Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Road

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again; I think the entire state of Idaho stopped evolving somewhere around when Y2K hit.

For full effect, download "Seven Nation Army" by Zella Day, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. 

Seated to my left is a bleached-tip sophomore in college wearing a camouflage jacket, a Reebok snapback cap and a puka shell necklace, yes kids, a curse-wording puka shell necklace. He’s sitting at a table with a flip phone getting upset that his CD player keeps skipping. To my right is a doppleganger of Stephen King sitting at a table with his head down in his lap. He’s looking at one of those things that have pieces of paper bound together by an adhesive with words transcribed on them telling some kind of story. I think it’s called a book?

“Do you have wi-fi here?” I ask the host of the event I am attending who has a haircut Ward Cleaver would be proud of.

“Uh…I uh…I don’t think we have those uh…I can check with the chef and see if it’s on the menu for lunch.” He says.

That’s what I’m dealing with on a Wednesday morning in a state that would more than likely elect Pedro as their governor. And if you didn’t get that last reference, well shame on you.

It has been a while since I’ve been on a solid, legitimate road trip. I’m talking trips that involve multiple time zones with drive-thru meals on my lap. Trips where I can listen to Fahrenheit 451 all in one sitting and then blast "Bohemian Rhapsody" when my car starts to veer over to the rumble strip. Trips where Mt. Dew is the sole replacement for water in my diet and my belly bloats like an overcaffeinated buck. This has been my lifestyle for almost five years now, and slowly but surely it is coming to an end.

A kid wearing a red sweatsuit walks into the student center. Yes, a sweatsuit kids, he is wearing a bright red sweatsuit with the words 'Golds Gym' screen printed on the chest and thighs. I don’t know if he's behind the times or if he unintentionally became a fashion pioneer in this state toting retro clothing.  

I don't necessarily miss life on the road, I will say that. I mean sure I've had some good times with this job, back to back late-night movies in downtown Seattle, discovering the glory of Podcasts, traveling to strange lands like Catalina Island, Portland, and Grantsville, three hour conversations with old friends about pregnancy and tramp stamps, or getting pandemic cases of the shngigglefits in Cafe Rios, yeah, those are the times I will relish in the years to come and recount to my Grandchildren about "back when I was your age..."

But with those stories come the headaches, the struggles. The hotels that think pillows the size of a newborn's fist are large enough for your comfort. The strange looks from chiropractors tagged with warnings that scoliosis is in my near future if I keep putting 40K miles on my body every year. The botched relationships because I tell a girl in September the next time I'll be back in town is right before the tax deadline. Yes, those things I won't miss. Those things I won't remember when I'm old and hairy. 

The sweatsuit walks out looking down at his iPod. Dang, this kid is straight-edge, I'm telling you. What's that? They don't have straight-edgers in Idaho yet? My mistake. Ward Cleaver walks back up to my table.

"I'm sorry Mr. Bybee, the chef says all they're serving is pasta and steamed vegetables for lunch. Sorry we can't help you." He says.

Sentences like that make me wonder if Al Gore has ever been to Idaho before. 

What do you think?


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