27 April 2009

take the highway to the end of the night

(Cross-posted to LiveJournal)

My feet belong to a zombie. It's been somewhat painful to put shoes on, and they've occasionally been sticking to fabric (like the couch and my socks) ... and, well, they look terrible. But, along with all that, there's a familiarity with the situation that's left me vaguely detached. (Not my feet! Zombie feet, I tells ya!) I've done horrible things to my feet in the past (and know that I will continue to do so, because I am that sort of incorrigible creature), and thier current appearance exhibits the recognisable damage of walking too far in flip-flops too early in the season. Unfortunate temptations of 90° weather in April.


Friday night:

My new license was waiting for me in my mailbox when I came home from work on Friday evening, so I decided to go through with the previous weekend's plan: I ate what little dinner I could scrape together after not being able to go grocery shopping for too long, filled a backpack with the necessities, set the iPod to shuffle, and left Salem at approximately 20.00.

I stopped only once on the five-hour journey to Rahway, NJ, and that single stop reconfirmed what has been repeated to me several times in the past: Connecticut is cold and dark. "Dark" being the operative word on this particular trip. Fuel signs are not to be believed. They will lead you off the precarious safety of the highway into the resident-friendly and traveler-hostile darkness of bedroom-community Connecticut. There are no lights. There's just you and whatever the high beams might illuminate ...


Eventually I was able to make Nigel-the-GPS lead me to a little oasis in the dark--Sunoco. Twelve gallons later, I was back on the road and back on course.

Apart from my little detour, it was smooth sailing most of the way. The only spot of traffic was around the George Washington Bridge in New York, and that's usually to be expected. I was afraid I might zone out, but my iPod had me fairly entertained for the duration of the trip. Lewis Black kept me company for an hour or so in Connecticut. Russell Brand, Matt Morgan, and Trevor Locke were with me through part of New York and New Jersey.

Unlike my last journey to Pennsylvania, the New Jersey Turnpike turned out to be my favourite part of this drive. There was this lovely stretch of time around Newark where there was a cluster of lorries far ahead of me and another cluster far behind me--and just my little blue space buggy coasting along by itself between them. I love being the only one on the highway, and that's as close as I came to it on this drive.

I made it to John and Rodney's by one in the morning, very happy to be done with driving, but sort of hungry. There was a tour of their portion of the Irving House and a run to McDeath, but I was very tired and nothing really took. I'm not even sure what time it was when we all said good-night ...

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