The Vortex

What is the vortex?

A question I’ve been striving to answer for years.

So here’s the story…

A couple years ago, I’m driving (riding, my brother-in-law was driving) down to New York City for this student journalists’ convention Columbia puts on every year.  We’re following a map from MapsOnUs and it’s starting to get fairly dark.  We’re somewhere in Pennsylvania, and I’m getting in an evil mood, so I start talking about how weird everything looks.  How we could be entering THE VORTEX.

The vortex, I say, is an alternate universe made from evil, and the sky is green and the trees are blue.  And if we get sucked in we’ll never make it out.  Not alive, anyway.

The sky is getting darker and so is the mood, because we’ve been on this stretch of highway for awhile and it seems to extend into infinity.  And the map tells us to exit onto a highway whose number I can’t remember, then one mile later get back on the one we’re on.  That seems odd to us, but we follow the map because, hell, we’ve never driven to the City before.

As we near the exit we pass a billboard, blank and low to the ground.  I comment that it looks almost like an empty spot for a sponsor ad in some sort of NBC Miniseries.  And we take the exit and drive through this little town that’s not a highway at all, and we never reach the other side.

We drove.  And drove.  There was no on ramp.  We drove.  And drove.  There were no signs.

We stopped at this gas station and asked for directions from this guy who looked oddly like an ogre.  He was probably just an Oaf, though, cause his directions led us nowhere.

And I swear, in the dark, those trees were blue.

After awhile we turned around and got back on the way we came.  And we ignored the directions and stayed off the vortex highway and ended up exactly where we wanted to go.

I can’t tell you where the vortex was or recommend that you go there.  All I know is it’s a little stretch of road that serves no particular purpose.  The sky is green and the trees are blue and if you’ve got money you may be able to sponsor it.  And if you end up there, say hi to the ogre at the little gas station down the road.

I don’t want to ever see him again.

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