I've been driving this 60 mile commute since mid-August and I know I-57 between Cairo and Marion like the back of my hand. I can drive it in the rain, in the fog, before dawn, after dark and, up until tonight, even when I'm deadly tired. Tonight I got lost coming home. Really lost, like "where the hell am I and where is home?!?" lost. If it weren't for the nifty direction finder in my car I might still be out there somewhere getting ready to cry.
I'm still not sure how it happened. It's dark and I was tired, but I know my exit. The highway curves to the left and the exit veers to the right. It takes a long curve to the right, then a curve to the left and comes to a stop. Then you turn left onto Route 3 and you're there. But tonight when the highway curved left and I veered right, taking the same long curves right and left, and came to a stop just like every other night, the left turn put me on little highway I've never seen and there was nothing familiar anywhere. I finally turned into an old pot-hole ridden gas station I've never seen before in my life and turned around. I found my way back to the highway, not sure which way to go, and took a guess. The next sign I saw said I still had seven miles to go to Cairo. At that point I was so confused I wondered if I'd somehow managed to drive across the bridge into Missouri without realizing it. There was still nothing that looked familiar. There were lots of lights I don't remember ever seeing and railroad overpasses that seemed completely unfamiliar and out of place. My directional computer thingie said that I was, indeed, still headed south, and the signs kept saying I was headed for Cairo, but nothing looked right to me until my exit came (again?) and it was exactly the exit I always take. But it was also exactly the exit I just took, except this time it went where it was supposed to.
I still don't know what happened, but whatever it was I didn't like it.