After a good time with great friends near our nation’s capital, it was time to leave Maryland.
I adjusted the seat belt and checked the mirror. I told my phone I wanted to go home. When I do that the phone
will use a nice lady’s voice to prompt me with directions from outer space.
You are on the best route for your destination, the voice will say. Or, Use the right lane to take the off ramp to
route five. Or, Continue for four miles.
So I was negotiating the labyrinth of highways that is Maryland/DC/Virginia, making a lane change and muttering
to myself when the voice said something new.
Everything is okay.
Did I hear that right? Was Google trying to comfort me? Or is that just how it says traffic conditions are good?
Last week I saw a drama on CBS where a character couldn’t feel forgiveness until he acknowledged a power
greater than himself. For comedic effect he asked forgiveness from the US postal service. Perhaps Google is a
power greater than me. (It is. There’s no contest.)
Another place that I asked the phone to direct me to lately was the
site of Garrett’s farm where federal troops tried to capture John
Wilkes Booth. I say tried because they ended up burning a barn
and then shooting him to death instead. I say site because it is
just a highway marker now.
Garrett put in a claim for the cost of his destroyed barn and all of
the equipment inside. The claim was denied, the government
saying he had been harboring a fugitive. Garrett had a hard time
doing business after that because confederates thought he hadn’t
done enough to shield Booth and unionists blamed him for
harboring Booth. Eventually the land was controlled by the greater
powers of the Army and the Department of Transportation.
There’s a divide like the confederates and unionists in our country
here in 2021. We’re going to need mass injections of forgiveness to
get over it. Use any higher power you feel. The professional
hate-mongers will never see it coming. Forgive and proceed as if
the crisis is over. If you wait for the magic, you’ll miss it.
Thank you, Google.
Everything is okay.
Hoot Brooks, July 31, 2021