Monday, May 26, 2003

A Blast From the Past

Been cleaning up my harddrive a bit more today. Amazing for what you find as much as what you wish you hadn't! In the midst of a mysterious folder called 'Road Trips', I found a series of old journal entries that, hence the folder name, chronicle a few vehicular treks around the continental United States. Over the course of this week I'll post the the edited version of my six-day trip from Cincinnati, Ohio to Seattle, Washington. Some of it is embarassingly autobiographical, but I'll try to make sure those details contribute to the narrative more than they are self-indulgent tips-of-the-hat to friends who read me from afar. I'm sure several of you out there have been to some of these same places. Any good stories? Post 'em!

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Day One

J. and I didn't leave Cincinnati today until well after noon -- about three hours later than planned, meticulously I should note, two evenings earlier. The amount of errands to which each had to attend belied the fact that either of us were ready for or excited about the trip to come. The two of us, inseparable best friends for the past seven or eight, were clearly stalling the inevitable goodbye that lay on the other side of the country. J. was leaving more than I -- his girlfriend of four years (a short-term hurdle, they hoped); a social circle that resembled a family more than friends; fast, easy access to his 'real', tight-knit family. I was just losing the presence of the best friend I ever had. God, one paragraph in, and this is already starting to sound like the premise for a cheesy, sniffly WB drama. (Ooo, let that hunky Pacey play me.)

Once we were driving things actually went pretty quickly. Chicago came and went without much traffic, From there, it was a two and half hour drive through Illinois. I would say more about this, but there is absolutely nothing more to say. We reached the Quad-City area hoping to get something to eat for dinner, but we made the mistake of going north instead of south around the area, and ended up passing on a lot of fast food joints from which we'd rather spare ourselves this early in the trip. Eventually we found a little place called Grammas Kitchen. If the quality of food and service isn't one of your dining considerations, Grammas was a great place -- our waitress moved as quickly as any of my grandparents, living or dead, perhaps hoping that the senescent decay the eponymous Gramma's tastebuds might afflict us, too, if she took long enough.

I wasn't sure if J. was going to be up for driving all the way to Des Moines today, but he surprised me. Quite frankly, I was afraid for my life a couple of times toward the end of our drive, as 'keeping it between the lines' became a bit more relative a standard for good driving than I'd prefer, but we made it to our Travelodge in one piece, my voice having only been slightly hoarsened by gender-bending shrieks. So far, so good.

Now that I've finally gotten this blasted laptop figured out -- after about an hour of frantic calls to the friend from whom I borrowed it and quiet cursing when I couldn't sign online to write an e-mail to Katrien -- I hope my entries will become a bit less banal than this.

Off to bed.