Driving up from Nashville last Saturday and Waze saw fit to skip the interstate on the way through Indiana. Before I knew it the gas tank was nearly empty and every farmville gas station I pulled into was closed. Couldn’t even pump gas with a credit card. One town’s station didn’t even have pay at the pump. Is this 2016?
The roads were un-plowed and horrendous. 1x service was the best Verizon could muster. Panic set in. Is this what the ancients felt back in the days before smartphones? Finally Google Maps relented and showed me a gas station 7 miles away down unplowed farm roads. Worth a shot.
The car beeped repeatedly with a second low-fuel warning and with three miles left to go it seemed like I would be walking. Then, in the distance I could see gas station lights. Not the station Google pointed to, but one it didn’t know about at all. A mirage? I pulled in and noticed a beautiful small town main street blanketed in untouched snow. It was real!
After filling up and getting a slushee and other survival supplies (pizza Combos, gummy bears, sour patch straws, etc), having a look around seemed worth it. My favorite spot was the Fowler Theatre. Like a character out of Stranger Things its retro glow lit the snow with 80s goodness. With a Star Wars: Rogue One poster out front, the look of a modernized anachronism was complete. The sign in the box office read, “Come In We’re Awesome!”. It took all of two blocks to drive down main street and see the entire town with it’s festive Christmas decorations and old fashioned street lights.
There was a car parked on the main street. It was covered in the softest snow. So perfect, so beautiful. I drew a giant wiener on the back window (so they know what signal to shine in the sky to call me if they ever need my help) before Katherine and I drove out of town. I wonder if that will make the town paper – the Benton Review – or if I imagined this beautiful little oasis that I probably won’t ever see again.