Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Trip Home

My trip home in the Civic lasted two days and was pretty uncomfortable. I left yesterday, November 24th, and picked up two audio books at Borders to occupy my mind during the drive. One of the books, The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, has so far been a gruelingly boring theological ramble, and probably did more to to put me to sleep on the drive than keep me awake. The other book, Don't Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis, is a revisitation of American History that is fairly elementary but still engaging. I enjoy learning about American history, mainly because it's fascinating to discover what is not taught to students in public school systems. One of my favorite books of all time, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, has significantly influenced my views of the world. Anyways, I stayed the first night of my trip in a shabby La Quinta Inn in East Tennessee, which said they had free wi-fi access but it didn't work in my room. The next morning I shared an early Thanksgiving meal with some nice country folk at the hotel, but my mood soon blackened when realized that I'd left my glasses in my room before checkout. When I spoke to the desk about it, they said that the cleaning people had already serviced the room and left, and if my glasses had been found they wouldn't be retrievable until the next day. I left the hotel left blind and outraged, and the trip went a little slower from that point on because I was unable to see road signs clearly.

I woke the next morning to the golden sun shining brightly through my windshield. It seemed to say, "Wake up, Tom, and go home!" I had passed the previous four hours sleeping in my car, parked at a truck stop near Little Rock. Sleeping in the car was a bit uncomfortable, yet, in a way, cozy. I had managed to tuck myself into a little cave formed between two large pickup trucks and and overhanging tree, and slept pretty well in a warm sleeping bag. It was before 8:00 when I finally got up, stretched thoroughly, and entered the truck stop. After washing and having a Subway sandwich for breakfast while listening to Lynrd Skynrd on the intercom, I acquired that most essential cup of coffee and headed back out on the road.

By lunch time I had crossed the Arkansas/Texas border. I ate lunch at a Texas BBQ / souvenir store in Texarkana and let the nostalgia wash over me. By the time I reached Dallas I needed a break, so I slept for a couple hours in a Dairy Queen parking lot. By 8pm I was relaxing by the hearth in the warm living room of my Dad's house, watching TV with my brother. What a looong drive. I'm glad to be home.

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