i had to ask myself what state i was in multiple times because the highways and miles just seemed to blur together. from wilmington, north carolina all the way to houston, texas, my car tires turned and the songs shuffled on. i had every single thing to my name packed in my car (once again) and my pup in the passenger seat.
north carolina, south carolina, georgia, alabama, mississippi, lousiana and texas all felt the same (although, i must admit, alabama felt entirely too large compared to the other seemingly lifeless states).
i’ll try to keep this brief… let’s see, north carolina was the easiest part. i hit south carolina before the sun rose and it felt just like it’s northern sister state. i think georgia was the most aesthetically appealing (if i had to choose) but huge-bummer-alert… i stopped at the one gas station in all of the land who did not carry original fritos….. what kind of barbaric-run gas station only has chili-cheese fritos. sigh. ( i was forced to eat original corn nuts….). i crossed over the alabama state line and it felt like the day would never end. before i fell asleep at the wheel (or drove myself insane…pun kind-of intended) my pup and i stopped at a hotel for the night.
we hit the ground running at four the next morning. i don’t even remember mississippi happening. maybe because it was so early, maybe because i went no less than ninety miles per hour, maybe because that’s how boring that state was… all completely plausible. lousiana was moderately doable. it had bayous and billboards to look at, so at least i wasn’t having to force my eyes open. the fear of running off the road into a gator swamp and becoming some dinosaurs snack kept my blood flowing too, so, thanks murky waters of lousiana.
seeing the texas sign was like a freakin fiesta ( it was awesome, the radio station i was previously listening to was starting to interfere with a spanish-music station and that’s when you know you’re close to texas). even though i crossed the beautiful state-line, i still had two and a half more hours until i reached home-base. i always realize how big texas really is when i’ve reached the state that i live in but i still have hundreds of miles before my bed.
i do love when i get to turn off my navigation system because i get that close to my recognizable destination. the familiarity hits me. i turn the music up a little louder. i put my windows down. i smile with my entire body (partially because i do enjoy visiting my town and partially because the 1,217 mile drive is finally coming to an end).
pulling into my driveway felt surreal. i wanted to talk to everyone and go eat at restaurants that only this town has to offer and i wanted to take my dog on a long walk because the poor dude had never been in the car for more than twenty minutes at one time before this drive and i wanted to shower but, after two days of driving, eating fritos (and corn nuts), dark chocolate-covered berries, peanuts, french fries and subway, hearing “shake it off” by taylor swift 26 times (i tallied it) and watching my dog vomit five times in the car, i needed my bed. i needed the embrace of whatever thread-count was available. i needed sleep.
as i laid down last night, i recollected all the miles that i added to the dashboard. i couldn’t believe that i had done it all by myself (with my dog, but he honestly didn’t help much). i still felt my right foot pushing and easing up on the gas pedal and my hands gripping the steering wheel and i realized something;
i’m only halfway there.