Tonight I had the sublime opportunity to drive down Lake Street in the wee hours of Hump Day morning. Within a span of thirty seconds, I saw what I assumed to be a shitty hooker and a bum ran up to my window loudly asking for a cigarette. This is why I need to smoke an e-cigarette full time, so that I'll be elusive to bums running up to my window while "I Just Had Sex" by The Lonely Island was expelling from my speakers.
This past weekend, I flew out to Seattle with Patrick. He's quite comfortable in his new home with my mom and step-dad. Getting through the airport alone with a cat, a 40 pound duffle bag, a too big purse, and a backpack was an expected struggle. It was my urban edition of Tuff Mudder. Patrick cried most of the time. With LIVE ANIMAL stickers plastered on his FAA approved carrier, he was checked in and x-rayed in a giant MRI machine to make sure I wasn't the type of person who would hide anything in him.
The flight and entire airport experience was easier than expected. In the past few weeks, I was worried about flying sober. It really wasn't much of a thought as I was browsing Reddit at my gate and people watching. When I got to my seat on the plane, a flight attendant handed me a sticker that said "I'm on board, too!" Patrick was underneath in cargo, which I'm assuming was the loudest experience that's ever happened to him.
Sister and step-dad met me on the other side in Seattle. I went to customer service for Alaska Airlines and asked about where to find kitty. They pointed me to Oddsized Baggage a few carousels away.
I shuffled down the atrium, then I saw him. All alone, carrier on the floor, unattended and crying. I ran up to his minimum security jail and talked to him like I usually do. "You're okay, I love you. Everything's going to be just fine." With the exception of getting stuck behind the washer and dryer in my mom's condo, he's been adjusting well. He's been sleeping in the spot where I usually sleep when I'm in Seattle and he's taken quite a liking to the family matriarch:
Mom and Patrick, which is weird because my dad's name is Patrick.
This fucking protein shake. It's awful but I can't stop drinking it.
My return flight to Minneapolis was delayed mid-flight due to bad thunderstorms. We circled the city for a while but it was deemed unsafe to land, so instead we got to refuel in glamorous Des Moines, Iowa at 1am. We finally made it to Minneapolis by 3am, where I was able to catch up with a friend from high school who was on my same flight. I graduated from Seattle Academy nine years ago. In that nine years, I ate a bunch of acid, developed a drinking problem, backpacked through Europe, graduated college, moved to Minnesota for a guy I'm not with anymore, started doing stand up comedy, sold belongings to acquire more tattoos, went to rehab after a tiny cunt assaulted me and enlightened me to said drinking problem, and promptly admitted all of my failures and character defects. I'm not sure which one I'm going to use when I'm asked, "What have you been up to?" at future alumni events, but I'll probably settle on, "Oh you know, this and that."
Blogger thinks I spelled "cunt" wrong.
I was driving home from the airport when something hit me: it wasn't the comedy community in Minneapolis that was toxic, it was my relationship that was causing me to see it in that way. And then my anxiety started. I was pounding home on 35W in the soggy afterglow of the thunderstorms that delayed my plane, and I was wondering if I was making a huge mistake by moving to Seattle. Naturally, moving to Seattle would eliminate all of my problems! Not really, but Seattle would provide me with family, a safe haven for continuing my recovery, and a mild fucking winter. Those three things are more than enough solidified reasons to return to my hometown. But I don't really think there's anything wrong with the comedy community in Minneapolis. Of course, there were some rough patches last year, but I don't think they currently reflect on the present status of the community. People are being funny, and people are becoming funnier. It's nice to see comics supporting one another again. In reality, I was extremely bogged down due to the relationship I was in and the encumbering strings attached. I was seeing the comedy community through a pair of lenses that were tarnished and obscured. But that night, driving home in the sopping soak of the summer humidity, I had the mildest of epiphanies. If I had kept drinking, I wouldn't be this clear and aware of the decisions I'm making. I don't have any regrets by deciding to move, and I'm hoping to return to Minneapolis to visit in the near future. You guys are good people. Keep it up. Except you, lady at Cub Foods who asked me what ginger candy tastes like. You can go straight to tasteless hell.
THIS FUCKING PROTEIN SHAKE
Two nights ago, I was trying to go to sleep. And by trying to sleep, I mean scrolling through expat subreddits until my eyes get tired. I checked Facebook for a quick second and noticed a lot of people sharing a specific New Yorker article, found here. THE BIG ONE has been a topic for years, but I never really knew why it was such a hot topic of conversation. The science behind an imminent earthquake in the Pacific Northwest was astonishing and scary. My anxiety was sitting at a strong 7, and in the dark with my phone with three inches away from my face, it went up to a 9.2. Fuck thoughts about having cereal but no milk! There were possible catastrophic seismic events to worry about! In Minnesota, there aren't really many cataclysmic phenomena to worry about aside from the occasional blizzard or a tornado that happens to touch down in a bad part of town. But in Seattle, a big earthquake means a tsunami, and a tsunami means you should have bought a boat. So I stayed up, researching the biggest earthquakes recorded, death tolls and injury margins, stories of heartbreak and miracles, and in hindsight, losing your entire family and everything you own made my anxiety about not having any skim milk seem ridiculous. I fell asleep holding my phone and woke up to a related article on earthquake preparedness. Flashlights! D-batteries! Enough water for 72 hours! A plan to move out of state!
My Yellowstone plans are coming along nicely. I'm planning on spending eight nights on the road home at the end of the month. I'm going to sandwich Yellowstone between Cody and the town of West Yellowstone, Montana. I was able to find some affordable rooms in the height of summer, and it will be nice to mosey through the park at my own pace and surround myself with big wildlife and bigger RVs. Of course, knowing me, the giant thing below Yellowstone is going to blow up while I'm passing through, and the visual travesty of 2012 with John Cusack will become a short lived but very real experience.
While disposing of my IKEA furniture, I discovered a CD of Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Lawrence and I go way back, back to my poetry camp and Northern Lights Bookstore days. I think he'll be a nice companion to have on the long drive. I'm happy to do this trip alone. I'm almost certain I'll reach a point, probably after two thirds of the way home, I'll be constantly talking to myself in the car, narrating the details of each exit along the interstate. My car is going to be so sick of me.
I need to buy pepper spray, but I'm not exactly sure how one procures pepper spray. I don't know Dwight Schrute and there's no Pepper Spray and Beyond. I ordered a bowie knife from Amazon but the six-pack of cock rings and a DVD of Three Amigos! aren't necessary for a road trip. I want to be well prepared to thwart a Mad Max style attack on my Kia Soul. Plus I have to pass through Sturgis during the motorcycle rally, which is perfect for a young woman enthralled in her sobriety! HURRAY.
After reading the label to the shittiest of protein shakes, I discovered it has caffeine in it, so I guess I'm up for the day. I'm not exactly sure what I can do quietly in the middle of the night, but it certainly won't be buying pepper spray and putting it through a test run.