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Speaking from a purely physical and emotional state, I feel like I’ve been at sea.  After driving for 7 days with brief bits of sleep, my body is battered and my mind is confused because it has no reference as to what made my body tired in the first place.  Driving doesn’t seem like it would take too much physical exertion but in fact it does, even more so when you are carting 9 people.

Driving a 15-passenger van through the desert has its implications. But one doesn’t need to drive a van any great lengths in order to understand what it can do to the body.  Long distance driving in any vehicle begins to wear on the back, the neck, the hands, and eyes.  I think the addition of the responsibility of several humans; half of which are below the age of 17, makes the wear and tear a bit excessive.  The brain gets weary.  What if a coyote runs into the road?  I’d have to hit the coyote!  Even if I ran the thing over without hitting the brakes I imagine my legs would do something stupid or my arms might waver. Eventually, I would have to put the brakes on and stop the car just to get my head and heart around the fact that I killed some kind of Navaho ancient.  Then all the passengers would freak out, some being saddened, some thinking it was gruesome and fun, and predictably, some looking for any reason to berate me. After the fact I would have to listen to everyone’s experience, the highs and lows, the brutality, irresponsibility, and raw human experience- all at once.

In my entire life, I’ve never experienced so many people speaking at once and seemingly appearing to be having a conversation, than I have in the last week.  So, after splattering a defenseless animal my precious cargo would be in a tizzy and my physical, mental, emotional will-power would be tested to it’s limit.

I want to feel the camaraderie that others feel, I want to join and make mistakes, blunders, faux pas, and bonding but something prevents me.  I trust myself, I trust my ability to drive correctly, efficiently and safely but I don’t trust others.  I don’t trust others to handle difficult situations with common sense, bravery and healthy emotional response.

Mulling it over I realize that I don’t have to trust everyone with my life.  I am responsible for me, so as much as I want to protect others in a car I’m driving, I want to protect myself too. I’ll know when I’ve met someone I can trust to take the wheel, and then I will get some shut-eye.

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