We are driving to Virginia for Thanksgiving from New Hampshire. I have nothing to wear. Wait a minute, yes, I do, but I need to do laundry. Laundry, you foul beast, I shall vanquish you! Slowly, over hours, I will have all clean clothes. Except, I’m only going to be gone for a few days. Three days and four nights. Pajamas-check, underwear-check, undershirts-check, socks-check, deodorant-check, glasses (sun and prescription) -check. I’ve made sandwiches and have coke and have pretzels, some seltzers and 45 hours-worth of podcasts for the 10-hour drive. There tank is filled with gasoline. What time do we need to leave? Three in the morning? You must be joking… you aren’t? Well, two hours of sleep is all you really need to function like a human.
Day 1 - Drive
This podcast is talking about how mushrooms know when you’re walking around on the forest floor because of this extensive network of miles and miles of tendrils and what’s that? You’re asleep? Well it is four in the morning. I’ll just count the lines on the highway. 3475, 3744, I mean 3476. This is a lot of math in the morning. Or is it night? I’m going to fast forward through these ads. Only large tractor-trailers and drug runners are on the road right now. I think four is when it switches over to morning. Possibly. I’m not a scientist. This scientist on the podcast even makes medicinal tea out of the mushrooms. Oh hey, we’re in New York.
Day 1 - Drive Part 2
Why are there so many cars on the road, we’re now in rural Virginia. Where are you going? There’s nowhere you need to go. Oh, is there no more gas? As soon as we move one more mile, which will take about forty minutes, we can get off that exit, exit 234. I’m glad we made it without getting pulled over because I saw, and this isn’t being hyperbolic, about 27 cars pulled over for various crimes and infractions, all legitimate I assume, all along the crumbling concrete monster which is the northeast corridor. Civilization officially ends in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and I know this because all the traffic from Washington D.C. disappears.
Day 1 - Arrival
Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hi various relatives! The drive wasn’t bad. Yeah, there was traffic, no it wasn’t too bad. What’s that? We’re not that exhausted but I’ll take a coffee, yes. What do we want to do now? I don’t know, we’ve been continually moving in a metal vehicle for about 12 hours, so it feels jarring to completely stop the momentum. Yeah, it was supposed to be 10 hours but that’s just life. No, I’m not getting upset I just keep getting asked the same question about time and I am not the grand arbiter of the universe, which, I would assume, controls that sort of thing. No, I’m not, I never was given that title. Maybe I’ll take a nap.
Day 2 - Morning
I smell coffee. What time is it? It’s nine in the morning? I guess I slept all afternoon and all night. Oh well, yes I’ll have a big Ol’ cup of coffee. Yes, I’ll have cream but no sugar though. Nice, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is on. The SpongeBob balloon tried to fly away. That sounds like SpongeBob. Do you think they’re lip-synching? That person is definitely not singing. You can tell because the singer coughed, and the vocals keep going. Everything is so sparkly, and the dancing is pretty cool. Santa! Hi Santa! Now it’s time for the Westminster Dog Show. I hope the Golden Retriever wins. Which dog won? Seriously, you’re blind judge, you’re blind!
Day 2 - Thanksgiving Dinner
What’s that Uncle Jim? You’re thankful the democrats haven’t completely ruined our country with illegal gay abortion doctors and their liberal agenda? Is there anymore stuffing? Cool, cool and what were you thankful for Uncle Bill? Oh, that the idiot in the white house is going to be impeached soon. Pass the cranberry sauce. No, I didn’t say collusion I said cranberry sauce. CRANBERRY SAUCE! I’ll get it myself, along with a locally crafted IPA. Back in my day you say. Which day was that? I just can’t right now with all of this. No, I’m not looking at my phone. What do they even teach me in this college of mine you ask? Should I reply sarcastically or be sincere? Decisions. I say that we’re taught to burn America down. Every homework assignment is about unscrewing a bolt off the machine of patriarchy and then we’re given lessons on how to whine effectively and disappoint our parents. Now I’m ungrateful you say? I’m too busy to take time out of my schedule to be yelled at about my life decisions 600 miles away from where I live. Next time could we just skype the whole thing? No, you’re a baby. Wait, what about Tom Brady?
Day 3 - Afternoon
It was so good to see you all! No, we have one more day. We’re going to visit Colonial Williamsburg and the shops around the village. We should all get together soon! Definitely! You too, bye, buh-bye… Oh thank god, they’re gone. Let’s go shopping! We’ve been looking for a parking spot for 45 minutes. How is this even possible? Let’s just go to the mall. What’s that! It’s a spot! Cobble stone is fun to put your shoes that have your feet in them. I call it walking. Look at all of the pewter for sale! Maybe we should all get tri-cornered hats and we can stage a photo like we’re writing an important founding document? Let’s do it! Just hit the center button. The circle. The circle on the phone, just press that circle. Have you ever taken a photo before? My eyes are closed in these two photos. You only took two photos? Whatever, but yes, it’s a great photo. It shows how much we all love each other.
Day 4 - Drive home - Hour 16
We are never doing this again. Ever. All the cars are speeding up in the left lane to cut into the right lane to get a better position to merge because of the construction. No, it’s not fair to jump the line like that, but we need to do it, or we’ll be stuck here for another hour. There are no more rules! Every car for themselves! Don’t you honk your horn at me. No, I don’t think all the sugar and alcohol have affected my mood. I need to exercise. Ehhhhrkk! Where did that car from? Here’s our exit, thank god! Never again, never ever, ever again. Until Christmas.