Going home always begins with the my mother’s jittery calls about scheduling and traffic and timing my pick up in Baton Rouge. And it always starts with that bridge we have to cross. Of course we go over the Mississippi River bridge first, but it doesn’t feel like I’m close to home until we go across the Atchafalya Basin bridge. It’s an 18 mile bridge over swamp. And it’s usually grey stormy weather when we cross it and I look out onto endless swamp horizon speckled with Cypress trees and it starts to smell like home. I don’t know what’s special about this bridge, but there’s something world reknown about it. It’s long. It’s over a swamp. People drive like idiots over it and cause five hour traffic jams every few months. It’s something special alright.
And once across it, driving through Opelousus and Breaux Bridge, all those billboards start popping up for bayou casinos and the best crawdad restaurants in the middle of nowhere and in the back of mind I hear the echo of “squeal piggy, piggy!”
…I just got the frantic phone call from my mom. Oil well blew up somewhere in the basin and the bridge is closed. I just volunteered to drive myself from the airport to Lafayette. “Honey, the detour wasn’t even a highway back when you lived here…”
No worries. Come Thanksgiving day if I’m still driving around somewhere in podunk Opelousus, at least I’ll be close to home 🙂