October 6, 2013
2pm, Spartanburg, South Carolina: I sneak out of school early to Melanie’s awaiting car, weighed down so heavily by her belongings that it looks as if the bottom is going to scrape the ground as soon as we pass the speed bump leaving the parking lot. I immediately notice that it handles like a school bus.
The other thing I immediately notice is a Victoria’s Secret bag in the console full of goodies. No, there was no panties in there, to quote the famous male housemate of GGG, but rather a thoughtfully assembled care package by the other member of GGG, Christine, who was forced to stay home instead of accompanying us across the USA.
Contents of care package: pistachios, sour patch kids, margaritas-to-go, Oreos, glow in the dark sunglasses, trail mix, taffy, two pig pens (that is to say, pens with pigs on the top of them), post-it notes, and especially for me, a roll of toilet paper. It was probably the most perfect care package I’ve ever seen.
We are now officially on the road! We are S & M in the USA!
3pm, Asheville, North Carolina: My bladder hurts but I don’t say anything to Melanie, because my friend Tony once gave me relentless grief back when we took a road trip to Wilmington and I had to pee at every rest stop, and I once even had to pee twice at the same rest stop. In my defense, he took a long time getting gas and shopping for pork rinds and root beer. My bladder can only hang on for so long during times like those.
3:30pm: Lake Michigan is now behind my eyeballs. Melanie is singing at the top of her lungs, the sun is in my face, I’m trying to study my French, and traffic is one lane due to construction. It is my personal state of hell.
4:15pm, somewhere near Maryville, Tennessee: My bladder has now entered a coma-like state and has gone into shock. Traffic is still one lane and bumpy, making sleep against the window impossible, especially as there is a horrible smell. Either Melanie sharted and is not owning up to it, or my cat JJ has followed us out west and has taken a fresh dump somewhere in the car. Or maybe it’s just the sewage plant we passed. Still in a personal state of hell.
4:40pm, Knoxville, TN: Finally Melanie pulls over and graciously allows me to pee. We get sandwiches and a large drink.
5:15pm, past Kingston, TN: I have to pee again. Highlight of the trip so far: We went through a tunnel inside a mountain a while back and both woo-hooed at the same time all the way through the tunnel. We are delirious from lack of sleep this week.
7:00pm, west of Nashville: Traffic is at a standstill. We turn off the car for at least an hour. We get out of the car on I-40 to stretch and the creepy guy next to us is staring. We get back in the car and eat some taffy that was in the care package.
11:30pm: We make it to Memphis, where my bladder can finally rest. It does not yet know there are two more days of this.