I’ve taken a lot of road trips, more than just about everyone I know who’s never been a truck driver. I love it. My roadtripping heyday was between 1997 and 2000, no cellphones, no GPS, just me, my car, and my road atlas, devouring the miles, listening to the radio stations come and go.
I took most of my trips to meet friends I’d made on mIRC. I logged a ton of hours chatting, and I was fortunate enough to have a work schedule and finances conducive to this hobby of traveling thousands of miles to hang out with strangers.
I worked seven days on and seven off, and made my ‘local’ trips on my weeks off. By ‘local,’ I guess I really mean continental US. I made several trips to Virginia, St Louis, and Des Moines, and one to California. I quit my job to take the two big ones to Canada, Edmonton and Yellowknife.
I’m thinking of starting a series of tales of my adventures. What do you guys think? Do you like road trips? Where have you been?
Have you ever noticed that when you feel like this is it, that you’ve reached the very bottom, the absolute worst that you can feel, that you prove yourself wrong pretty darn quick?
Maybe it’s just me.
I am so unhappy right now. No, ‘unhappy’ doesn’t begin to express what I’m feeling. I feel miserable, hopeless, lost, confused, abandoned, useless, worthless, stupid, ugly, broken, helpless, neglected, alone.
I don’t want to wake up in the morning anymore, because it’s just going to be another day of this life. And every day is a new low, instead of a fresh start.
Sometimes I hate myself for all the mistakes I’ve made or think I’ve made. Sometimes I hate myself for just one. I wonder why I ever came back. Between 19 and 21 I took so many road trips…to meet strangers I knew only from the Internet. I would just pack a bag with a change or two of clothes and my notebook, grab my atlas and leave.
I went to Virginia, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, California, Alberta, and as far as Yellowknife once, for a month.
If I’d stayed any of those places, with any of those people, would I have ended up here, now?
Well, I might be dead. I walked three miles along I-10 an hour from El Paso with a machete in my pants at two in the morning because our car broke down (This was the one trip I didn’t make solo.). Who knows what could have happened instead of my first and only ride in an eighteen wheeler? I could have frozen to death sleeping in my car in North Dakota in the winter. If I hadn’t done that I could have fallen asleep behind the wheel. I could have been killed by the addict in St Louis who turned down the pb&j I offered him when he said he was hungry. I could have been standing in a different place when someone tried to shoot my drug dealer and took out my car window.
I have taken countless senseless risks in my life, and none of them ever caused me permanent damage.
But I finally decide to settle down and get married and raise a family and look where it gets me.
I try so hard to take care of everyone else because I’m so afraid that they’ll desert me that I don’t know how to take care of myself. I’m afraid to put my foot down and admit that I can’t handle any more.
I’m afraid that I want out, and I’m afraid that I don’t want out.
I’m afraid to keep slogging along because I know it will break me one day, and I’m afraid to stop because I might miss the one chance to turn everything around.
I have an appointment with a counselor Tuesday morning. I hope this one’s better than the last one, who actually told me to ‘snap out of it.’ That was two years ago, right after I found out about the other woman. Snap out of it? Really? Thanks, dude, you were a great help in dealing with my grief. Not.
I guess I’ll see how that goes and keep on trucking.
I do feel better now than when I started writing this. Thank you for reading it.