On Interstate 30 part 3

Posted By on March 29, 2005

“The Amazing Adventures Of Me”

.: Four days after spring break ended, Easter break began. Crazy. Still, I had a four day weekend to kill, so I went to Conway again to see Susan. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the drive there is infinitely better than the drive back.

.: Here’s a brief breakdown of the trip:

.: I left half an hour after Biology. On the way, I listened to half of my iPod. Halfway there, my ass started aching. Having spent half of my waking day driving, I was somewhat tired when I arrived. That night, Susan, half of her friends, and I all went bowling. Once there, I experience the once-in-a-lifetime sensation of wearing brand new bowling shoes (size: nine and a half). I scored around an 86 while Susan got a 43, which is half of my score. When it came time to sleep that night, I claimed more than half the bed because I’m a bigger person than Susan. Her roommate slept in the other half of the room, though, so I had to half-dress myself before going to bed. Sleeping in an already hot room with another warm body in the same bed while wearing a thick t-shirt drove me half-crazy.

.: Susan, being the procrastinator she is, still had a paper to finish before 5:00 pm that day. As such, I spent the afternoon with her friend Alicia. Alicia, for those of you who do not know (and you probably don’t, because this is the first time I’ve mentioned her on this site), is the most joyous and gregarious person I’ve met since, well, Alexa. Before Susan left us to go write her paper, we sat and watched a play at the local elementary school. I learned from watching the audience of first- to fifth-graders that little kids like violence. To them, violence is funny. Violence is natural. Violence is the first resort in a their mind.

The guy on stage is saying lots of words. This is not funny. He just hit that other guy with a big stick. I think I’ll laugh now.

.: There’s something creepy about watching a cafegymitorium full of kids burst into laughter while two high schoolers dressed in medieval garb duke it out with aluminum foil swords and cardboard shields. Even creepier is when the first-grader sitting next to you tells you this:

“Wanna see something cool? I was making myself a sword with a stick and a knife and my brother came up right behind me and bumped my elbow like this and it cut me right here across my knee like this. Do you see? Isn’t that cool?”

.: I would remove the punctuation and spaces to give you a text-based portrayal of the kid’s rapid speech pattern, but that seems unnecessary, especially considering the modifications I’d also have to make to accomadate the boy’s southern accent. Use your imagination.

.: When Susan bailed, Alicia and I went to The Poppy Patch, one of those bizarre stores you visit simply to look at the shit stuff they have for sale. They offer an array of useless crap that delights the eye but boggles the mind, like goofy secondhand suits, costumes, stage blood, jelly beans, bumper stickers, “alternative” books, candles, cards, and tiny fake ants. You won’t find a back room in this store, but there is an upstairs. While Alicia stayed below, I checked it out and met another girl who had a similar look of disbelief on her face. We both spotted a stack of boxes:

Knee-high Socks
Body Parts

.: Guess which box caught our eye?

“Oh, we have to check this out,” I said to the stranger.

.: Sniffing carefully, I approached the stack and opened the second-to-bottom box. There they were, as the label indicated: latex head extensions, nose extensions, ear extensions, and yes, buttocks extensions. What were you expecting?

.: Downstairs, Alicia found a jacket that instantly transformed whoever wore it into Tom Jones, as evidenced here. It can also double as a bath robe.

.: Afterwards, Alicia and I travelled across town. We walked through a seedy apartment complex and saw a room, the entrance of which was a large, dirty sheet. We left when we heard noise coming from the other side. What caused the noise? We’ll never know, but I do have some theories that I’ll provide purely in the interest of science:

Theory A: The sound was caused by the afternoon gurgling of an alcoholic squatter just waking up to another horrifying day in alcohol-free Conway.

Theory B: The sound was not actually caused by anything, but was rather a telepathic connection between Alicia and me being disrupted by cosmic rays deflecting off visiting alien spaceships that our brains mistakenly interpretated as sound. This would explain why both of us responded to the fake noise at the same time.

Theory C: Something moved.

.: Once we escaped the horrifying mystery noise, we decided it was as good a time as ever to eat Mexican food. As we finished our meal, Susan phoned and informed us that she had finished her paper. After she arrived (with her much needed car, as Alicia and I were on foot), we went to a protest. This was my first protest. Susan explained that it was about equal rights for gays and lesbians. I asked if there was a specific event that caused this protest. She said there wasn’t.

