I looked everywhere.
I looked in the suitcase, in the duffle bag that I used to transport exercise clothes, and of course I looked to see if they were hanging on the travel rack in Rosie’s back seat with all the rest of my clothes, where they should have ended up.
I was distraught.
I only have two pairs of jeans. (I’m a khaki kind of guy and have been since medical school)
One is a pair of Levis 501 button fly jeans that are okay. The other is a pair of Wranglers that are comfortable, fit me better and feel better to me for some reason. I was looking forward to wearing them both on the road and in the car while traveling.
The Wranglers were gone. Vanished. AWOL. I couldn’t find them anywhere, and I was so disappointed and angry with myself since I thought I had lost them somehow during the packing and leaving for the trip. I could not for the life of me figure out what had happened, but Levis it was for the duration of the trip and nobody died.
Fast forward three weeks to today, Day 24. I arrive home, haul everything up the stairs to my apartment, start to dump things on the bed and anticipate the (at least) six or seven huge loads of laundry I was about to tackle.
I turn around to put my hiking boots in the closet.
They’re there, forlorn and forgotten, on the floor under the blue seersuckers and the suits and the full length wool winter coat, all of whom had to stay behind and pull guard duty as the rest of us traveled the US. I guessed they had slipped off the hanger as I picked up armloads of clothes for the trip.
They were down, but not out.
I smiled. At least I hadn’t lost them.
Now, direct your attention to my desk, whereupon sits a huge pile of three weeks’ worth of mail placed nicely in a USPS box for me.
About halfway down in the geological survey that is this afternoon’s mail opening exercise, I come upon an envelope from Seattle. Not from my friend Elizabeth, who has been busy doing her own traveling in North Carolina this week. Not from anyone else that I know, at first glance. Official looking, this envelope. I figured it was not a thank you note for shopping at the Pike Place Market and buying Dungeness crabs (though they should have sent me a thank you note, as expensive as those suckers are!)
I opened it and soon realized that I had been spotted by THE MAN in Seattle and had supposedly been doing (GASP) 29 mph in a 20 mph school zone. I have no memory of this, of course, but here are two pictures of Rosie happily cruising (not at 92 mph, like in Montana, but at a child-killing, pavement scorching 29 mph in Seattle), plus a picture of my license plate.
Welcome to sunny Seattle. We’re so glad you’re here. You didn’t buy enough crabs, you jerk.
Well, nobody died, right? I’m home, the trip was grand, and I will just consider this overhead. I really, really, really thought I had traveled 6987 miles with no tickets of any kind and was feeling pretty damn smug about it.
The moral to this sad, sordid, fishy tale, my dear readers?
If you ever find yourself in a new city, life starts to go a little fast, and you get caught with your jeans down, you are just screwed.
Don’t come crying to me. Been there, done that, paid the ticket.
Good evening, my friends, from the sunny state of South Carolina, where the women are lovely, the jeans are blue, and so are the crabs we catch with our own hands, some chicken necks and a string on the coast.
It’s been real, and I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did.