Sleep Driving  

Posted by Tony Guerrero


One of the good things about being, uh, older, is that that when I don't have any exciting new things to blog about, I can reach back into a large cache of archived stories from my past. Here's one of my favorite life-experiences:

Sleep Driving And The Mystery Guest

During the summer I was recording my first CD (1987), I was keeping the kind of schedule that could wipe anybody out. My days consisted of waking up at 7:30 or 8:00am, driving from Santa Ana to Pasadena for a 10am recording session, working until 3pm, then spending hours in rush hour traffic to get from Pasadena to San Clemente for a 7pm dinner theater show, of which I was in the pit orchestra. I’d get home around midnight and start the whole process again the next day. This went on for several weeks, six days a week.
One night, instead of driving home after the show, I had to drive back to Pasadena for a midnight recording session with a guitar player who was only available at that time. We worked all through the night, and finally at 7am, I got in my car to brave the traffic home. I wasn't on the freeway more than a few minutes before I started dozing off. The traffic was horrible, and every few feet when I’d stop my car, I’d fall asleep and wake to the sound of horns honking at me. Finally, I realized this was highly unsafe. I decided to pull over to the side of the road thinking I’d nap for 10 minutes or so. So I fell asleep there on the side of the 5 freeway in Los Angeles.
Here’s where the story gets good…
When I woke up, I was no longer where I’d stopped. In fact, I was driving my car! And I was on the wrong freeway! And… there was a homeless man in my car!!
I tried to shake off the confusion assuming it would all come back to me, but it didn’t. I couldn’t remember letting him in, starting my car and getting back on the freeway, changing freeways – nothing! But he must have knocked on my door and I must have let him in! And I was definitely driving!
I thought that if I let my passenger know this he might freak out on me. So I sat there in silence for a long time, waiting. Finally, after about 20 minutes of getting back on the right freeway and racking my brain, I asked him, “So, where are you going again?”. “Oceanside,” he said. “I’ll take you as far as Santa Ana” I replied. Those were the only words spoken. When we got to Santa Ana I dropped him off on the side of the road and watched him walk into the bushes.
I spent all day thinking, “It’s got to come back to me…” - but it never has. The moral of the story is, well, maybe there isn’t one. But it’s a cool story, huh?
(And no, the picture isn't actually me.)

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 at Wednesday, February 20, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

4 comments

Let's see 1987 .....my biggest worry was falling asleep in my 5th grade math class.

2/21/2008 2:39 PM

I DO NOT believe this story at all.

2/21/2008 2:47 PM

I totally forgot about this story!!! One of my Tony favorites.

2/21/2008 4:33 PM

i have similar stories. but there's usually other elements involved.

2/26/2008 2:30 AM

Post a Comment