6:02am: I now have to take a cab to Grand Central because I got preoccupied. Who downloads the trial version of iWork ’08 at 5:30 in the morning when he’s supposed to be leaving the house? This guy.
6:23am: Safe and sound on the train. Did you know that trains leaving Grand Central in the morning are considered “peak hour” trains? I sure didn’t. And now the conductor is berating me for not knowing. I paid him the extra $4.50, but if I wasn’t so desperate to leave the city for the first time in weeks, I would have caused a ruckus.
No, I wouldn’t have. I’m half asleep still. And I don’t cause ruckuses even when I’m fully awake.
Is “ruckuses” the plural of ruckus? Ruckii, maybe? No, my spell check says “ruckuses” is a word.
7:15am: I keep dozing off, and this train is moving slower than a Times Square tourist. I might as well walk through Connecticut.
7:43am: Overheard on the train’s loudspeaker:
Conductor 1: Did you know [garbled conductor-speak]?
Conductor 2: No, but I do know that you’re on the PA right now.
Conductor 1: Oops.
8:10am: You know that TV ad for AT&T Wireless that shows a movie ending and then points out a bunch of people turning on their cell phones and making obnoxious beeping noises? Why the hell would you want to associate your company with everything people hate about cell phones? Someone didn’t think that one through.
I don’t know why I just thought of that now; I’m nowhere near a television.
8:20am: Leg 2 of the Journey: a train from New Haven to Old Saybrook. Why? Because I’m a cheap bastard and could never, ever justify ponying up $75 for an equally slow ride on Amtrak.
8:35am: I have the entire car to myself. I could totally fart right now and nobody would be around to care.
8:36am: I just farted.
8:59am: The train was scheduled to pull in at 9:06, and it’s pulling into the station now. It’s early. I didn’t think it was even possible for a train to arrive early. How did this happen? Did the train get a tailwind or something?
9:20am: Leg 3 of the Journey: a car ride with my mom through the rest of Connecticut and into Rhode Island. Have I mentioned that I hate Connecticut drivers? Coincidentally, I also hate the way my mom drives. So this only complicates the drive. She thinks her driving is fine and that I’m totally a backseat driver.
9:37am: My mom keep trying to look at my computer screen when she should be looking at the road. I rest my case.
10:02am: Home in Rhode Island. It’s 10am and I’ve been awake for five hours. The couch in the living room is looking really tempting right now before I continue my journey.
12:50pm: Curses. I fell asleep. Now onto Leg 4 of My Journey: driving up to New Hampshire. With a requisite stop at the New Hampshire State Liquor Store, of course!
(Yes, that picture is for real.)
(Yes, the liquor store has its own exit off the Interstate.)
(Yes, they have low, low discount prices!)
1:20pm: Leg 4 begins. It’s the final leg. I’ve got a car to myself, and a radio to keep me company.
1:22pm: A dumb radio, apparently. The DJ just introduced “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Sunscreen” by Timbuk 3. She sounds young. I bet she wasn’t even alive when the song came out. But at least she’s sending a good warning about skin cancer prevention.
2:02pm: Four radio towers and a set of high-tension power lines:
This is just a brain tumor waiting to happen.
2:15pm: The guy in front of me has a license plate with the last three characters “POO.” That’s unfortunate, but accurate, because he drives like poo. Then again, he’s not taking picures on his camera phone while driving.
2:39pm: A quick stop at the mall for a bathroom break and a snack.
2:51pm: Question: If you had to choose between using a mall restroom or a gas station restroom for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why? I would choose a gas station, because I’ve actually seen some clean gas station restrooms. I’ve never seen a clean mall restroom. Plus, there’s probably a glory hole in a mall restroom for all the repressed suburban gay dads.
3:07pm: I’m borrowing my parents’ car. I walked back and forth between the driver’s seat and the gas pump about five times before giving up and calling them to find out how to open the lid on the gas tank.
3:34pm: I’m stuck in traffic on I-93. There was no traffic in Massachusetts, but it was bumper-to-bumper the second I hit the New Hampshire state line. Live free or die? I’d rather die than sit in this for the next 75 miles, thanks.
4:05pm: Did you know New Hampshire is the only state that doesn’t require adults to wear a seatbelt while driving? I’m going to take off my seatbelt!
No, I’m not. I’m not the governor of New Jersey.
Live free or die? More like live free and die.
4:29pm: At long last, my first view of the majestic White Mountains. Oh, and the rear bumper of the car stopped in front of me in this long line of traffic.
5:26pm: Of my 37 miles in New Hampshire so far, 33 have been in gridlocked traffic. I need to pull off the road. Even the things I’m saying to myself aren’t making any sense anymore. I just said, “this driver from crazy is Texas.” But you know what? That’s not too far off.
6:02pm: I am finally at my destination… my friend’s parents’ house. Hand me a beer. And don’t ask me to take a seat. I’ve been sitting long enough, thanks.