Sunday, April 12, 2009
This weekend, I drove down to Austin to visit some friends, enjoy a bounty of Mexican food, and... of course... drink my weight in tequila-based beverages so powerful they could have fueled my car in a pinch. On the way down, I decided to keep a running journal of the road trip; a record to show you, the loyal reader, just exactly what it would be like to head out on the highway, looking for adventure, with your ol' pal C-dog. Herewith, the long day's journey into the Austin night. Buckle up, bitches:
NOTE: Keeping a diary while driving is extremely dangerous. Do not do it unless you're just so fucking awesome, much like C-dog.
Mile 0 - Before I get on the road, I usually like to fill up on a hearty meal. Road Food. Something to power the internal engine. I eat a large helping of turkey, a few buttered rolls, some really starchy potatoes covered in cheese, and I wash it all down with a pint glass of gravy. I'm kind of sleepy now, so I take a few ephedrine drinks I found in a box in my Dad's garage, then I take a few belts of Old Crow to smooth out my ragged edges. Ready to drive!
Mile 5 - Blasting out speed metal, I make the turn on to I-35... Austin, here I come, you nasty bitch, you. I jam the accelerator to the floor and am OFF, BABY!!!
Mile 5.5 - I am immediately stopped by a State Trooper. He writes me a ticket and gives me a lecture on safe driving while I sob loudly onto the dashboard. He walks away in disgust. No breathalyzer!!!
Mile 22 - As it's Springtime, the Bluebonnets... our state flower... are out in full force along the highway. Huge patches like monster brushstrokes on a humongous canvas line the road. Families stop and take pictures of their children amongst the bright blue blooms. Looking at these wild patches of flowers calms my soul and reminds me that home is not just another word for nothing left to lose. Ah, the majesty of Texas.
Mile 25 - All that Road Food isn't sitting too good. I have to pull over on the side of the road and I diarrhea all over a Bluebonnet patch. The kids getting their picture taken cause a big scene. Like they've never seen a guy shitting in flowers before. Oh please. The patriarch of the clan calls me several hurtful names. I use a fistful of Bluebonnets to clean myself up.
Mile 52 - Feeling the rhythm of the road now. Actually, it's more like highway hypnosis. I only snap out of it when an old man in a pickup truck leans on his horn. Not sure when I'd flipped the car around and started driving in reverse, but... hey... the mysteries of travel, am I right? I take a few more pops of Old Crow to help me focus. Give the old man in the pickup truck the finger.
Mile 60 - Lots of signs telling sinners to repent. Also, quite a few letting us know that Jesus is coming soon. Not to be a dick or anything, but these signs have been up there since I first started driving back and forth to Austin ten years ago. Where is he? Did somebody get fucked up on the date? Because that's a pretty serious clerical error. The people that made those signs must feel like assholes. Speaking of assholes, my asshole is itching like crazy. Could a native son like me be allergic to Bluebonnets? Irony!!!
Mile 74 - Starting to get bored, so I pick up a hitchhiker. He promises that he will not chainsaw massacre me and that the chainsaw he's carrying is simply a tool he uses at work. It's awkward at first, but soon we're talking about our childhoods and sharing with each other our hopes, fears, and dreams for the future. Nothing gets a conversation going like meth.
Mile 95 - We burn through Waco. The hitchhiker tells me a story about a waitress that he killed in Waco. I think he's kidding because at the end of the story, he winked at me. We start to pass the bottle of Old Crow back and forth, but I notice that he's backwashing pretty bad so I just let him keep it. He pees in it. His pee smells pretty bad. I think the hitchhiker might be really sick.
Mile 108 - This is what Kerouac was talking about. I get it now. Using the road as a tool for exploration of the soul. Finding out who you are, meeting the people that are OUT THERE in all senses of the phrase, feeding your mind with the kind of knowledge that can't be learned at a college or a three day Taco Bell training course. I feel connected to my own sense of being for perhaps the first time! I am a man! I am Man!!! I am the road and the road is me!!!
Mile 120 - The hitchhiker is complaining about my farting. I explain to him about the Road Food. He gets belligerent. I pull off the highway and go down a few dirt roads, deep into the wilds of the Hill Country. We get to this little shack way out of sight that I discovered one night while looking for a place that could help me make problems disappear. I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say... free chainsaw! Gotta clean it now, though. Bummer.
Mile 144 - God, driving is boring as shit. I listen to some original cast recordings of old Broadway shows. Start to miss the hitchhiker a little bit because he claimed to have a fine soprano singing voice. He probably would have sung Auntie Mame to my Patrick Dennis.
Mile 153 - Have to diarrhea again, but this time I make it to a truck stop bathroom. Well, mostly.
Mile 168 - Not too much farther now! I can almost taste the wonderful weirdness of Austin, TX on the wind. Turns out to be diesel fumes from the 18-wheeler in front of me. Give the truck driver the finger. He looks mad but what's he going to do, chase me down??? HA HAHA HA!!!
Mile 173 - The truck driver ran my car off the road. Then he challenged me to a fight, but he backed down when I diarrheaed all over myself. Also I was sobbing. Anyway, he's gone now so it's back on the road! Austin, here I come!!!
Mile 187 - Pulled over by another State Trooper. This one DOES give me a breathalyzer test, but I'm able to beat it using this patented trick of mine that the Government doesn't want you to know about. (here's a hint: It's just giving the State Trooper fifty bucks)
Mile 195 - Austin, TX!!! The UT clocktower! That new building that looks like a supervillian's corporate headquarters! Bats flying out from the Congress bridge! Hookers everywhere, or at least they are in the part of town I head to first! I tell a hooker about the hitchhiker and she actually knows him!!! What a small world it is sometimes.
Mile 197 - Ah, it's good to be around friends again. Too bad they won't let me in the house. Something about a bad smell and my hands being caked with hitchhiker blood. My friends have really changed, man. I go meet back up with the hooker. We start the long journey back together. I can't wait to show her my "problem shack." What a great vacation!!!