Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fuck. It's September.

So yes, I'm back, and in one piece. Aside from the whole almost dying in a car accident, the trip was incredible. It's amazing how vast and beautiful this country is. In one day we'd drive through corn fields, deserts, plains and mountains. We stopped at strange rest areas with maps of Missouri and Oklahoma and Arizona, backwater hometown boys and girls pawning fake Native American memorabilia among the stench of Dairy Queen hamburgers and dully burning fireworks. We had a picnic at Lake Tahoe and got to talk with a climatologist in Los Alamos, where the Atom Bomb was constructed, about the environment. (His conclusion: it's not looking good. At all.) We met governors (Ed Rendell! David Patterson!) and political pundits and drove fast and far on caffeine pills, huge cups of cheap McDonalds coffee and inexpensive cartons of cigarettes from various midwestern states. The nation peeled open for us and we were excited to inspect every part of it. I learned patience and appreciation. We drove a stick shift in San Francisco and got pulled over by Nebraska state police and saw sheep huddled in a grove attempting to escape the rain in Wyoming. We got altitude sick in Denver and drunk in Iowa City and ran terrified from a methhead in Oklahoma City. It was strange, lovely, a big beautiful blur. Now home, with my dog and a nice big cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, it almost feels like it didn't happen. 15 days, 7,000 miles, a few near-death experiences, but mostly it just brought us closer to life, which sounds corny, but it's true, and I think if Kerouac hadn't killed himself with all those drugs and all that dissatisfaction he'd probably be proud of us, mostly just because we survived.


I have a lot I want to talk about: Sarah Palin (wtf?), my experience at the DNC in Denver, and I have this whole diatribe ready on why I end up dating people I don't really like. I'm readying myself for my departure for Paris on Monday, and I am just a little bit terrified, but terribly excited too.

Josh started school today (I can't believe it's September ughhh) so once he gets settled he'll be back to posting more too. I keep picturing my friends milling around Washington Square, waiting for the Silver elevators, standing in that absurdly long line consisting primarily of freshman at Starbucks on the Square, and I feel really homesick for New York and for the twinge of nervous excitement that takes over on the first day of school. But Paris will be wonderful, and New York will always be there, thankfully, happily.

-Jess

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