.: I never liked the idea of protesting. I didn’t know what they accomplished, if they accomplished anything at all. At best, people ignore you, I thought, and at worst, you do more damage than good. When I went, however, my opinion of protesting improved greatly. It was quite exhilarating holding a sign that said nothing more than “Hate Will Not Make Me Disappear” and having someone yell back at 50 mph, “Fuck You!” Even more interesting is hearing it said with the doppler effect. The “Fuck” speeds up and becomes really high pitched, while the “You” slows down to a more ominous tone. The end result sounds something like this:

FUCK  yooouuu!!!

.: While Conway may be home to the one liberal spot in Arkansas, there are still quite a few citizens who like to express their opinions with the middle digit of their hand (I am talking about the state where they have to replace the “Hope: Birthplace of Bill Clinton” sign every few weeks because the populace feels obligated to fire several rounds of munitions through it). One elder lady even stuck her tongue out at us. I cannot attempt to describe the expression this caused on her face, but I can tell you about my personal reaction: laughter, the kind of laughter that happens when you go to the zoo and see an ugly chimp baby stick its head in a pile of its own excrement. Actually, shit-face chimp baby describes her expression pretty well. Picture that.

.: So the protest was a blast. I realize now why people have them. It’s not because they want to change opinions (have you ever changed your mind after reading, say, a bumper sticker?), but because they want to let other people to know that there is a problem and a vocal minority out there who wants to change it. The best protests are peaceful, featuring innocuous statements like “Love is not a crime” and such; the worst protests are invasive, downright forcing people to change and punishing them for not (PETA springs to mind). So keep that in mind next time you see a protest on a street corner. If you disagree with what they stand for, briefly honk your horn once and shake your head disapprovingly. That’s your right. However, if you agree, honk your horn multiple times, nod your head in your approval, and give your biggest white-tooth smile–protesters love that.

(I cannot remember if this happened Saturday or Friday, but time in this case does not matter.)

.: Girls are crazy. They act crazy. They think crazy. They do crazy things. Please refer to the first sentence of this paragraph if any confusion still lingers in your mind.

.: I was in bed, reading a book, when Susan said she was going to take a shower. On her way out, she noticed a full bin of laundry that needed to be done. “Oh, can you do the laundry?” she asked me. “Sure,” I said. “Do you know how?” “Yes.” “Oh, I should probably spot them before I do it.” “Spot them?” I asked, being the dirty teenage male I am. “For stains,” she explained. She follows with, “I’m going to write you instuctions for how to do it.” As she wrote them, valuable laundry-doing time was wasted. “You know what? Don’t do the laundry. I’ll do it when I get back.” “Okay,” I said, returning to my book. She left.

.: She returned. The laundry was not done. She looked disappointed. “The laundry’s not done…” she observed correctly. “You told me not to do it,” I replied correctly. “But I wrote out the instructions.” “But you said ‘Don’t do it’–that overrides anything previously said or done.” This is what she said next:

“You’re not supposed to do what I say. You’re supposed to know what I want you to do.”

.: That, my friends, is what drives men insane. Take a look at what she said again. “You’re not supposed to do what I say.” What? Why the fuck would you say something if you don’t mean it? That’s one step away from flat-out lying. I am told that Susan is not the only girl who does this. All women do. It’s their “thing.” You might say, “well it’s boys’ fault for being too literal.” Bullshit. We have logic and reasoning to back up our actions. Being mad at someone for not doing something you told them not to do is indefensible because it is irrational.

.: I talked to my good friend Maine, and he explained it quite succintly:

1.) She was testing my ability to know what she wants without having to tell me.

2.) She started an argument so I can prove I love her anyway.

.: What does this mean? It means Susan will always be one step ahead of me and that sometimes I’ll trip and never catch up, failing the test. But it also means that I love the girl more than life itself, certain family members, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream; and I’ll make sure she knows that everytime I fuck up.

.: In downtown Little Rock there is a hotel called the Peabody. The Peabody differs from every other hotel in that it is home to five ducks. These are no ordinary ducks. At 11:00 every morning, they walk into the elevator on their floor, ride all the way down to the lobby, walk across specially placed red carpet, and hop into a large fountain–all to the beat of pompous classical music. Then, at 5:00 in the afternoon, they reverse the process and return to their suite.

.: I didn’t get to see this. Neither the 11:00 or the 5:00. The first problem our group experienced was Susan’s car failing ten minutes into the trip. We had to turn around and use my car, by which time it was too late to see the Peabody Ducks’ morning routine. No problem, we could just hang around town until 5:00, we all thought.

