Room 101

Drove about 400 miles the first day .. hitting it. Made it through Chicago; not bad at all. Stopped at a rest area a couple times. Stopped at a truck stop to eat.

For some reason, I thought that would be a safe place to be. I have never been more uncomfortable in my life! I ran away from home when I was 13; hitchhiked across the country with nothing but my boots and blue jeans (I still have them somewhere – Mom put them in a plastic bag and saved them for me). Truck drivers took care of me. They were mostly older family men with kids of their own. We’d have conversation, I’d sleep in the bunk, stop and get a shower, something to eat and go on.

This wasn’t that way; I felt awkward and uncomfortable sitting there alone. None of the drivers coming in were the old family guy that I remembered. Food was good and the waitress was great. My son called and we had a nice conversation; eased my anxiety. Finished my (expensive!) meal and hit the road again. Headed south.

It was late when I got into Salem, already dark. Every motel in town was booked – no room at the inn. Met a chick at the gas station (I thought I would fuel up and go on) who worked at the motel next door and they had one room – a suite – she left me have it at a discount. Perfect for me; king bed in a loft with a small kitchen underneath where I could make my tea, table to work at and a little space to sit. Room 101 – right beside the front door and closest to the office.

I worked most of the night. (Did I say that my laptop took a shit the day before I left and I had to run out and buy a new one?) I got a call from my sister letting me know that an uncle had passed away in JC. Another one; death and dying all around me. I had a cousin pass away 2 days before I left; 65 years old – 3 years older than me.

Stepping out to smoke at night was comfortable; right outside my door. Traffic on the highway and people in and out at the gas station next door but nothing around the motel.

I woke in the morning and cringed at the thought of putting on clothes to go smoke; there’s something I miss about home – stepping out on my porch to have my morning tea.

Lots of guys out smoking; only one who spoke broken English. Nobody to talk to. Got a text from my husband; I swear he said “I thought I died a few months ago”, that’s how I read it anyway, and I thought “yeah you did”. Is that it? I saved him and I’m living with a zombie now? Strange thoughts I have. Wow. It was actually a cousin who died a few months ago (different cousin – son of this uncle). Cancer. Everybody’s got cancer.

I looked at facebook a minute and thought “what the f@ck am I doing? What a waste of life.” Noah called. My sister texted. 83 emails from work. Just can’t get away from it. I even hate reading my mail.

Drove the car to the front door to load it up; man do I carry a lot of stuff. Duffle with my clothes, overnight bag of toiletries, and the computer. No traveling light for this girl. Certainly can trash a motel room. Too much stuff.