Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.
This isn’t the update I wanted to be writing today.
I wanted it to be a good travel update, one that shared how much fun we have been having. One that would shed some light on the amazing journey we were finally seeing materialize in front of us- but it’s not.
Its not a good update. It’s not good news over here.
Yesterday, after the Tulsa, OK show was canceled due to weather, we were heading north from Dallas. We were more than aware of the shitty weather, Dallas had it’s fill while we were there but we thought slow ash steady would win the race, so we took the 69N and going between 30-50 mph the whole way.
There were several times when I hit black ice. The car and trailer would slide for a second and I would calmly let off the gas and then we would just keep moving. I was seriously going so slow. I hate driving in snow- but ice, loathe it. It hadn’t started raining and the roads were clear. Semi trucks and F-150’s were flying past us. Pulling El Jefe, I have learned to drive slow and to just stay to the right. We have learned to leave early, so we are never in a hurry.
Coming up to a bridge, I notice (again) the “bridge may ice before road” sign and like before I would let off the gas and this time… oh man, this time- it just took us.
I felt it immediately. I knew what was happening, it was terrifying.
As the wheel crashed around with my white knuckled hands gripping it, I just told everyone I was sorry. The stuff in the car went crashing in the air, there were screams ripping through the air and on one side of us was a cement divider and the other was a metal guardrail with a frozen lake on the other side.
I have to stop here and tell you, whomever is reading- that the lake I saw had our name on it.
The car was out of control but there was NO way I was letting us veer to the right. No fucking way. As I grabbed the wheel and again, glanced in my rearview to apologize to my family I was so letting down, I held tight the wheel when we went left and ignored the fact that we were then heading right.
The trailer made a “V” with the car, I saw the kitchen window just out past Zeke’s frightened little face and then it whipped back and tossed us toward the lake.
I could actually see myself climbing through the car and unlocking seat belts. I imagined myself, quite out of body, breaking windows with my feet- freeing the family I just trapped.
Oh the guilt, you guys. The fucking guilt.
I don’t do guilt, usually. I am good with that but this- oh man, this has me by the tits.
Somehow we just came to a stop. I vaguely remember seeing cars sliding out of the way, desperately trying to avoid us and then they were just gone. They all just kept going. Except one.
This man and his wife stopped. He got out of his truck and was honestly concerned. He was helpful and called highway patrol and waited for a long time, then I asked him to go.
The bridge with the black ice was about 100 yards from us- the cars and semi’s were flying by. If any of them hit it, they would smack right into his truck, then right into us.
We had to sit there for about 30 life changing minutes. Facing traffic. Starring at the bridge that broke us and the lake that almost ate us up.
The highway patrol came, helped turn me around (in one shot) and then went on his way. We drove to the disgusting town of Eufaula where the motel was nasty and the front desk guy was nastier.
I sat up all night listening to drunks fight and asking myself what I could have done differently. What SHOULD I have done? Other than stay in Dallas, I came up with nothing.
I ate tonight for the first time in well over 24 hours. That’s not special unless you know me and you know I eat all of the time.
I’m starting to be able to look at Quattro and not cry. I feel like I failed him the most. He is the one that will remember. The other two will most likely forget whatever they know right now. Today we hit a bump in the road and the baby said “WHOA!” in a sort of freaked out way and then he said “I’m sorry”… that stung but it is the reality of it all.
Elvis is tough as shit. She told me she was okay, so there was no problem. I explained that El Jefe had to get towed away and she told me she would be fine. I love this girl. Damn. I need this girl.
Eddie is silent and that is hard. He is confused, like me. We are never confused at the same time, so I am snapping myself out of it. We both will. Reading the comments from everyone is just making this an experience that much easier.
We started a Go fund Me page. We have insurance and hopefully they say El Jefe and the car will be back to normal in no time BUT until then we are stretching ourselves and our pockets to the limit. Eddie is off to finish the shows and we are staying in Tulsa, living in a hotel that is nice and comfortable- no screaming bum fights. I can relax. Get my shit together.
Tomorrow we go get a POD and unpack our life (again). Before Eddie leaves for the airport, we are going to box everything in El Jefe up and have it stored until we know what is what.
If someone sees a tired lady walking a couple of dogs with a few kids- please, please, please come have a beer with me.
Thank you for everything.