A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || September 5, 2002 || 9:06 pm

Vignette: I-65 Wandering

No sleep the night before departure; well, not really, anyway. Two-and-a-half hours? Things flow smoothly in the hour I’ve allotted for activity prior to pulling out of the drive: Preheat the oven while showering, pop in the biscuits and chicken while I load the car, greet each of the children as they meet me –mussed and with a mask of sleep– in the dining room where I sort luggage and parcels.

Mathias, the last to rise, rubs his belly and queries sweetly, “Canwee goto dabeeeech?” So many words become compound when you are three….

Later, munching on chicken biscuits in the car, finds me tired and I fish my pillow from between the boys. It is symbolic of things I like; it is ivory, made of down and is draped in the scent of a freshly-washed head adrift in sleep.

I am always too cold (low blood pressure) and Maxim is too hot (runaway metabolism), so invariably I end up freezing. Between the cold and my head escaping the pillow (which is awkwardly-placed at best) and Sam saying things in repetitive fashion to Mathias (“My GOD, does he really repeat himself like that and I’ve not noticed??”) sleep came in fits and starts over the span of an hour and fifty minutes. When we pulled into the service station I found myself remarkably well-rested in spite of it all.

Apparently we pulled off of the interstate because Nana had to pee….which Scout tried to make us aware of by crafting a “P” with her fingers (I’ve not taught them to sign yet; mental note to self: get on that) at us through the glass of Nana’s rear window, but we were far to thick to get it. We know now and that’s what counts.

This is one of those great gas stations, the kind that makes me rue the fact that I left the digital camera resting on my dresser. What’s done is done….I will simply have to rely on my minds’ eye to recall the 21″ lucite angels with the skirts looking like rushing waves and painted red lips –no red like that in nature– sloppily splashed on. There are three of them; they are perched by the register wearing loud orange grocery store-type price stickers and are waiting to bless some fifth-wheel or a ‘manufactured home’ in the midst of a shabby trailer park somewhere.

Three of them, because my life runs in threes and sevens. Always threes and sevens, but never intentionally.

I shoot the bolt to the bathroom door and immediately feel a pang of regret that I didn’t bring my wallet from the car and I lack change in my pockets: There are vending machines on the wall. Those kind of vending machines. I see Pandora’s Box (“…stuffed with 6 special treasures!”) and Rough Riders (“For those who like it HARD”) and your basic fluorescent condoms advertised. I always buy from these machines when I run across them and then hide the ‘prizes’ (because these wall machines are designed to be perversely evocative of the ‘prize’ machines we slammed our nickels and dimes into as children) somewhere that Maxim will find them and get a hearty laugh.

I got the coolest, campiest little 2″ x 1″ book of sexual positions this way; we were on a road trip to Kentucky, heading to play with some old band mates who were touring at the time. The little line drawings were crudely-yet-explicitly-and-clearly etched across 46 teeny pages and I drew great delight from passing it around backstage….

Someday I am going to make up a collage from the Bathroom Vending Machine Collection. Maybe I’ll auction it off on eBay.

After draping the seat with no less than eight layers of all-too-motherfucking-quick-to-tear-off-the-motherfucking-roll-”ahhh, FUCK!” toilet paper, I squat to make water. I eye the chrome scale (“Your weight and your lucky numbers! 25 cents!”), taking stock –with a measure of disgust– of the greasy-looking necklaces of smudgy fingerprints encircling the length of the thing.

My eyes drop to the scale itself and I note with delight that it is covered with a pattern of pretty, pastel, one-inch-square ceramic tiles. They, at least, appear to be clean. I think to myself, “The person who set these tiles did a great job.” and I wonder how much per hour they are paid for their work. My mind runs this way.

Hand washing. Thorough. Still doesn’t feel quite clean enough. Public restrooms always leave me with the ickies like this.

I need water, Sam needs a raspberry-filled Krispy Kreme and I linger a moment or three over the cold beer I find when I turn around. The beer is shoved into finely-chipped ice (the kind you encounter at fish markets) nearly to the rim, lined up like little aluminum soldiers (do lots of can-beer drinkers develop Alzheimer’s? Someone needs a grant to study that.), the sheen of condensation in fine little drops coating them. Oh….so….cold. The promise that, no matter the skunk, this beer here will go down smooth and lovingly after dancing on your palate. If cold enough, any beer can masquerade successfully as ’suitable’. Like a whore at a dinner party: You can dress her up fancy, just don’t let her talk for too long at a whack and you’re okay.

So my brain is flirting with the thought of a coldbeer (“Haven’t had one at nine ay emm in a long damned time….”) but common sense vetoes as there are wee ones in the car and I’ve never had anything other than a glass of wine in their presence. Besides, there are no sausages. What’s the good of iced-over beer when there’s no steaming sausages to tango flirtatiously with the malt yumminess?

Sam holds the door like a precious ten-year-old gentleman and Maxim is leaning against the car sexy and squinting in the sun when we emerge.

“Hey! Guess what?” he greets me. As he opens my car door, he pecks me on the cheek.

“Mathias is forty-two pounds of skinny three-year-old and our lucky numbers are three, seven and one.”

6 worked it out »

  1. clayton 9.6.2002

    welcome back

  2. Jett 9.6.2002

    Missed you too, cowboy.

  3. Jett 9.6.2002

    And you win a boobie shot for being the first soul to COMMENT since my return.


    \ . /

    ( v )

  4. Jett 9.6.2002

    DAMNIT, Jim! It messed up!!!

    Where’d the other ‘ \ ‘ go????

  5. Jett 9.6.2002

    ohhh….i geddit.

    *snort* The techno’tard strikes again!

  6. clayton 9.8.2002

    hubba hubba


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