Driving South 2011

 

I found this saved in an old folder – I decided to move to San Antonio, Texas in March of 2011. I made the ridiculously long drive from Chicago, Illinois. Sharing is caring – don’t stay at the Ranch Motel i.e. plan ahead. Always make sure there’s gas in your car. Stay away from late night Waffle Houses.

The Drive…In short.

Every state is the longest state when driving alone southward and the only radio stations being picked up by the scan button are either A. Country B. Christ related or C. Classic Rock. You might get lucky and hit that ONE station that combines two of the three, but let’s not get your hopes up. MAYBE if you’re going through Arkansas.

Hitting a Waffle House at 11:30 at night in a po dunk(sp?) town of Oklahoma is a wonderful idea for women traveling alone who happen to be height/weight proportionate and possess all of their teeth… if they desire to be potentially followed by swarthy, unshowered trucker type men who look like the ONLY place they’ve ever eaten at their entire lives has been The Waffle House.

But know what? Oklahoma ain’t too bad. One billboard simply read “thinkimpregant.com”. H’m… okay. A mile later another billboard stated “Need to talk?” and held below that a suicide hotline number. Awesome. Yet, not nearly as brilliant as the giant sign reading “Going to Hell?” Um. Not sure – haven’t checked my mail lately and I very rarely ever check my voicemails. And if the notification went directly to Spam in my junk email account – well, I just don’t know! However, I’m not pregnant and have no suicidal intentions, so I think I might be in the clear. Let me get back to you on that.

Lastly, after becoming slightly confused, I tried to take the US-69 route only to find that it was a looooong stretch of unlit country road. After checking my gas gauge and seeing that I only had a quarter tank left, I began to panic. There were NO gas stations in sight and I began to fear being stranded on the side of the road with an Ed Geins kind of person waiting in the shadows to rape me/kill me/skin me and use my dehydrated flesh as his new kitchen curtains. While I think I’d make a lovely set, not really how I wanted to end up.

Obviously, I found my way. (yaaay…)

The Arrival.

Due to obscene traffic in Waco and Fort Worth, I arrived late. That’s okay… the boyfriend was supposed to have rented a room and I could use a shower and a comfortable bed.

Wrong.

Spring break/Musical festivals/Conventions – every decent affordable place was booked. The place we ended up deciding on out of sheer exhaustion and exasperation was called the Ranch Motel. I’d like to skip past this part. Still traumatized. Think the movie “Vacancy”. Only dirtier. With worse lighting. Minus impending torture and death… for that night. But on the bright side, there was a nice hole next to the bottom of the door in case rats or snakes wanted to get in or out. How considerate.

Current Status.

I’m here. I’m alive. Going through job lists… and I’m not freaked out. I thought I’d be more of a wreck. Normally, I’d be in a situation like this and be mortified, beside myself with anxiety and planning my escape posthaste. Yet, I am strangely at ease in this new environment and have met with little to no nervousness when evaluating my future prospects. After voicing my concern over my lack of unease to my cousin Venus, she said, “That’s just a sign that you did the right thing. It means you’re supposed to be here.”

I can live with that.

Everything turned out okay – 4 1/2 years later, the drive back home North was MUCH better. Next time, I’m flying.

not altogether something

Like the clumsy clingy kisses of an ardent amateur lover, I could feel the grotesque stickiness of the summer night fumbling over my exposed limbs. In my car, windows down, my fingers felt the steering wheel going gummy. My poor dilapidated beast of transport’s AC couldn’t even bother to sputter out lukewarm air.

And what the hell was that smell?

Having lost the space to roam in the soft cushiony crevices of my brain, thoughts were crashing haphazardly into the walls of my skull, headache soon to arrive. I almost ran through the red.

Stopped, engine idling, a small horde of hipsters crossed the street. Young, laughing, debating music, art and authors. Attired in mock jadedness and cynicism, the hope of possibility could not be shrouded by such a farce. Their stroll was far too strident, cheeks too rosy, smiles too genuine.

And it occurred to me, I knew this because I envied them. I was jealous of the world being their cliched oyster. Pensive, sweaty and sad, I accepted one of the first of many truths to come. I had lost touch with who I was. Lost sight of who I had wanted to be.

Green means Go.

Tired foot off the brake, I continued my sojourn home. Broke, poor, lonely, lost – I randomly eyed my neighborhood. The place I was conceived and born into. The same place I fled the moment I had the chance. The one and only place to which I returned when nowhere else would have me.

Back to square one. So it would seem.