Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Trip Tick

The WIlly Loman Weekend, part one

So. Dicked around most of Thursday, when I should have been preparing to leave. I've always been that way, but my lack of thrill about vacationing solo was definitely dragging my ass slower than it would have normally. And my ass drags even on normal days; scientists have published articles that prove that my ass actually displays high-gravity relativistic effects wherein objects that draw near to it slow down in time. The Chinese have launched a probe with a fraternal teenaged twin - the other remaining behind in Hunan Province - to within 70,000 kilometers of my ass. Upon his return, the ass-bound twin had only aged 7.5 minutes, while the other twin was retiring from his career as Minister of Agricultural Phlebotomy.

Over the course of the previous two days, I'd started laying the groundwork for my weekend, but in about as lackadaisical manner as possible - kind of like a contractor laying the foundation for a house by just randomly throwing some cinder blocks into a hole every once in a while. I'd mentioned to my boss I'd be away Friday (always a good thing to tell your boss these things), borrowed a tent and binoculars from my dad, but sadly decided against bringing the telescope, seeing as how if I'd brought it, it was a guaranteed rainmaker.

By late Thursday, though, my plans were still just a vague haze in the back of my mind. North, to Glover, Vermont. Where is that? How do I get there? Shall I drive, or sit on my ass and wait for the vacation pixies to sprinkle me with travel dust and just poof me to the campsite? Given how much practical effort I was putting into the planning, these were equally likely scenarios as of 6 PM. Eventually, and with a great amount of mental effort, I got my Google directions, Yesenia packed my bag and selected me some CDs (if I weren't so sure of her love for me, I would have sworn she was trying to get rid of me), I threw the camping gear and other ephemera/detritus into the car, including my guitar, and finally, finally made the call of no return - the reservation at the Brattleboro, VT, Super 8. And then I was off like a shot. At 9:15 PM.

See, all I really needed to get going was the idea that if I didn't go, I was about to waste seventy-nine bucks on a motel room that I wouldn't be sleeping in. Therefore, it is proven that the only force stronger than my inertia is my cheapness.

The drive itself was uneventful, if you consider several late-night hours sitting in traffic on Route 95 in Western Connecticut 'uneventful.' I suppose, since no events actually occurred, that is a technical definition of uneventful. As it turns out, they've now entirely dispensed with the pretense that there's some kind of goal or end in sight to the repairs on the Connecticut stretch of 95, some point at which the repairs will be considered 'done' and the build-team will be able to relax and have a beer, hopefully somewhere up high upon Connecticut's tallest peak, where they can look down upon the whole, shining, unbroken and unblemished ribbon of the Interstate, as the traffic flows like playful otters flashing up and down the river of tarmac. No. The army of robot slaves has been set to the task of constant labor, rebuilding CT/US-95 over and over and over. When the Earth finally explodes and the hunk of it that used to be Connecticut exits the Solar System at a 17 degree angle to the elliptic, they'll still be toiling away on that bit just before the first Northbound Guilford exit.

The point is: I'm a fucking idiot, because I'm so used to taking 95 that it didn't even remotely occur to me that even if there was no traffic or construction, it wasn't the road I should have taken. What can I say? I've been going up 95 to Rhode Island several times a year for the last 36 years that I'm like a Canadian Goose that's been trained and requires some dude in an ultralight to lead me to a new path.

Anyway, I finally just winged it, dropped off of 95 around exit 40 (onto the Wilbur Cross Parkway/Route 15) and discovered - much in the same way that Columbus 'discovered' a land that had been inhabited for several thousand years - that there was a) no traffic, and b) a nice, civilized mutually agreed upon speed of about 65 MPH by the few cars that were on it. Like Columbus, I bought Catholicism and Small Pox to Connecticut, but since they already had them, it wasn't such a big deal.

In this way, I reached Route 91. From there it was a relatively speedy trip to Brattleboro, and I got into the Super 8 Motel around 1:15 AM. I checked it, wrassled futilely with the 'courtesy PC' in the lounge to see if I could check my mail and or post a 'here I am' kind of Rambler, but the PC was even more exhausted than I, so no dice. I retired.

The room was nice enough - hell, it was clean and there was hot water, which is about all I require, but I have to say that I think the name of the place is a little misleading. Curiously, the Super 8 Motel does not have Super 8mm projectors showing someone else's old home movies in each room. It's jut cable, like every other motel in the U.S. So, I set the alarm and primed the wake-up call for 7:15.

Does this entry seem like I'm mostly talking about driving? Well, you know, I went from southern New York to northern Vermont, to Bangor, Maine, and then back to New York in the course of three days, so there was a lot of driving involved. Steel yourself.

Tomorrow: Breakfast in Brattleboro, Bread and Puppets in Glover, and the tale of the wet night.

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