Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just Call Me Wuss-chester

Usually, when I love a show, I have fantasies of walking in a character's shoes. I’ve imagined channeling Veronica’s smart ass savvy, flying with the crew of Serenity (preferably not while they’re being chased by Reavers) and being able to kick bad-guy butt beachside like Michael Westin and Fiona. But I have to say, devoted as I am to Supernatural, I don’t have many moments when I want to be a Winchester. Maybe because their life frequently sucks, maybe because I’ve never enjoyed diner food all that much, or maybe because they tend to go head to head with stuff that scares the crap out of me. I don’t think I’m cut out for their lifestyle, although there was one night—a very long night—when I was twenty that was vaguely Winchesteresque.

My lone sibling and I were road-tripping during a full moon in a hand-me-down vintage car, a journey spurred by Daddy Issues (he had just eloped and we were going to spend a week with the new family).

Okay, technically, it wasn’t so much a “vintage” car as just really, really old with over 100,000 miles. But it was definitely a hand-me-down and we did listen to AC/DC, Bon Jovi and Journey—that part is completely true, I swear. (And although I don’t remember specifically what they were, I’m quite sure we traded many an affectionate insult as we made our way.) We drove all night through several states and got a little slap-happy somewhere around Mississippi. Because this was August and the A/C didn’t work, we had all the windows rolled down. Around 3 in the morning, with the empty road to ourselves, we were coming up on a tree-lined curve in the middle of backwoods nowhere and caught the surprising sounds of what seemed to be a raucous good time—music, voices, laughter, the pavement vibrations of thumping bass that you've experienced if you'd ever walked along Austin's Sixth Street or visited Bourbon Street. As we rounded the curve, the inexplicable club sounds ceased and we passed a building on the left, something that looked like a bar or biker hangout. A long abandoned hangout. No lights, no people or vehicles in the parking lot; it looked as if windows and pieces of the roof might be missing. We were staring befuddled through the trees at the dilapidated roadhouse instead of keeping our gaze on the road when the car jolted from some sort of impact to the front. We both swore quite colorfully and slowed to warily investigate--expecting perhaps a forest animal-- but saw no evidence of anything in the road. Just an eerie stillness and air so muggy it hurt to breathe. It was easily ninety degrees but I was covered in goosebumps. After briefly exchanging puzzled glances, we silently and mutually decided on our course of action—burn rubber and get the hell out of there. We were probably in the next county before we even considered slowing back down to the legal speed limit.

I don’t think I can properly encapsulate the illogical creepiness of that hot, humid summer night and my near terror that I might accidentally glance in the rearview mirror as we sped away (or what I might see if I did) but if I’d owned a cell phone back then and had the Winchester brothers on speed dial, trust me, I would have called them.

So, what about you—what’s the closest you’ve ever come to a Sam and Dean moment?


Anonymous said...

Awesome story, Tanya. I've had several ghostly encounters and don't much care for them. Especially the one that haunted my dorm room at UNC.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, Terri! A haunted dorm room? I probably would've moved back home...

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Whoa, Tanya! That is totally creepy!

I haven't had anything like that. A few weeks ago, the dog barked in her very rare intruder manner as I was getting out of the shower, and as the thought of a ghost entered my mind, I wondered why I don't keep salt in the bathroom.

When I was a kid we lived in a townhouse apartment, on the end, with neighbors on one side. We'd hear footsteps on the stairs when no one was home next door. We dubbed the ghost ET (it was, obviously, shortly after the movie came out).

Oh, and where I used to work, I'd be alone in the evening and hear the whir of a coworker's wheelchair or the swish of my boss's trench coat, though no one was there. I decided it was energy discharge, though.