.: We stopped first at a shitty restaurant that wouldn’t deign to engage in the laborious task of slapping together a fried egg, a slice of ham, and a slice of cheese in a bagel so late in the morning. The less said about this serviceless restaurant the better.

.: Afterwards, Jonathan, Alicia, Susan and I briefly went crap-looking (that’s what I call it when you look at the crap people try to sell in markets). I bought sushi.

.: Later, we hitched a ride on Little Rock’s newly refurbished trolley system. It was a fun way to dispose of fifty cents, much like those giant yellow funnels at museums where you literally watch your money go down the drain. In twenty short minutes, we learned everything we didn’t know we could learn about Trolleys, and then some (did you know it’s funny to wish all politicians to be shot by a cannon?).

.: We got off when Susan spotted a unique store in the middle of Little Rock, one that featured giant neon letters of “New York” and a bubble machine. Lured by the bright pink fluorescence and airborne soapsuds, we entered the largest collection of useless crap yet seen. The crap-looking lasted well over an hour as we waded through junk chairs, desks, TVs, books, sofas, chairs, desklamps, antiques, chairs, cushions, and chairs. When the lady behind the counter realized we probably weren’t going to buy anything, she showed us a wristwatch/locket combination piece that would impress a lonely senile Aunt and likely nobody else. We didn’t buy anything.

.: Around 1:00, I asked if there were any independent movie theaters around town. Alicia called her friend and we learned that there was one on Market Street. What we didn’t learn was where Market Street was. That part took a while and was the reason we did not get to see the Peabody ducks at 5:00. We spent well over an hour trying to get there, as none of us could successfully navigate through Little Rock. Apparently, neither could the majority of the town’s residents. It took us three stops to find someone who could give us ballpark-accurate directions. Also, it was raining.

.: We eventually found the theater, and unfortunately every movie was already about 20 minutes into its playing time. We waited until 4:00 and bought tickets to Bride and Prejudice, the first major Bollywood/Hollywood crossover and a delightfully light-hearted flick. I fell asleep in the first ten minutes.

.: After the movie, I threw away my jumbo-size popcorn bucket with three-fourths of the popcorn still in it. (Susan said don’t get a large. I took that as a sign and did what she told me not to do. Turns out she really didn’t want a large. There’s no winning.)

.: Back in Conway, we watched what very well may be the most shameless tear-jerker ever filmed. I can say that I did not cry during The Notebook, but I did have to fight back the tears and look away from the other people in the room, lest they think me less of a man. Following the end of The Notebook, we popped in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and all took turns running over hookers. When we got bored of that, Susan and I retired for the night. We woke up just in time to experience the glories of

.: Sunday was a lot like Saturday, in that we went to Little Rock and watched a movie in a theater while it rained. Jonathan, sadly, did not join us on this adventure. The original plan was to go to the mall, since everything in downtown Conway closes on Sunday. The mall was closed.

.: Having come all the way down to Little Rock, it is understandable that we didn’t want to leave immediately. Instead we called Alicia’s roommate, who did not tell us where the movie theater was, but who stopped what she was doing, met us at a park, and drove us there.

.: We decided to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou at the $.50 theater. Before the movie started, we went to a Barnes and Noble, which had books. Many of the books were bad, some were good. I looked at a little bit of both.

.: The movie turned out to be one of “those” movies. “Those” moviese are movies that I can’t quite explain to other people. I wouldn’t recommend them, nor would I stop you from seeing them. Others entrants in “those” movies are I Heart Huckabees, True Stories, and Brazil.

.: Around 5:00, Beth returned to Conway. Beth is a fellow Houstonian who left at the beginning of the weekend and stayed with some rich girl in Memphis. I could have easily introduced her at the beginning of the post, but the fact is I just plain forgot. I also could have mentioned the two books Susan and Alicia bought in the paragraph about Barnes and Noble, but stating that here offers a nice segway into the next paragraph.

.: Susan and Alicia bought two books at Barnes and Noble. Their plan was to read many romantic novels for research before they sit down to write their own. These books were awful in every sense of the word except one (extremely objectionable in that the stories and writing are trite, sexually perverse, and definitely not worth $6.50 plus tax; exceedingly great in that more than one copy of both books have been published; and awe-inspiring in that their badness inspires lengthy fits of laughter in anyone outside their target audience; the final definition of awful, the archaic and obsolete “deeply reverential”, does not apply). Alicia, Beth, Susan, and Betsy all had much fun at the authors’ expense by reading select passages out loud to each other for what felt like an interminable amount of time.

