Which is disturbing under any circumstance, but especially at 8:20 p.m. last night when trying to rent a room at the Travelodge in Fort Bragg. All day I’d maintained the belief that I could drive down for the 5 p.m. meeting and right back home after it ended at 8 p.m., but I wasn’t too far beyond Leggett before the number of hairpins caused me to rethink that plan. By the time I arrived on the coast, my stomach was churning and any fantasies of persevering home evaporated.

So when a reach into my purse failed to produce my license from its normal spot, waves of worry hit hard. What would I do if I couldn’t get a room — as the desk clerk was threatening me would happen –sleep in my car on the side of the road? Try to make my way back in the dark, on those unfamiliar curves, fighting to keep my eyes open, blasting music to stay awake? No way. I can tough out a lot of things, but driving into the night isn’t one of them. If I were a superhero, that’s where my power would ebb. (Nemeses, take note.)

Fortunately, the guy decided I wasn’t a high security risk, so this chapter had a happy ending: me in a bed, rather than a bucket seat. Now to drive home. And find my license before heading to Crescent City. Think I’ll grab my board, too. No sense in all these hours along the coast without at least preparing for a chance to surf. Maybe I can convince Nick to come along, get him out of the house and me a moment with my son.

P.S. Grabbed dinner at La Playa Mexican restaurant. Very good!