Friday, August 27, 2004

After the Roadtrip

The roadtrip was.... interesting. It wasn't just that the car's air-conditioning was kaput. It was that the AC was also dripping water behind the instrument panel, which the shorted out the CDplayer/radio. When it became apparent that whatever else was going to happen, we weren't going to get any more useful noises out of it for a while, we stopped at Walmart somewhere in Indiana and bought some speakers, which we plugged into the various computers and the iPod in the car, and I was very grateful that I'd bought a little AC power thingie for the car that plugs into the lighter, so that ran the speakers and kept the computers powered.

Didn't make inside of the car any cooler, though. It was a humid oven-like late August day across most of the midwest.

I drove through much of the night, because opening the windows cooled things off then, while Holly napped. Then a few hours actually asleep in a motel, which ended with Holly shaking me and telling me it was time to get back on the road. This time Holly drove while I kvetched sleepily and navigated. It worked, though: we had a lunch reservation at Morimoto's in Philadelphia at 1:00pm, as our reward for making the drive, and at exactly 1:00pm, we walked through the doors -- sweaty, travel-stained, bleary, and smelling like people who'd travelled across America in a very hot car indeed. Oddly, they served us.

(The food was good -- it's very high-end Nobu style, and the Morimoto Miso Cod is better than the Nobu's signature dish version.)

Then on to Holly's college, where we hauled boxes of her stuff from last year into her new room, and then I left her the car (and the speakers), suggested she might want to get the AC fixed, not to mention the stereo, and she dropped me off at the station, gave me a bottle of water and waved me goodbye. I took the train to the airport, and listened to a mother in a nearby seat tell the most Improved version of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears to her daughter. She seemed very proud of her improvements to the story, for she told it loud enough for the whole carriage to hear: although porridge was eaten, everybody loved everybody all the way through, nobody was in any danger of being eaten by bears, or even of incurring bearish displeasure. The girl seemed to be putting up with it without any evidence of enjoyment. The other daughter (aged about 3) was sitting with her father on the next seat -- she started playing a game where she slapped his hands and giggled. They seemed to be having fun. "Don't play that game! It's a bad game! Don't teach her games like that! Why do you teach her games like that?" the worried mother said, reproving both of them for doing something that seemed, at least to me, utterly sensible and very normal. I think I'll put her in a story one day.

Then onto the plane, which sat on the runway waiting to be allowed to take off, with the pilot giving occasional helpful updates on when the plane wouldn't take off, while I read a copy of the New Yorker. Then it took off, and I immedately fell asleep, and dreamed about continuing to read the New Yorker instead (the dream article about the problems they were having getting the movie of Jerry Springer: The Opera off the ground, starring Jerry Springer as himself, was fascinating, as was the one about how artist Lisa Snellings* accidentally became a best-selling novelist). And then I woke up as we came in to land, was driven home and dropped off in a particularly empty house.

And I wrote this.

& so to bed.

*This is the same Lisa Snellings who asked me several weeks ago to let anyone who ordered one of her CBLDF Neil Rats (or any of the other rats in the set) know that her e-mail had gone wonky, and if you'd ordered something and hadn't received it (or a response) to get back in contact with her.