It was late when Ken and Joe were on their way. After cheering on their favorite team, they embarked on a journey home. Taking the most direct route, familiar to both, relaxed as they traveled to whence they came.
Halfway into their journey, Joe became exceptionally relaxed, as he expected and expressed concern for driving home in the twilight on the night. With concern, orders were given and he followed “we will drive home, getting coffee first and it will be fine.”
“ok”, hesitantly agreeing.
An hour and a half into the drive, Ken noticed that Joe was asleep. Not just asleep, but was out for a good few minutes. Trying to arouse him, “So Joe, what do you think of the game?”
“Joe! How are you feeling?”
“Fine. Fine. Just stop talking about my mom.”
Unrelated to the question Joe realized he was talking in his sleep, to which he quickly exited for no apparent reason. Or did he?
They exited because Joe noticed traffic getting extra heavy and felt it was time to alter their route. Unable to get back onto their normal course, both agreed they would navigate the old fashioned way.
Collaboratively they discussed. “Ken we have a compass in the van. If we follow North by Northeast, we should get to a place where you are familiar with.”
Ken agreed. “Get us to South OBT (Orange Blossom Trail) and I can get us home.”
Five minutes into the wrong turn, they came upon a Seven-Eleven.
“Let’s stop here and see if there is a map in the phone book.” This being a time when there were still public payphones with phone books attached.
Joe gets out of the van to check the phone book. When approaching the phone book, Joe hears what sounds to be change falling from the payphone.
“Ken, did you hear that? Oh my gosh, the phone just spit out Three dollars and eighty-five cents!”
Strange things were happening to Joe as of late, so this was both mystery and normal for him, he returned to the van.
“Today is my lucky day!”
Both looking at each other in awe and mystery, they continued down the back road of ‘somewhere and who knows where.’
Five minutes into their not knowing where this road would take them, they are stopped by a construction worker. Granted, at 2 am construction doesn’t normally happen in the twilight of the night, they are perplexed by this encounter.
“You’ll have to wait here until we are clear to travel.”
Ken and Joe take note of this oddity and brightly lit horizon just around the bend.
Clear to continue their drive, with a feeling straight out of the X-Files, they make a bend at the turn only to find nobody there. Completely dark, except for the headlights illuminating the road, both were left in daze and confusion.
“Where are the workers? Where did the construction crew go?”
Uncertain what was happening, they traveled another forty-five minutes to a familiar road where Ken took over navigating. They didn’t speak the rest of the way home.
Joe drops off Ken and continues home. Calling the Mrs. To see where the rest of the tail-gating party was.
“We are stuck on I-4. They are replacing a bridge and we are all parked on the highway, waiting for them to let us drive through.”
The caravan of cars, consisting of six vehicles filled with tired sports fans, was stuck in not knowing whether they would continue home. Meanwhile, Joe took a wrong turn making it home four hours ahead of them.
Still to this day, Joe wonders if it was a wrong turn, or meant to be. Knowing what he knows now, loss of consciousness, or checking out of what seems to be real, alternate routes present themselves. Trusting in these ‘wrong turns’ presents opportunities not normally available.