We couldn’t figure out why it was taking so long to get to Denver. We didn’t have time to take any detours or see anything other than the scenery along the highway. If all went well, we were going to make it to Denver the night ahead of our flight. We arrived today, exhausted and checked into the hotel near the airport (five miles away is the closest you can get). Shannon called to wish Jim happy birthday and said something about Memorial Day. I called Southwest to get our boarding passes for NYC and was told I was too early. I had to wait another day. Another day?? It suddenly began to dawn on us. Today isn’t Tuesday, it’s Monday, Memorial Day. We spent the next half hour trying to reconstruct the last four days and how and why we came to believe it was Tuesday rather than Monday. Maybe Shannon, Southwest Air, the calendar on the computer, were all fucking with our heads. Or maybe we’d entered the Twilight Zone. With much difficulty, we finally abandoned that line of reasoning. We decided to embrace Monday (even though we had no idea how it became Monday) and delight in the fact that we still have Tuesday. We gained a full day.
This is what I’ve learned from this little jaunt. Hotel chains are ubiquitous. Whether it’s Holiday Inn, Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, Best Western, etc. They are all identical. NONE of the hotels on the road have restaurants! Even in Denver! What happened to the idea that when you were in a hotel there was a place to have a meal or a drink? Where are you supposed to eat when your hotel is in the middle of nowhere? And there aren’t even fucking vending machines! We couldn’t even dine on M&Ms! Having turned in our car a day early (thinking it was Tuesday) we walked to a bar so Jim could get a martini. They were out of vermouth. Anybody who knows Jim and his martinis knows he was not a happy camper. We walked another half mile or so to Vinny’s. Vinny’s claim to fame is its bar. They had vermouth, but the bartender didn’t know how to make a martini. So Jim educated the waitress who then educated the bartender and Jim got his martini…and a good one, at that, he said. Later, back at the hotel, I watched a half hour or so of commercial television (it’s my job!) and was horrified by the commercials. They advertised panic. The voice over talked about our freedoms being taken away, people out to get us, the government reaching too far into our lives, and then the name of some organization we were being asked to support. It was creepy and chilling. And people smoke. There’s so much fucking cigarette smoke. The stale smell of it permeates everything. And rain. Lots of rain in Utah, Wyoming and Denver. Too bad it can’t be transported to California.
I haven’t said a thing about the dogs. That’s the good news. The valium seems to working for Tootsie. The most difficult part is cutting the already microscopic pill for her into quarters. It virtually becomes dust. Kukla has been drug free but acts unusually skittish. I can’t imagine him getting through the flight without some pharmaceutical assistance. I think the road trip has been good for all of us. It’s made us aware that life has radically changed and we have to be flexible with whatever comes next.