It was draining on the senses snail-pacing through the mist, and it seemed to go on eternally. Past Machadodorp, the earthbound cloud was still as thick, and showed no signs yet of abating. My eyes were seriously beginning to droop at this stage and, once or twice, I felt the first jolt of mini-sleep setting in. If you have never experienced a mini-sleep, it is an awfully scary thing: you are suddenly jolted into a realisation that sleep has overtaken you! Although it usually lasts only a few seconds, what is scary is that you don't know how long you've been asleep! And, in that time, the car has moved an indeterminate amount of metres, with you not in control of it! You could have veered off the road (and that has happened to many people too), or you could have struck something – in short, you could have been killed and you wouldn't have even known about it!!
What is worse is that, at that stage of exhaustion, it is virtually impossible to keep your eyes open any more. This seems a failing of Darwin's Theory of Evolution! Surely the mind and body would, at all costs, seek to preserve the animal?! Yet, here, the mind puts the body into a state of sleep, even though it must consciously be aware that it and the body could be killed in the process. Where is the self-preservation that has been the backbone of survival of life on this earth?
Annoyed with Darwin, I fought to keep awake until I could safely pull off the road. I had slowed down even more – any slower, and I'd be going backwards! - and put on my hazards. All the while, my daughter slept, oblivious that her safety was in the hands of a sleepy driver! Luckily, a cross-bridge presented itself after a few minutes, and I pulled right off the road under it. My daughter popped open an enquiring eye, and I told her I was going to have a short nap as I was tired. I might have told her that we were going to have the usual cereal for breakfast, because it had the same effect: “Oh,” was her initial and final comment, and we both fell into a deep sleep, after I had first made sure that all locks were secured on the doors and windows.
I slept soundly for 20 minutes, and was awakened by the roar of a heavy truck as it spurted past in a light rain that had begun while we were asleep. The roar had been both from the spray that spurted from the trucks wheels, as well as its ample hooter. It's amazing how a power nap of a few minutes can get the concentration back to a suitable level of safety! I felt like a newborn …
As we descended from the Highveld over the escarpment into the Lowveld, the clouds began to lift, and so the mist disappeared. However, it was now pelting with rain, which I thrilled to – nothing like the power and wetness of water precipitating from the skies in droves! Still slow progress, but rain was far superior to mist, in my estimation; hence, the slow progress had become a pleasure, rather than a drag.
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EVERYBODY'S TR!TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWNTR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTHTR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)