Illy-Noise Part 2

Travel really does suck the life out of me. I got into an argument during a date one time about this.
I feel like I am officially justified in hind-sight of that debate, even though I'll never speak to, and likely never see, the dude again.
(No chemistry)

I start out by knocking on my neighbor's door to drop off the dog, who will later be picked up by her favorite person in the whole world, Mindy. Mindy owns perfect dogs and a huge house and there are always tons of people and extra dogs and Rosie is so busy there and such the center of attention that she seriously forgets where she came from. Like any big star, she tries to erase her country-fried mama and her ghetto two-room childhood home from her own memory, much less the collective consciousness of her many fans.
Rosie is totally a pop star.
If she was a country music dog, I would at least have a special place in her heart.
As it is, when I brought her home, she spent hours looking at me like I'm a kidnapper and I've ruined her LIFE. She's whining at me and I don't even know what she wants from me because chances are that whatever it is she's been getting at Mindy's Big House, is verifiably unavailable at Speedway and Alvernon.

Then I knock on my other neighbor's door for a ride to the airport. She's not quite ready but she's a morning person and while I would normally welcome the chattering, I am edgy and reticent and I'm freaking because I promised her coffee but we're going to be very, very late if we go get coffee.
Of course we stop for coffee and of course Coffee Man is working. He's the very picture of poetry-major next-day-smoking-blue sadness.
Although he looks wistfully into my neighbor's car, we do NOT have time for the usual bullshit.
Make the fucking lattes already.
My neighbor does not listen to Jesus, who has conveniently led my town to post signs designating The Way to the airport. Because she's talking about Duran Duran and seems to be really engrossed, I don't think she hears me when I say, "Stay on Palo Verde."
We get on Alvernon.
We DO get to the airport and I DO make my flight.

I land in Chicago, $8.00 poorer because of needing a lot of water, just... generally. It's good for you.

It's really cold there.
Chips picks me up. She's got a dog-sitting gig and a houseful of roommates and dinner plans are early and there's, like, no time to do anything but shiver and not really care how my hair looks with that thing in it.
Debauchery ensues and I am surprisingly not partaking in much of it.
I've discussed the Saturday parts.
The Friday parts.... suffice it to say, I am down with drinking 14 PBRs in a dive bar on Southport. But I don't care if there are dudes to meet there. I'd rather huddle up with my girls and know that there is a ton of food and art and stuff to be seen for the rest of the weekend.

Monday, I got on a train to go to Carbondale.
This was awesome.
I listened to Green Day, I talked to my cousin who's in art school, I played Gameboy Advance (Zelda), and got lost in the winter window of prairie trees without their leaves.
There's a weird thing, not even something I would call a possibility, but certainly enough of something to cause me to really consider what I feel when I look out on the rolling land that I looked out on for all of my life, with the exception of my time in Tucson.
I mean, it's a heavy thing to consider the familiar in person when you've only considered it up against an image in your mind's eye.
At least, it is for me.

Then my family was ultra-stress, all week long.
People brought their dogs, which was really stupid. Of course one of the dogs attacked another of the dogs and of course it was like, major drama.
And my grandmother is not comfortable with aging.
I think she feels like people are trying to tell her what to do or something.
They're not.
People are trying to clean up the mess in the kitchen, or to move the things that they need to move and they do it as quickly and cleanly as possible. I guess to her, a way that's different feels wrong.
Like if I put some recycling in a bag to take out and sort later, I get yelled at for doing it wrong because they have to be separated.
I know this.
But I'll have to separate it later because there's simply no way to communicate that rule to 23 people.
Unless you are my grandmother; if you were, you would yell at every person who went near the recycling with an empty bottle of wine, and in my family that's pretty much everyone. Except for my cousin's 10 year old and he's actually not to be excluded, since I loaded him up with several empties when he discovered me in my secret hiding place - the guest-room's walk in closet.
You think I made that up, don't you?

Then there was a VERY long night with a VERY Big Person.
It's not what you think.
And I'm not thinking about it too much.
It is what it is and I'll be honest: It made me start praying.
Like for reals.
Not for favors, not to bargain, not for anything. Not even for myself.
It just triggered God and the idea of a relationship with God being a really important thing for a person named me.

The rest of my time in Illinois was focused on finding a ride to St. Louis for a 6:45 am flight.
This was a big, stressful deal.
I'd been up all night the night before with the talking and the crying and p-lenty of drinking.
There was none of sex acts, so get your mind out of the gutter.

Finding a ride was a problem with a capital p.
I could stay with Joanne in St. Louis!
Hit up Carol for her condo!
Lenny? But his wife is sort of different?
And every single person repeated every single option, along with the arguments for and against the given option. I couldn't even see at this point and my breathing was noticibly restricted.

This is the option I chose: Get a ride to Pinkneyville, get transferred to another ride where I was thinking I would get dropped off in O'Fallon to catch the Metro Link into the airport. Only the ride to O'Fallon felt like this was too dangerous and I ended up being dropped at Union Station. I appreciate the chivalry, believe me. It's too rare that someone actually thinks about what you're asking them to do and instead goes out of his or her way to make sure you are as safe as possible.
I appreciate this deeply, in fact.
But I was ready to get home. I would joyfully have gotten out of the car and waited at O'Fallon. But I was also more than a little thankful that I got to stay in a very warm car and spend less time waiting for a train in the cold.

My plan was to catch the late flight to Phoenix, get 22 to pick me up, spend the night with her, get on the shuttle, get a ride from the shuttle to my house from Namoli, get in my car, drive across town to get my dog and make her miserable by bringing her home and call that trip over.

Instead, Southwest wanted $210 for me to take the next step on my chosen option.

I cried. didn't even plan the crying, I meant it.

They gave me a room at the Doubletree. I fell asleep at 7:30.


I had to get up well before dawn, get in an airport shuttle with, ironically a bunch of Southwest crew members who were bitching about their jobs.... until I got off at the East Terminal and walked into the Southwest doors.
"Have a great flight!!!"

I get on the plan, I get an aisle seat, after being lied to by several assholes about seats that were being saved.
Those jerks may not have actually been saving seats, but they did a greatjob at making me feel like people can generally suck it because most people are worthless losers, no matter how nice their outfits are. p>

And then the rest of my journey home unfolded pretty much the way I expected it to: With a number of legs to the journey, plenty of wait time, and an unhappy doglet.

Plus, when I walked into my Mini-Crib, there was a full-sized refrigerator.

I'd asked for a new fridge, "just like Breanne's." I am taller than the fridge I wanted. It's old-fashioned and cute and fits the place. The one I got just made me dissolve into tears of exhausted frustration as soon as my friend left and before I went to take Rosie out of her Happy Place

I spent the time I should have been unpacking and trying to make the dog feel like life really IS still worth living; I spent those hours rearranging my fucking living room.

And that is NOT the best way to get home from what wasn't the best trip in the whole wide world anyway.

Deep inside my head?
Like you would not believe.

And I don’t necessarily want to be here right now, either.

Those window scenes?
It was deeply satisfying to be so visceraly aware of the idea of familiar…. I mean… it was…. Important.

arizonasarah at 11:07 a.m.

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