Never, in my life, have I witnessed a brilliant green fireball meteor. Until tonight.
Here's the story:
I decided to go driving along my usual routes after leaving my friend's place. I'm naturally nocturnal, you see, and've affixed certain specific driving paths where I used to speed-around several hours into the early morning after getting-out of the closing-shift at Burger King, blasting music at full volume along the way.
Since being back in town & between jobs, I've settled into old habits of nightowlhood. And so the drive to drive gripped me this night, & I started-off in my CRV mere minutes past 1:00 AM, taking Hogan Road onto College Road.
This is the foundation of my routes. I carried on into Greene, where I eventually came upon the red-flashing intersection, & took a left by the little post office, which got me to 202. As I shot down along the Augusta connector, I turned left onto Stetson Avenue, past the veterinary hospital & over the railroad crossing, back onto College. Instead of continuing along the longer wooded way, I cut to 202 via Merrill Road, at the far North of Lewiston.
My typical night-drive is a loop of these segments: onto 202 via College through Green, down Stetson, onto 202 via College & Merrill Rd, down Stetson, onto 202 via College through Greene; so-on-&-so-forth. Sometimes, I do this upwards of six times or more.
But not tonight. Instead, I decided to proceed onto the next optional chunk of my regimented driving rambles. I went into Auburn across the Memorial Bridge, up past Walmart & onto Hotel Road, where the school is, & those mansions that put on a killer Christmas-lights show. A right onto Court Street takes me across Minot Avenue, afield around the airport, then there & back again to Minot.
Here, I was presented with an option: I could go straight & reverse my way back home, or I could take a right (which I'd never done before), & take a unique path onto the next section. I chose the latter.
I made it across the downtown areas onto Lincoln St just beyond the bridge over noble Androscoggin, along the river & past the wastewater plant. A cop gave me a fright as he pulled-out behind me, having been sitting in some lot with his lights off. He took a left, thank joy, & all was well. I reminisced crawling across that jagged escarpment of dumped cement as I went past the bright garage at its peak. What good times, those were.
Eventually, I went right onto River Road, where the transfer-station is. It's nice out that way, as you go through all the farmland, & dream about spray-painting the houses of all those more-well-off folks. I saw some deer by the apple orchards, as one usually does that time of night.
As I'm so accustomed-to, I eventually went across Lisbon Street past Chickadee, & took that left across to Alfred Plourde Parkway, where you go-by all those trucking places, & the college. Here, again, I was at a crossroads.
I could've gone left down Webster Street, & earlier home, to read that biography of William Blake I'd gotten from the library. But, being the man of strict adherence to preferred routines I am, I went right at the light. And this is where things began to differ.
I'd usually have taken the left at the stop-sign, along Pond & Randall Roads, where Montello Street & Hogan Road would carry me home. But my curious brain decided to shake things up, that bastard, & I kept going, eventually taking a left onto Old Webster Road. I had a general idea of where I was, & how to get home.
I knew there was some series of turns I was supposed to take, by-which I'd end-up on Sabattus Street. It's been a good-while since I've been down that way, however, & where I should've taken a left off-of Crowley Street onto Grove Street, I kept right. Though this wasn't what I intended, I still knew the area fairly well... but not well enough.
And it wasn't long-after I realized I'd fucked-up, & had absolutely no idea where I was. For a not-so-slight period of time, I had no clue as-to my whereabouts, until I finally came-upon a sign indicating a right-turn would take you to Brunswick, & a left to Gardiner. While I couldn't think, in my head, where exactly Gardiner was, I knew for-sure I didn't want to go to Brunswick. I took the left, & it was through these proceeding circumstances that, a good time later, I ended-up at some gas-station in Bowdoinham, called Charleen's. While this is most-certainly not true, I coulda told ya I'd never seen it before in my life. Thankfully, I'd taken this pause to hop onto Google Maps, & punch my home address right-in.
Under the safety of a plain blue line, with the music of Jethro Tull, CAN, Tom Waits, & many others accompanying me, I eventually found myself back in familiar territory. I came out onto Sabattus St, out of the road at the farmlands where you'd find your way to Litchfield, if you were going the way I came.
Having had enough of Litchfield, Gardiner, & all those other wild regions for one night, I gladly took that left. And it was then, at that time & place just as I turned & drove along those open fields, I beheld something glorious in the sky to my left, at precisely 3:01 AM.
There, high yonder, was a brilliant green orb. My first impression was some police helicopter was careening in nosedive right towards my '06 Honda, or that my alien-abduction adventure had come at-last (this had been a recurring anticipated worry throughout my odyssey about those unknown lands).
At first, the luminance didn't seem to be moving at all. It became clear it was indeed shooting left, as that dazzling array (which appeared as a lime-colored Star of Bethlehem of at-least 16 points, shining the way to'rds some backwoods messiah) was cleaved-apart into so-many bright orange shards, which faded into darkness with a slight white streak. While I'm sure it was way high up in the atmosphere, it seemed close-enough that I had thought it was just a helicopter, at first. It felt like the whole affair lasted an age, but it couldn't have been more than a second or a few.
With that poetic portrait against the marvelous canvas of deep night-sky burned into my eager & awe-struck eyes, I drove home with great glee.
The moral of the story is: Count your blessings for the glory of modern geopositioning navigational systems. But, if you do find yourself lost, make a journey of it in your mind, because you just never know what wonders you may find.