Dear blog, I'm sorry to have neglected you for so long. You see, there have been some changes, and I've been busy. The last time we talked, I lived in San Diego. I now live in New York. Why? I've got a great new job as the News Editor of Psychology Today. (I appreciate your help in getting me that job, btw.)
Some notes on my third time driving across the country:
Moment of the day: I stop at a Dairy Queen for a snack, where I enjoy an ice cream treat and an Overheard In New Mexico treat. Sitting in the back of the DQ, I clearly hear two girls working behind the counter discussing Jeffrey Dahmer. One had apparently just done a report on his life and explained in graphic detail the methods he used to prepare his victims for consumption. Keep in mind that his victims were men, he froze parts of their bodies, and I'm eating a banana split.
XM gem of the day: "California Dreamin'" (mood: bittersweet)
Moment of the day: Due to a small patch of rust on my car's undercarriage, a wheel well lining comes loose and begins rattling obnoxiously. At a rest stop, I borrow some duct tape from a trucker for a quick-n-dirty repair job. That trucker's name: Rusty. Get it? Uncharacteristically, I got it too late to comment. So I'm blogging it.
Bonus moment: Checking in at the night window of a motel at 1 or 2 am, another guy comes up behind me. He's 50 or 60, his eyes are red and squinty, and he's got a permasmile. High? I dunno. We chat. Gary is going through a divorce and owns a small trucking company (two rigs). He lives in the area. Why a motel, then? He's got a lady in the car. "She's a nice girl," he tells me. I walk by his Focus. The girl's 20, maybe 25. Nice.
XM gem of the day: "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" (mood: energized)
I arrive in Memphis and visit my friend Liz.
Moment of the day: Ordering a 40 from the dinner menu at Gus's Famous Fried Chicken.
Song of the day: "Tip the Band," esp the verse "You Didn't Pay to Get In So Tip Us" by one of the many live blues bands that keep Beale Street rocking even on a Monday night. (mood: tipsy)
No driving, chilling in Memphis with Liz and my friend Rob.
Moment of the day: After a tour of the Gibson guitar factory, the tour guide says he once picked up a guitar at a garage sale that he later learned belonged to Elvis. The guitar is now on display; Bob Dylan came to see it once but dude wouldn't let him touch it without gloves.
Song of the day: A satyric rap song Rob made about going from riches to riches. Screw the rags. He did a recent photo shoot for an album cover in which he wears a white powdered wig. The song is booming at the castle-like manse of an interior designer. (moods: bewildered, amused)
Moment of the day: The Matrix Reloaded is on TV at the motel. Neo: "What if I fail?" Oracle: "Zion will fall." Takes some of the edge off starting a new job. If I fuck up, the human race doesn't get destroyed by robots.
XM gem of the day: "Tennessee," by Arrested Development, heard while still driving though TN (mood: wistful)
Moment of the day: I pass a McDonald's. Instead of "Billions and Billions Served," the sign says "Indoor Plumbing." My confusion dissipates somewhat when I realized that, though out of West Virginia, I remain in Appalachia. My confusion dissipates fully when I pass another McDonald's and realize the sign says "Indoor Playland."
XM gem of the day: "New York, New York" (mood: relieved)
When moving from one coast to another, is there a psychological benefit to going by car? There's the meditative aspect of five days on a highway pondering the concomitant life transitions. And on a minor level, fully grasping the distance, geography, and cultural shading between two places perhaps helps attenuate your response to the shift between the two.
Did you know there's a Vietnam Memorial Wall in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico? Did you know there was a Truth or Consequences, New Mexico? USA! USA!