On The Road (not the Kerouac one)

So, in case you were wondering, we made it safe and sound in Allentown.  We’ve been here a week so far and right now the snow is flurrying outside my window.  After almost a decade in Austin Texas, it’s nice to see snow laden trees and white along the horizon again.  Of course the first time I have to drive on icy and snowy roads my opinion will change and I will rue the snow as the chilly hell it is.  I miss being north.

I’ve never been in the northeast, being the westerner that I am, but so far so good.  Row homes, walking to the market instead of driving, and weather that doesn’t change 20 degrees up or down in an hour is my jam, son.  Yes I’ve already gotten a parking ticket because I’m still trying to figure out the parking situation on my block, but that’s neither here nor there.  Once we get acclimated and the job situation settled in, I can see myself getting plenty of inspiration for upcoming writing projects.  I have some stuff on the burner, but I think Pennsylvania has some new things to show me that I can use.  Like old houses, abandon factories, wooded areas, and Bucks County.  ( I hear it’s creepy as hell and M Night Shamalamadingdong films all his movies there.  Should be something dark and inspirational there, right?)

And before you ask, yes we drove the entire way.  A Penske truck with a car hauler on the ass end, all the way from Austin to Allentown, and with two cats and a dog.  About 30 hours of road time, give or take.  Mel and I saw a lot of pretty country side and it didn’t drag on nearly as bad as I thought it would.  I did learn a few things though.  1) Getting out of Texas take about 3/4 the total time of driving anywhere.  The state never ends.  Ever.  I’m still not totally convinced we actually have left the Texas border yet.  2) Louisiana needs to do something with thier friggen roads. I actually stopped off the side of the road in Shreveport to make sure I didn’t have a flat tire.  That bad.  3) While Birmingham might be a nice place full of nice people, none of them were on the road that same time we were as we drove through.  The flyovers reminded me of that show ‘Life After People’ when they showed overpasses a couple decades after people had gone.  Not encouraging at 65mph and on the top level.

AND THEN THERE WAS CHATTANOOGA…. Nothing against the town itself, mind you.  A pretty drive leading up to and out of it.  The problem we had turned out to be the blinding driving monsoon-like deluge that happened once we hit city limits.  I literally LITERALLY could see nothing but the tail lights ahead of me.  So here we are 65mph, speeding over the top teir of flyovers, and completely blinded by the rain.  The tail lights of the idiot pulling the little U-Haul trailer in front of me and the white line of the road to my right were the only thing that kept us from dying a horrible wet death.  This is not hyperbole.  I could neither stop nor pull off the road.  These were not straight roads, nor flat.  The Penske corporation will have to replace the steering wheel to get the imprint of my death grip removed from the truck.

As we drove out of town, we crested one of the big hills as the rain finally died down to a trickle.  Quietly we stopped a gas station just off the highway.  In the spirit of levity, I said, “Well, that sucked.” I have third degree burns on the side of my face from the look I received from Melody.  Then we laughed like idiots, that ‘how the hell did we not just die’ shock induced laughter.  I’m pretty sure people in Tennessee thought we escaped from some sort of facility.  After that, the road wasn’t too bad.  Got a chilly two hour nap in Virginia before the home stretch.

But we are here now and I’m ready to get down to business. This is a new chapter and a new adventure and I’m ready to embrace it. By the throat if I have to.

Remember kids; stay in school, don’t drink and drive, and now for a real Philly Cheesesteak.