Wednesday, June 02, 2004

SATMATC 3: The Plan

There would be two legs to the trip out: first, from Oklahoma to Ann Arbor Michigan, where I knew a girl from a high school outing. It was called something like a "Congressional Youth Leadership Council," or similar--you got accepted, you paid your airfare, they stuck you in a concrete dormitory and gave you civics lessons. Anyway, the girl (Angie was her name, I think) was beautiful back in 1989, and in our correspondence back and forth she had sent me a photo, which showed her in front of the family manor house, somewhere in Michigan. Big house, beautiful girl, who had been flirting with me long distance for three years...I'm sort of in the neighborhood...need a place to crash...

"Oh, that would be so great! I haven't seen you in forever, and I'm sure we could make room for you here at the apartment!"

Turns out she was going to the University of Michigan, and had shacked up in a 2 bedroom place with 3 other girls, apparently all of the same breeding and background. This, as you could imagine, was pure gold to us. They even began planning a party on Saturday night, just to greet us. We intended to leave on Monday morning, which would give us plenty of time to have fun, but not interfere with school for them (too much).

[OK, all you adults out there, cut me some slack. I was 20 years old, for chrissakes. This is, in part, the story of me learning it's never as good as you think it will be. A lesson I had to unlearn after BM 2000, incidentally.]

Monday we had plans to leave for Watertown NY, and I wasn't paying any attention to the route (back then I didn't bother with maps too much). We were presented with two routes: around the pudenda of Lake Erie, south and then a straight shot east along a ridiculously expensive toll road, or straight through Detroit and Toronto (yes, that's Canada), then a jog south over the Thousand Islands Bridge, approaching Watertown from the north. I chose the latter, without much regard for our drug situation.

The plan was to spend whatever time we could in NY, then drive back south on Saturday morning, which should have allowed us plenty of time to get home and sleep some before being back to work on Monday morning. THIS end of the plan worked flawlessly.

Our zero hour for leaving (originally planned for Thursday afternoon) passed with me at work and Shea still staggering about town running errands. Friday night didn't happen because I'd made the mistake of telling Jim what we were doing, and he spent most of Friday night getting me drunk and attempting to talk me out of it. Shea was dumb and chattered constantly, he said. Shea couldn't drive worth a shit, he said. He said a couple of other things that are unprintable here, but turned out to be true as well. However, thoughts of blonde girls with violet eyes filled my head, and I would have none of it.

Saturday morning, Shea and I finally set out for Ann Arbor. I had 100 hits of acid, he had an ounce of weed (for personal consumption, of course).

The first day was great. I felt my cares peeling away the further I got from what passed for home. I began feeling more confident as I spent time in the car listening to Shea's drivel, which wasn't too bad as long as I tuned him out ever 10 or 15 minutes. Hell, I figured, if this moron can survive in the Alaskan bush for the last four years, I can at least get us to Michigan. We saw the St Louis Arch, smoked out a tollbooth operator, and ate lots of beef jerky and junk food. Then it got dark, sometime before we hit Indianapolis.


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