All packed and headed out. Parents getting all teary and stuff. Come on guys, I’ll only be a metric fuckload of few miles away, globally speaking. You could drive there in a couple days if you really wanted to. And I promise I’ll keep in hiding touch.

Headed out for real this time, after saying last goodbyes to the brother and Nando clan. Plenty of caffeine packed for what will prove to be a long boring ass-sore-making ride.

Squish, squish…my car is a piece of shit. That’s the sound of my feet, which are colder and wetter than they ought to be on this side of the windshield. It appears I must have a hole in the underbody somewhere. Pull out the drivers-side floormat to drain for a bit.

Ooo, Cleveland is all pretty colors. I think that was Cleveland, anyway.

Gassing up near this little unpronouncable-named nuthin’ town somewhere in Pennsylvania. End up shooting the shit with 20-something gas station attendant dude for about half an hour. Heard war-stories of the recent drive-offs and this crazy biatch who, surprisingly recently (this year), nearly blew the place up (lots of fire) by plowing into one of the pumps at about 30mph. Learned about the Big Red Button in as much detail as anyone would care to. Politely escaped what could easily become an all-night bull session, bailed out the drivers’ side (up to an inch or so now) with a ripped-in-half Coke can and got the fudge out of there.

Feeling a bit tired, so figured I may as well see about a motel. Pull into the parking lot, looks like it’s time to bail some water again. By now, I’m beginning to wonder….it IS just the front drivers’ side, isn’t it? Hoping for the best, expecting the worst…..worst confirmed. Nice deep puddle in ALL four places-where-feet-go. Start unpacking to survey the damages. Nice soaked bedspread and both pillows, sucking water from the floor by double deuce capillary action. Computer sitting in a couple inches of sloshing dirty water; water streams out when I pick it up. Big crate of engineering textbooks on the floor of the other side, also sucking water and now weighing more than an equivalent crate of bricks. My envelope of most-important papers (car title, birth certificate, etc.), cleverly concealed under the passenger seat so that nothing would happen to them, also nicely soaked. Next 20-30 minutes spent bailing out these other compartments, and trying to repack the car so as to keep the non-waterproof stuff out of the puddles. Eeew, all the caffienated beverages also submerged under filthwater. On the bright side, now I’m too pissed off to be tired anymore. Which is good, because check-out at this motel is 9am or something. (You people insane?) Gassed and had a nice long piss at Flying J, and back onto I-90.

Ah, New York State… I have come to the conclusion that this state serves no purpose. For those of you who see it on a map and don’t think it looks very long, that fucker’s long. And there is not a single intersection, cloverleaf, offramp, house, building, cornfield or anything visible from the highway for the entire 400-whatever miles. Anyway, New York, you’ve thoroughly bored the hell out of me, so I pull off at the next eat-and-get-gas plaza, crank my seat as far as it will go against all the crap in the back (not far), and have a nap in the parking lot for a couple hours. I wake up to a cold-ass car, but feel suprisingly refreshed. Back on the road with some non-floor Coke and odd-tasting Mickey D’s. Not *bad*, just…odd. Like the McD’s in Tahiti that’s made with sheep. Could it have something to do with this mad cow scare? I smell a dilly of a conspiracy theory.

Still in New York. Does anyone actually live here? Hello-o-o-o… you mean to tell me, there’s nobody living within bb-gunning distance of the interstate? Why, in Illinois, the anonymous tickytack houses are all up on that shit.

I also have realized that I’m waay past Pennsylvania, and havent seen any of those mountains Nando’s mom warned me about driving over. Did I sleep through them? Hm… Nando’s mom, you’re an idiot.

Dammit New York, go away already!

Finally, this must be Mass. The roads are semi-curvy and all the interstate signs have little pilgrim hats on them. Woohoo, here’s the city of Boston already! Hi, Boston! …Bye, Boston! You’re no Chicago, but you look nice and friendly, and the perfect size for a snow globe. Thanks to Big Dig, all the highways go right under the city, which is about the size of one of our subdivisions.

Hello Medford! Here’s my office. Can you believe it? All these electronics and mechanical geeks on the 1st floor, and a Workout World in the basement. Just in time to grab some engineer-grade coffee (not my famous Weapons-Grade brew, but it’ll do) and continue the search for an apartment. Went home on the subway with this dude from work, and found out what kind of sparse little apartment $1200 a month will get me.


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