Biloxi Blues

Long exposure
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter: 1/0 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D80

Biloxi, Mississippi

Very tired tonight. Staying in a slummy beachfront hotel in Biloxi. This won’t be pretty writing. It might not even make sense. I’m too tired to care. I’m not even sure it matters anymore.

Eleven years ago on Feb. 13, I crashed my car and almost died. Most of you didn’t know me then. Those of you who did probably remember it well. The fear of driving it unleashed was nothing short of legendary. I didn’t drive at all for close to five years. Eventually I started driving short distances. So far this trip, I’ve driven 600 miles. The trip began with a flat tire at 80 mph 30 miles outside Tuscaloosa. Tonight I almost locked my keys in the car while standing on Scenic Highway 90 shooting this image.

The DangerGrl Travel Chronicles continue.

Memorable moments so far:

When a hitchiker rapped on my window as I sat waiting for a tow truck. Note to Southern girls: First, get Roadside Assistance from your cell or insurace company. Second, always carry cash. If I had not had $25 cash, they wouldn’t have changed my tire. And third, it really is ok to not roll your window down when someone knocks on it. It was very, very difficult for me to look at another human being and shake my head no when he asked for a ride. The world isn’t what it used to be. Southern charm will get you killed or worse. Oh and that tire? Completely avoidable. A quick road check would have told me my rear passenger tire was completely worn out.

I got lost on the way to Waveland, Miss. I crossed an interminably long bridge, struggling to keep my car running the whole time. When I landed on the other side, I was greeted by miles and miles of blackened, twisted trees, overturned school buses, graffiti laden housing projects, and weeds higher than the roof of my car. I stopped and asked a man what city I was in and learned that on my way to Mississippi, I had landed in east New Orleans. By this point, my car was barely running at all. I ended up going the wrong direction down an exit ramp. When I stopped to reverse my car, it stalled — as oncoming traffic was approaching.

A strange man knocked on my hotel door at 2 a.m., terrifying me. For those who don’t know, the front desk isn’t open all night. If it’s very late, you’ll waste valuable minutes calling the front desk for assistance. Yes, it really is ok to not answer the door just because someone knocks on it. And yes, the police really will come out, just because you’re frightened. The 911 operator will stay on the phone with you too, talking you down with a sweet Southern accent until they arrive.

You get what you pay for. $50 to stay on the beach of a popular destination spot? Hmmm. Pass.

I spent the night sleeping on a bunk bed in a makeshift volunteer camp. No indoor plumbing, 30 degree temps, 5 a.m. Enough said.

And last but not least, try to sleep. Otherwise you’ll end up posting a weird hodge-podge like this.

Music: So Far So Good by Thornley (lyrics)

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