Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Witz Pickz: Drive-By-Numbers -- Days Seven and Eight (Austin to DC)

You haven't lived if you haven't driven 1600 miles in two days, alone, in the rain, in traffic, with nothing but your ipod and the threat of getting pulled over to keep you awake. You also probably haven't contemplated road-trip suicide...

Days Seven and Eight: Austin to Washington, D.C.

Miles: 1583 (each and every one a gem)

3 - Signs asking, "If You Died Today, Where Would You Spend Eternity?" Each time I saw one of these signs, I had the same thoughts. 1) That's a fairly pessimistic sign to have on a highway when I'm driving 85mph in the rain next to a car with a guy who's eye fat appears to be covering his eye holes. 2) Probably wherever my body landed. 3) In a ditch in West Texas. 4) Given the choice, probably City Pizza in Hartford, Connecticut.

17 - Number of times I listened to my own band (A Victory Nonetheless) on my ipod. Just in case this blog wasn't narcissistic enough, I sang along to MYSELF, air drummed along with Turbo, and threw in some air guitar along with 24-Hour Jim for good measure. Fortunately, all of that only put a minor dent in the hours I had to drive.

6 - Both the number of times I went to Subway on the trip AND the number of teeth that the woman who worked at the Days Inn in west Nashville had!

2 - Terrifying people I met. The second one came in the form of a 20 something guy in a beat to hell van late at night at a Tennessee gas station. He looked like if a rat had traded his ability to sing for human legs and spat at my car while making eye contact with me as he got out of the passenger seat of the van. I didn't know if it was because my car was from California, because I am Jewish, or because he just had to spit at that exact moment, but he had Gas Station Stabbing written all over him, so I got the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

The FIRST creepy guy I met at Subway. I needed to use the outlets at his table to charge my phone, so he invited me to sit with him. After talking for a bit pleasantly, he randomly told me that Memphis is the murder capitol of the USA along with Detroit and that I should be careful. He then told me I was very brave to be going cross-country on my own, followed by asking, "Is that your little car out there with all the stuff in it?" Suddenly, I realized I'd told this guy quite a bit about my trip and myself. I thought back to what I knew about him. His name was Larry, he was recently divorced, he was eating dinner at Subway even though he lived nearby, and he was engaged to a woman he met on Christian Minglers dot com. I decided that yes, Larry probably WAS a serial killer, but he more than likely only killed women, so I was prooobably alright. "If you died today, where would you spend Eternity?" Certainly not in tiny pieces strewn across the Mid-Atlantic States, so I decided to get out of there and drive as quickly as possible past Memphis.

1 - Craziest shit I've seen-- I can only describe what I saw as a "Birdnado." As I drove through Arkansas (The Natural State, incidentally, which seems about right-- nothing about Arkansas looks like it's had plastic surgery of any kind...or braces...or a high school education), I saw something tearing around chaotically by a rundown house in a field. My initial thought was that it had to be a tornado or wind of some kind. It was a massive streaming, arching tunnel of movement. As I got closer, however, I saw that it was actually hundreds of birds, following each other and moving in a giant cluster, probably eating bugs (or, as I really thought in my head: battling the forces of good by taking on the form of demon birds). Basically, imagine someone asked you to picture the scariest bird related image you could-- that's what I saw. I drove away knowing that the world is a much more frightening place than I thought.

1 - Night sleeping in a giant king-sized bed with three pillows arranged in the form of another person next to me for company. You guys have done that, right? The road can be a lonely place.

Sonic Good,

P.S. I meant to post this the other day, but right before leaving SF, my friends and I watched an episode of Storm Stories (logically) and heard this magnificent quote: "The thing about Texas is that if you hang around anywhere very long, someone in a pickup truck is gonna come by with a chainsaw." Wow-- maybe I was brave to drive cross country by myself...

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