Note: I wrote this post a few days ago, but never got around to posting it due to sleep deprivation, murderous rage, and a curse that was put upon me by a voodoo chicken lady.
I’m writing this from the passenger seat of the husband’s truck as he dodges tornadoes and listens to NPR. (THIS IS NO TIME FOR GLOBAL NEWS, DARLING, but, you know, WHATEVER.) I believe we’re in Kentucky, but none of it matters because I’m dehydrated can’t remember what sanity feels like. The children are watching their 100th episode of Super Hero Squad, and the cats are still! alive! In their posh kennels stuffed in the bed of the truck. They haven’t yet shit themselves, but they ARE hiding in their litter boxes.
None of us will ever be the same, you see.
(Which is why it’s all the more important for me give you some updates about what has transpired over the past week or two. In case I die or wake up in Texas in a vegetative state.)
Let’s begin with the final few days of packing, shall we? Because, really, that’s where our story needs to start. It was a two-day marathon of Loading Crap Into A Truck and Cursing American Capitalism and WHYDOWEHAVESOMUCHSHIT and SHUTUPALREADYANDJUSTSHOVEITINABOX. Husband got maybe two hours of sleep in as many days, and I spent much of my final hours in New York sobbing and binging on bagels, pizza, and ice cream. (What? I’m pretty sure they don’t have ice cream in Texas.) At one point, I ripped a fingernail like, 1/8 of the way off my finger and immediately concluded that I should behave as if the digit had been removed in its entirety, and with a plastic fork. Then Husband stabbed himself in the ass cheeks on the loading ramp and pretty much trumped me. AS ALWAYS. The final day, we were still working at a frantic pace to fill the truck before it was picked up for transport. A friend came over to help me clean, and together, we set my oven on fire.
FYI #1: “Self-Clean” means you actually have to CLEAN IT YOURSELF FIRST.
FYI #2: Googling “SELF CLEAN OVEN ON FIRE” will yield many lively stories of OHMYGODWE’REALLGONNADIE.
FYI #3: If you just stand, stare, point, and yell at the fire, it will, eventually, go out on its own.
Later that evening, I returned some unused boxes to the packaging store, where a rude woman rolled her eyes at me. Or maybe she was just having an involuntary reaction to the odor of my unshowered presence. Regardless, I shot her back a disapproving look, because HOW DARE YOU, MADAME and HAVE YOU SEEN MY FINGERNAIL INJURY?! Confident I'd set her straight, I was curious when she returned my look with a smirk. THEN. THEN? When I left? I saw her driving away in her car with a motherloving CHICKEN LEG dangling from the rearview mirror. This? THIS VERY THING explains every single turn of events that transpired from New York to Pennsylvania, to Ohio, to Kentucky, to Tennessee, to Arkansas, to Texas. Somewhere in the suburbs of NY is a voodoo doll in my likeness. Of this, I am certain, friends. It took every fiber of my being not to chase her down the highway screaming, I WAS JUST KIDDING LADY! LADY?! LAAAADYYYYY! (!!!!1!11!)
I drove home nervously, but tried to put it out of my mind. This will be FUN! You can DO THIS, Kristine! STAY POSITIVE. Ain’t no thang but a chicken wang, and stuff! The next morning, after the house had slowly and finally emptied, we all piled into the truck, heading west. Overjoyed that we were FINALLY! DONE! PACKING!, husband and I exchanged what would be the first and last loving glance of the trip. Possibly of our lives. A few moments later, Plus One began screaming because MY EARPHONES ARE TOUCHING MY EARS! and T9 announced that his butt hurt, and it would never NOT hurt EVER AGAIN. This was the first time during the trip that a child was threatened to be placed in a cage with the cats. Soon after that, we were pulled over by a NY State Trooper because we were hauling a trailer and didn’t stop at a weigh station. (The fuck?!) I talked Husband out of Assault of an Officer just as he rolled down the window to hand over his license and registration. Then Plus One asked him why he was wearing a funny hat and ARE YOU A COWBOY OR SOMETHING?! T9 chimed in merrily, COW! BOY! COW! BOY!
We didn’t get a ticket, friends, but we were punished with shame. The cats howled from the back of the truck, echoing our misery.
By the end of the evening, we’d entered Ohio, and I’ll never forget this state as the one that woke T9 up every fifteen minutes. As the state that made him scream like a skinned hyena every fifteen minutes. As the state that COULD NOT MAKE ME LOVE HIM MORE EVERY FIFTEEN GODDAMN MINUTES.
We drove until about 2am and woke up Wednesday morning in the hotel. Someone was again shrieking, but I’m no longer sure if the sound came from human or feline. Or demon. I suspect it may have been my husband, because did I mention the 5-ton-heavy trailer? And that we hit a pothole that dragged us off the road? And that there’s been some weird noises coming from the hitch making us wonder if something comical might happen, like the thing detaching from the truck and creating an obstacle course on Route 55? (Okay, so maybe COMICAL isn’t the best term here.) And that I refuse to take on a shift because, DO YOU REALLY THINK A PANIC ATTACK WILL HELP MATTERS, HUSBAND?!
Oh! And then there were the tornado warnings through Ohio and Kentucky. Mostly we just faced torrential downpour, but at one point in Kentucky, we noticed that we’d encountered a swirling weather system where the sky above us was relatively clear, but to the north, south, east, and west were blackness and dancing devils. “I’m pretty sure this is how a tornado starts,” he says.
HE SAID I’M PRETTY SURE THIS IS HOW A TORNADO STARTS. HE SAID THAT.
We finished THAT day in Arkansas, collapsing at the hotel around 11pm, where I proceeded to have an EPIC meltdown (okay, FINE: tantrum) because THESE FUCKING HOTEL TROLLIES ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO STEER AND WHAT KIND OF SICK FUCK INVENTED THEM ANYWAY. Then we got off on the wrong floor. Then my husband’s bag fell off for the 16th time (UN! ZIPPERED!) and I cursed his existence. Then we got to our room and I couldn’t get the door open with my key. You can imagine how well I handled this unfolding of events. The only way I can live with myself after this particular moment is to remain convinced that my children were, in fact, not fully awake, but sleep walking. And witnessing a night terror.
Today we arrived in Texas, and if we never EVER drive anywhere EVER again, I think I might be okay with that.
Though, we did find out at the last minute that the air conditioning may be broken. So, as we head into the closing, I think I’ll take the opportunity to be the first ever table-flipper in the field of real estate. So we might be leaving Texas sooner than anticipated.
*I don't think I'm saying it right.