There was this road; this cracked, steamy, dilapidated road that I had heard about in a bar about twenty miles outside of the small town of Centralia, PA. The gentleman (and I use that term loosely) that spoke of the road was so inebriated, I could scarcely tell if he was just telling some whacked out story handed down through generations or if there was truth to the tale.
But I had to know. That was my nature. I had to get to the bottom of everything. So, like a snake slithering back into the trees, I slipped out of the bar unnoticed, and headed for Centralia. I drove around that bright, sunny Sunday afternoon and then I saw the sign:
CENTRALIA – 2 MILES
Yes! I overheard the road was closed. And why wouldn’t it be? Apparently, it was in no condition to handle any kind of traffic. There were cracks and graffiti; steam and overgrown weeds. I came around a bend and I saw the cemetery on Highway 61 that was mentioned. It was old Highway 61 I was searching for and it shot right off of new Highway 61.
I had made it! I could go back to the city and tell everyone about the broken road I had stumbled upon. Well, I could have.
You see, there was a large crack in the road, I hadn’t noticed it really, if you could believe that. I was too busy gazing at all the profane graffiti on the sun-baked asphalt while catching glimpses of steam shooting out from cracks far down the broken road.
There was no rumble when the ground opened wide and swallowed me whole. It was almost as if the broken road had been waiting to feast on something to quell its burning innards.
I always did have terrible timing.