Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Wednesday I climbed into the cab of a ten-foot Ryder truck and drove for 10 hours, out of Boston, out of New England, down the eastern seaboard. I drove with my cat, Mr. Puck, in a wicker hamper beside me, down I-95, and listened to mix CD's from friends. I spent several hours at a crawl in New York City, where I put on my wolf's ears, glitter lip-gloss, and sunglasses and pretended I was hip while trying to get across the George Washington Bridge. The bridge scared me a little; it was one of those works of architecture on a scale that knocks you down, that isn't kidding. I battled the New Jersey Turnpike. I giggled as I passed Elizabeth, New Jersey. Then I drove and drove and drove in a vain attempt to get on the other side of DC before sundown. I gave up just outside Baltimore and collapsed at a Best Western.

I was so stupid tired in Baltimore that I called what I thought was Dust's answering machine and rambled on for 5 minutes about the old video game Oregon Trail, and how I was in my Conestoga wagon, and how it wasn't fair that the only way to win that game was to start out as the banker. Later I found out that this was, in fact, not the answering machine of my friend, but someone else who will now have my bizarre electronic ramblings.

Thursday I woke up and drugged the cat again and drove around DC in morning traffic. I stuck to I-95 until just past Richmond, where the cat staged a daring breakout from his carrier at 80 miles per hour, and after I got him settled I decided that was a sign to head inland. I then picked up I-85 into my destination city, Atlanta. Once I turned away from the coast (counter to my intuition, because all good things come from the water) I realized I was in the South. Parts of I-85 are actually an orange-pink from the red clay dirt ground into the concrete road surface.

When I hit South Carolina, I knew I was almost home, and as I crossed the river into Georgia I yelled and hollered to myself and Mr. Puck started singing. I'll never move out of Georgia again. Three hours after that we were in Atlanta, and after another hour we were in Acworth, at the new home of my cousin Audrey, her husband Jamie, and their small son Colin. I was so exhausted I was stupid, rambling, dehydrated, starved, sore and freaked out beyond belief. Also happy; the hard part was over. Now it's time for everything else…

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