I'll be honest, this whole living my way into my future thing is a little taxing. I am overwhelmed at least once a day, and I wonder what I'm doing. There may be tears. And then I tell myself that the pioneers didn't have iPods for their CRVs, or Sonic limeade, and I'm probably going to be okay.
Yesterday I bought a rosary for $1.99 in a gas station convenience store on the edge of Fort Stockton, Texas. The Catholic belief in talismans is embedded that deep for me. I babbled to the clerk that it seemed the thing to do, that I needed all of the help I could get, I guessed. She smiled at me in a manner that indicated exactly how crazy she thought I was, because I'm sure she was way more aware than I was in that moment that if I was relying on that cheapo thing, I had best turn around.
I have made it through West Texas to the very edge. It was hypnotic, and beautiful, and long. I liked it way more than I thought I would, and although I'm content not to drive that stretch of road again for awhile, I'm happy to have it imprinted on my brain. I also appreciate the 80 mph speed limit. Thanks, Texas. You get me.
I've been taking notes on the trip so far, and I thought I'd dump them here just because there's really nowhere else, and it's obviously impossible to keep up a Twitter stream while going 80. (You're welcome.) Some of it is funny, some of it is stupid, and some of it is just my observations on the U.S. as it goes by my window.
Favorite license plates so far:
HEWON (Jesus should know that this guy totally cut me off.)
Go left on Ahoy from Starboard
Favorite business names:
Hillbilly Hair -- This sign was on a trailer in Pigeon Forge that appeared to be open for business.
Fo Sho Italian Grill
Prissy Polly's BBQ -- I do not want to eat any prissy person's barbecue, I don't know about you.
Assassin Pest Control
Jackpot Portable Toilets
Ho Tre Bien (A Vietnamese strip club in El Paso. The name is a perfect storm of post-colonial misspelled potentially unintended pejoratives.)
Christian Outlet Center -- Best Buy For Believers (I am not making that up.)
(Austin, I love you.)
Favorite Church Sign:
GO PRAZEY NOT CRAZY (Caps not mine)
Favorite Mistake Avoided:
I did not get a tattoo at American Rebel Tattoo Salon in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Because I am almost an adult, I only considered it.
Favorite Billboard Trivia:
The purportedly "largest adult store in the South" is at approximately Exit 375 on Interstate 4oWest
Favorite Second Best Reason Not to Eat at Chik-Fil-A:
"Babee Gifts. Partee Favors. Chikin!" These billboards make me dumber every time I drive by one. Whomever comes up with these lines must drink heavily. Has to.
Favorite Creepy Business Sticker on a Car:
Fuzzy Fanny Farm French Paint Silkies
Favorite Massive Accidental Geek Out Moment:
I drove by a sign for Hope, Arkansas. "Wait. Hope. Arkansas. I know who was born there!" I said to my slightly slow self. Exited, easy peasy, there it was.
I sat on Bill's first porch swing. In my family, that means we're friends.
That's a dork right there. A Clinton-loving, Democrat dork. I don't even care. Four more years! (Later. After these four. I love you too, President Obama. Chicago is on my list.) (I can't stop being political. I'm having twitches not being able to fully focus on the election, plus the hurricanes, plus the election, plus my friends who aren't in my car. I do miss my friends who aren't in my car. Okay, I admit it.)
Favorite Thing I've Done That I'm Glad No One Was There to See But Now I'm Telling the Internet So:
Passed a "honk if you're rowdy" sign. Totally honked.
Favorite Sign That It's Time to Stop Driving For the Day:
Mentally arguing with Jimmy Buffet over the veracity of his contention that "If we weren't all crazy we would go insane." My bone to pick with this was massive at the time. I've since softened my position. It's amazing what a little sleep will do.
Favorite Meal (So Far):
Seeing some of my people along the way of whatever it is I'm doing here has been the best part.
Favorite Thing, Overall:
Every day, I can start again. I guess that's a good thing.
I am headed to New Mexico now. I'm not sure if I have to present a special password to actually exit Texas, because it seems difficult to get out once you're in, but I'm going to try. Also, if you have any questions about Interstates 95, 40, or 10, I can answer them or find out. Let me know.