city? Discuss.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Stan said...

These are all great names and I would love to use all of them if either of us could actually finish a novel. It is a good thing that you got lost driving because it inspired you to think of these wild names. Perhaps, this is your way of overcoming the spell or what ever it is that the DW put on you - what a lost person she must be.

I'm not sure what kind of deal we made with Chief Niwot. I think if we had to return it would have happened about 3 years ago, so we must be able to stay here.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

This is our 20th anniversary of living here, but yeah, if we were to move back, it would've been our 17th year. Something about the number 17. I lived *there* 17 years.

I love Madison but it is getting increasingly lonely here, esp. now that our neighbors are leaving. And it's so hard to see Tim lately.

Fort Collins never was a good fit--I don't know why. It gives me the weirdest feeling that I do not get elsewhere. Not just FC, but pretty much Larimer County/the front range in general, where Niwot's curse is. But mostly the FC area. It gave me a weird feeling from day 1...late October 1971.

I'm glad Chief Niwot let us leave. We were there due to strange circumstances. We were innocent parties. I didn't want to leave NY. And because you were adopted, your biological history was out east, just like me.

I don't hate FC, but it gives me strange feelings. It's a scary feeling, a haunted feeling. I do know of someone who badmouthed it a lot, not just FC, but Colorado. I was sure this person had left the state, but my supersleuthing discovered something the other day...they are still trapped in Colorado, in one of the worst cities in CO one could find themselves...worse than FC. Chief Niwot really cursed them, probably because they were so flagrant and arrogant in their hatred of it. And I find it very humorous. I'll tell you about it someday, in time.

9:55 PM  

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