Breaking points

Holy fucking shit was yesterday brutal, I barely made it through. Let’s back up a little bit. Once I made it safely to Maryland (Hanover), I was exhausted both mentally, physically and emotionally. I was so god damn tired I skipped the oxford comma on the last sentence (sorry ladies). My hotel in Maryland was fine, minus them only having paper cups in the room. What happened to having a couple glasses? I’d like to pour a drink with some dignity and not drink out of a cheap paper cup. I still did because it was a long day and I needed it and I don’t have much dignity. I did my best to rally so I could check out “Maryland Live!” casino. Which is a horrible name for a casino and the reason I stayed in Hanover Maryland, I heard they had a great poker room. I pulled my shit together and drove over there around 11pm and discovered what I was told about said poker room, was wrong. It was a shit hole, I’m assuming it was nice when it first opened but no upkeep had been made. All the tables were too close, The layout was beyond foolish, the tables appeared to have not been re-felted in years. I played for about an hour and realized I was way too tired so I picked up my chips and cashed out. Booked a small loss from bricking a massive draw, would have been nice to smash but fuck it. I also noticed the waitresses were dressed like hookers which I found a bit exploitive. Most, if not all casinos dress their cocktail waitresses in some revealing clothing. The pervert in me enjoys it very much but the respectful man in me finds it to be outdated and disrespectful. The only good part about the casino was the insane promotion they were running where you could win a trip to space. Not space camp or a space simulator, actual space. Which I thought was awesome but was too tired to inquire how to win. Fuck you for now space.

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I hit the sack and got very little sleep due to the dreadful realization that Jamie had in fact given me his cold and I was coughing and stuffed up. The next morning (saturday) I woke up feeling like shit and dreaded the 10+ hour drive ahead of me. That morning I went to the lobby to get my free continental breakfast, which looked awful so I sprung for the all you can eat for $12. I got an meat lovers omelette, an order of french toast, frosted flakes and a bagel with peanut butter. I ate most of it and didn’t regret a moment of it.

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Then it was time to face that big open road solo, which I thought wouldn’t be too bad. Alas I was dead fucking wrong and it was a nightmare. Due to the sinus pressure and sore throat, I was popping cough drops and cold medicine most of the journey. I drove all the way through Virginia which wasn’t bad for the first 5 hours, then I lost my steam. I took a pit stop to fill my cooler and gas up hoping the rest would reenergize me, it did not. Then we got to the 6 hour mark (4 to go, or so I thought). I tried to charge my phone with AC adapter in my car, no dice. I must have blew a fuse so I pulled over to fiddle with it, no luck. So I pressed on with a phone getting close to death. Let me put that in perspective, Without a phone I’m fucked on this trip. By a stroke of luck I found one of my charging sticks had some juice left and saved the day. Or basically saved me from sitting in a strange rest stop in Virginia and charging my phone while sitting on the floor. A low point I’m hoping to avoid on this trip. I reached into my back seat to find my tupperware container of Rice Krispy Treats my friend Tanya made me to help pull me out of my miserable funk. It did help for a little while, Thanks T.

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Phone mostly charged I decided to blow through some podcasts to lift my spirit, which helped a bit. Thanks to “Doug Loves Movies” and “We Hate Movies” the darkest times got a bit lighter. Since I was driving and the battery was low, I couldn’t really text so my contact with humans was minimal. I’m more than comfortable avoiding direct human contact when close to home. I know at an moment I could see my Dad/Mom/brother or hang out with Keegan/Ethan/Shane/Powers but a terrifying reality hit me in the car yesterday, I can’t. I had to brave this journey alone and it put me in this headspace of numbness and I couldn’t shake it. My now recharged phone was glowing with the bad news of the number of miles I had left, 300. After driving 400, I didn’t think I could do 300 more.

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As Bob Marley once said “you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice” I’m not one for quoting Bob Marely on the regular since I don’t smoke a ton of pot or wear flip flops but the man made some strong points. Once the sun went down and it started to pour, I got a little uneasy. I was in Tennessee finally but still 2.5 hours from my hotel in Nashville. There are parts of Tennessee that feel like they are in the mountains (they very well could be but it was dark and my geographical knowledge is dog shit, sorry Brendan). I ironically mistyped “knowledge” back there and lost a few IQ points. Also sidebar, Think before you use the word irony, it is far different from coincidental. Anyway the high winding roads with no streetlights, filled with massive trucks going the insane speed limit of 70 MPH while it started to rain like a bastard was really testing me. I wanted to pull over and scream but pressed on, and I finally made it. I spilled out of my car and stumbled into the lobby of my hotel, checked in and went to my room. I was about 9pm and the good BBQ places closed at 10 and I had no interest in leaving the room. I rallied a little, poured a Jamison on the rocks in to a classy paper coffee cup and went to the hot tub. Which was ok at first, then I noticed all the red ants crawling around and the almost empty area filled with kids treating the hot tub like a pool. I can’t fault the kids for it though, that’s the same shit I used to do in hotels. I was going to take a picture of myself semi enjoying the hot tub but it would have looked super weird so here is a stock Matt in a hot tub photo from Shane’s apartment this summer.

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In the hot tub I befriended the only other solo male who was drinking. His name was John and looked like a retired body builder. Muscles attempting to hang in place while his skin’s elasticity had begun to fail him and slightly misplace all his pieces. He implored me to head downtown and check out the honkey tonks (not sure if that shit is one word, I’m not form here). I really wanted to so I headed back to the room to regroup, I showered and decided to take a half hour nap. Large mistake because I didn’t wake up until 1am and called it a night. But I got some much needed rest, the sinus pressure has switched gears to massive congestion but at least I got some sleep. It’s Sunday morning now as I peck away at my laptop, one light on like a detictive in a noir film. The heat/AC is blowing what feels like cold warm air at me. I feel bad I didn’t experience the nightlife of the fine city of Nashville BUT I’m determined to find some proper BBQ for breakfast then hit the road again to make my way to New Orleans. See you next time folks.

Keep Smiling (no matter how much it hurts)

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5 thoughts on “Breaking points

  1. I didn’t do any sight-seeing* (on the road at least) when I moved to California, because I figured the drive would be long and boring as shit enough as it is, and I didn’t want to prolong that any more than I had to. Thankfully, I didn’t have to deal with a cold, and I get enough sinus congestion/pain throughout the year that I know how painfully distracting that can be, not to mention fucking with your focus/concentration.

    My longest drive (both there and my way back) was right around 1,300 miles in a straight shot (Denver metro to San Jose metro). The way to CA, I had a blizzard where like your Tennessee rain storm, I had asshole truckers thinking they could still do 50+ mph, only to have the north-south cross winds pushing them into my lane 2-3 times when I tried to pass (once forcing me into the snow-filled media, that I somehow managed to maintain control of the car and guide it back onto the interstate… no way was I going to risk coming to a complete stop in that shit).

    The return trip, I woke up, trained into San Fran, met up with some people and went to a SF Giants baseball game, then trained to my roommate’s car, then rode back to the apartment, and then packed the last of my personal effects into the car and said my goodbyes. All of that good shit immediately leading up to my 18ish hour 1,300mi road trip to Denver. Good times!

    Anyways, bummed you weren’t able to check out Nashville, but hopefully NOLA will make up for it!

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      1. Google Maps claims about 1260 something. I figure with multiple stops for gas/food along the way, there’s probably close to another 20+ in there and I like rounded figures.

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