Cross-Country.

19 Mar

I am currently riding shotgun on I-90 with Trent, driving through the state of Indiana. We left Council Bluffs around 9 a.m. this morning and drove through Iowa and Illinois before crossing into Indiana. Soon enough we’ll be stopping somewhere for the night, and then we’ll be up and at ’em bright and early tomorrow morning to drive through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and then finally, Connecticut. If you can believe it, Trent and I have not once switched spots to pass off the responsibility of driving. I can’t believe it. The man is a machine. When I drive long distances, I can’t go much longer than four hours or so and I start to become drunkenly drowsy. I can’t even RIDE long distances without becoming comatose. I think Trent is fueled by coffee, and the fear of putting me in charge of a 10,000 pound moving truck with a sedan in tow.

Makes sense.

Anyway, after driving for twelve hours across the midwest, we are deciding to stop for the night at a hotel somewhere and get some rest. I googled accommodations around Montpelier, Indiana, which is the area we were approaching. All the Hamptons, Fairfields, and Holiday Inns were upwards to $90, and we didn’t necessarily need anything special for the evening, so I called a motel called the Redwood Inn, where a foreign woman told me it was only forty dollars a night, plus tax.

Well, you certainly get what you pay for.

It’s 9 p.m. as we pull up in front of the Redwood. It looks exactly like the motel from Joyride. Behind the dark, narrow, empty parking lot stretches a long, poorly lit, one-story building walled with white-painted brick, lined with maroon painted doors. An “OPEN” sign flickers near what I suppose is the office. We park the Penske and wander inside, where we meet a middle-aged Indian man who gives us our key.

We grab our bags and walk inside our motel room, which is no larger than a living room. A musty, floral print comforter covers the bed which is only 20 inches from the door. The wallpaper, circa 1975, is peeling from the wall behind the bed. The rest of the walls are covered in dark wood panels. The smell of stale cigarette smoke lingers in the air. The maroon carpet is ruffled in the middle of the floor. I look up. The ceiling is tiled with actual bathroom squares, that are sloppily painted white.

Well, half of it is.

The other half is left as-is. I reach into the bathroom to switch on the light, which doesn’t work. You have to jiggle it to get it to flicker on. We have half a roll of toilet paper drooping sadly from the wall, and no mini shampoos or conditioners in the questionable shower.

“Oh well,” we shrug.

Trent plopped down in a chair near the wall. “Look at our little dump,” he mused.

Since March Madness is on, one of the first things Trent asked our Indian fellow at check-in was if they had cable. The Indian man said yes. As soon as we got our duffle bags in the room, Trent grabbed the remote and switched on the television, which by the looks of it made me wonder if it was even a color-TV. He flipped through the channels. Most of them were fuzzier than a satellite dish in the middle of a thunderstorm. Fortunately, CBS was decent enough to watch, so that was a relief. Since my enthusiasm for watching sports on television is paralleled only by my enthusiasm for waiting in line at the DMV, I opted to pull my Mac out of my bag and get my blog on. I reach over the side of the bed to plug in my power cord, only to discover that the plug outlets in this motel are only two-prong outlets.

Great.

Apparently the only electrical units they expected to have used in these rooms are desk lamps and alarm clocks. Perfect.

Anyway, that’s my experience so far. I’m a little worried about showering in the morning, as I feel like I might feel grosser when I get out of the shower than I did before I got in.

While we’re on the topic, I don’t know what it is about traveling that makes me feel so disgusting, but it’s like travel speeds up my grease and sweat production exponentially. Whether I’m flying or driving, it’s all the same. I can be clean as a whistle and smelling like a rose when I get into the car, but x amount of hours later, my skin is glistening with oil, my makeup is running, and my hair is stringy and plastered to my face. I just don’t understand. I should be shot.

Kidding, don’t shoot.

Can somebody tell me how I accumulated so many bottles of body lotion? I don’t understand how this happened. I am referencing again my experience packing up and thinning out my things for this move. I discovered that I have an unnecessary amount of lotion in my possession, a lot of it that I didn’t even know I had. There were bottles of lotion under the sink, bottles on the shelf in the bathroom, bottles on my nightstand. I had lotions in my drawers, on the ledge in the powder room, stashed away in storage boxes. It was ridiculous. I owned enough lotion to quench the skin of the entire state of Pennsylvania. How did I acquire it all? I think I owned enough lotions to smell like a different type of baked good every day of the year. I had vanilla, vanilla bean, vanilla noir, vanilla cupcake, sugar cookie, warm vanilla sugar, brown sugar, birthday cake batter, hazelnut—-it was never ending. I was like a walking Keebler Elf factory. I smelled like a bake sale.

For some reason, it was extremely difficult for me to part with these superfluous bottles of lotion. What if I want to smell like brown sugar on Tuesday, and birthday cake batter on Wednesday? This is America—-I’d like to have that option. Unfortunately that option comes with bringing an entire Rubbermaid container filled with thirty-five pounds of shea butter, and that’s just not something I need to be lugging around the country this year. Sigh. I threw a lot of it away. It felt sinful. I should have re-gifted. Nobody would have known.

Well, time to hit the hay. I hope I don’t get head lice from this bed.

“You wanna get up?”
“No.”
“You wanna get down?”
“No.”
“You wanna….get off?”

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