Wordie Wednesday: awry

Awry (from Merriam Webster dictionary)

  1. off the correct or expected course, as in "Their plans went awry."

  2. in a turned or twisted position or direction.

The windshield wipers on high speed swiped at the rain as effectively as using a q-tip to wipe sweat on a hot day. The rainstorm had come on suddenly, and we happened to be on one of the busiest highways in southwestern Ontario. It was late night, and as the thunder cracked, the hard, pelting rain made it difficult to see the road ahead. Only the lightning lit the road for a nanosecond at a time. One strike was so close to our struggling vintage truck we could feel the hair on our arms stand up.

As well as riding out the storm crawling down the QEW at midnight, we were lost. Again.

The plan had seemed simple. Go see Van Morrison at the CNE. Two big fans, one disastrous date.

For two teens from small towns at least two hours north of Toronto, it seemed like the perfect date: drive to the CNE in the afternoon, spend some time seeing the fair before the concert started. Then, bring on Brown-Eyed Girl, Into the Mystic and Gloria!

I mean, Van MORRISON! Van the Man. Anything it took to get to see this quintessential (yet temperamental) musician from Northern Ireland! I wanted to see him in concert so badly, I said yes to a date with a guy who lived life haphazardly, so disorganized he could get lost getting out of the house.

He said he would pick me up at 2 p.m. He arrived at 5. Off to a good start. I already had the situation sussed out, but it was too late. He got lost on the way to Toronto. Really lost. We got to the CNE around 10 p.m. The concert had started at 8 p.m. I barely spoke to him. My ill-suited suitor bought me a t-shirt to assuage my incredible disappointment – in missing the concert, and in him in particular.

We headed for home. But instead of taking the 401 to our exit, he mistakenly got on the QEW towards Hamilton. And then it began to rain. Hard.

The best laid plans often go awry, as the saying goes. It was a quiet ride home, once we figured out where we should be headed. Our plans were not necessarily the best laid, but they sure went awry.

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