.: But terminate it did; I left before they could finish. I had enough. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t bear to hear one more “She murmered…” or “He slipped his elongated man-staff into her node” or “‘Damn right,’ he said as he latched onto her frail, fragile skin.” It was all too much. I went to sleep.

Susan’s roommate sure does make a lot of noise. what time is it? Why hasn’t she left yet? I should look and see what time it is. No! If I do that, I’ll disturb Susan and wake her up. She has class today, she needs the sleep. But her roommate should wake her up with all that noise she’s making! I should look at the clock. Don’t look at the clock. I should look at it. Don’t look at it. Okay I won’t. I wonder what time it is. Stop wondering! Just lay there and stare at her. Yeah that’s a great idea. She’s very pretty, you know. I could do this all morning. No you can’t; she’s cutting the circulation off in your arm. But I can’t move my arm; if I do that’ll disturb her. I don’t want to do–oh look she’s shifting her position now’s my chance! Oh, she’s moaning! I’ve wakened her early. Crap! Okay she’s not awake yet. Why does her roommate make so much noise? I shouldn’t open my eyes yet. Why not? Because she might see me that’s why! Why do you care if her roommate sees you awake? She’ll think it’s weird. You should open your eyes anyway, how else are you going to stare at Susan’s pretty face? I’ll think of something. God it’s hot in here. I wish I didn’t have to wear this stupid t-shirt. I wonder what time it is? That’s it I’m looking. 8:27. Susan has class at 10:00. Why can’t her roommate just leave already. It’s so freaking hot in here–the door just closed! She left! Wait, did she really leave, or did she just go to take a shower? I don’t know! Now’s my chance! Don’t wake her up yet, her roommate might just be in the shower. I don’t care, I want to kiss her. I should brush my teeth. Don’t do that, you’ll wake her up. I won’t do that. My breath smells, I shouldn’t kiss her. Her roommate should be back by now. I wonder what time it is. It’s probably 8:45 by now. I should look. 8:32?! This is going to take forever! Why won’t she wake up? Put your arm around her again. Oh, right, forgot about that. Arm always around her. Thanks for reminding me. She’s awake! I saw her eye open! I saw it! Why won’t she respond when I touch her hand? Come on! Wake up! Wake up! Hooray! Her eye opened again! It’s staying open! She sees me oh my god this is great! I’ll touch her hand again. That’ll make her feel good. Oh God. Oh God Oh God Oh God. She’s not responding. She knows I’m there and she’s not responding. This is not good. This means bad things. Why won’t she respond? I don’t know! You probably did something to make her mad! Me? You’re in on this too. Whatever, just hope she doesn’t roll over again. Please don’t roll over. NOOOOOO!!!! She just rolled over! Quick, do soemthing special! Kiss her, you fool! Nothing. Not a smile, not a sound. Nothing. This is terrible. Her roommate’s back! It was just a shower! Quick, emergency sleep mode. Don’t do anything. She probably feels weird dressing in a room with a boy. Yeah, probably. Just keep your eyes closed. Wait for her to leave. Okay, she’s gone now. You saw it. She had a backpack and everything. She’s definitely not coming back. Now’s your chance. Say something good. What kind of good? I don’t know. Anything that’s not bad. Say good morning. Yeah, try that. Say good morning, you can never go wrong with good morning. Say it!

.: That’s all the details I’ll give you about Monday morning. The rest is private, and you wouldn’t want to read it anyway. I will have you know that everything turned out okay and that I was able to drive back to Waco with the knowledge that I was in love with the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world.

.: I love you, Susan.

About The Author


6 Responses to “On Interstate 30 part 3”

  1. susan says:

    first of all, I love you too.

    second of all, I’m not crazy!

  2. Christina says:

    Holy hell this post is long. I haven’t even finished Friday yet. I hate you.

  3. Zane says:

    You two are so terribly cute. The kind of cute that makes single people sick.

    Sorry Susan, but, as a female, you are inherently “crazy.” So says the male population, I guess.

  4. Julia says:

    Do men really have such long monologues when they see girls in the morning … or is that just you? If it’s just you, I must assert that you’re just as crazy as any girl I know to exist.

  5. d2ana says:

    cafegymitorium. :)

  6. Geoff says:

    The morning ‘monologue’ is his train of thought. Mine does just about the same thing. Also, girls are apeshit crazy.