« On the Road Again (Again) | Main | There Goes The Neighborhood »

More Romance of the Road

We did manage to get a fairly early start (like 8 am) out of Reno. This was largely accomplished by Tim getting up at the crack of 6:30, leaving me snoozing in the bedroom, coming back in at 7:55 am and announcing, "We're leaving in 5 minutes." Well, he knows I hate it when he wakes me by starting up the engine. Can you blame me? It's directly under our bed.

Since I had 5 minutes to get ready, I can assure you it was not going to be spent getting dressed. It's not like I was going anywhere... sort of.

And, yes, even though Tim likes to frequently inform me that, "Decent people get dressed in the morning," my response is that decent people must be idiots. I just don't see why that is considered "normal," but apparently, it is. Like the time Tim was working on another house and the plumber he hired came to our house by mistake at 1 pm. I answered the door (I think I was in my pink, flannel, poodle PJs) and gave him the correct address, thinking nothing more of it. The plumber fell over himself apologizing when he did show up, saying, “I’m so, so sorry to have bothered your wife, seeing how she was sick and all.” Tim said he wanted to make the poor man feel better by assuring him I was not ill, but that would have been too mortifying for my long-suffering husband. His problem, no?

When we stopped for diesel hours later outside Medford, I sat up front while Tim filled up - still in my nightgown. It’s just a grey flannel Eddie Bauer and I couldn’t understand why several truckers were grinning as they looked through our windshield. Had they really been on the road so long they thought grey flannel was sexy?

“You’re quite a sight,” Tim clarified.

I see.

Since pumping diesel into a 179 gallon tank can take a while, I opened my laptop to see if there was any free WiFi to be had. There was. Obviously, one of the truck stop's neighbors did not appreciate having his WiFi purloined all the time. He named his connection, "I'M WATCHING GAY PORNO." Works for me.

Later, Tim stopped for lunch on a highway turnout. He said it would be warmer outside and he wanted to eat sitting in the forest. My husband, the environmentalist. So, I layered:


Note the grey, flannel nightgown, which I hastily threw pink velour sweat pants under (those pine needles are pointy!), my fuzzy, anti-slip socks (our bus has laminate floors), which I even mnore hastily threw slippers over to go outside. All this spiffily topped off by yet another Eddie Bauer accoutrement - a flannel vest I got at a used clothing store. Look, it's gauche mixing designers.

“I’ve seen homeless better dressed than you.” Tim clarified, again. But, this time, I wasn't asking, was I?

All was not lost in terms of road romance, as we got a glimpse Mt. Shasta:


But, then, we hit the dreaded Hwy 199. I had forgotten how - well, here is what I wrote in QUEEN OF THE ROAD about it:

The hairpin turns up Highway 199 from California almost did me in. On the plus side, the drive substantially enhanced my clinical skills as it made me understand why psychotics engage in what therapists term “self-quieting behavior” (rocking, word repetition, twirling hair, etc.). This psychiatrist’s mantra as we twisted over Highway 199 became the rather unimaginative but still evocative, “Kill me kill me kill me kill me.” The words somehow making their way to my lips before I was even aware they’d formed in my brain.

Minutes went by before I even realized what I was saying. The error was immediately apparent. I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of dying like this. My newest new mantra then became, “Kill me, but not like this . . . kill me, but not like this . . .”

The sign for 199 said, "Crescent City
Ocean Beaches"

I asked Tim, "Why not something really useful like, 'Horribly windey road – better tranquilize wife'" But, as always, he had his own suggestion, "Or, better yet, 'Stuff a Rag In Her Mouth.'"

What a guy.

The two-lane road is so windy, he really could not take his eyes off it. And, even with his careful driving, we were nearly creamed by some idiot who just HAD TO pass us on a tight turn, causing Tim to hit the brakes (remember, this is a 40,000 lb bus, towing a car, people), so none of us would collide with an oncoming car.

Tim is fond of saying I'm concrete as a sidewalk. I don't disagree, especially after what happened next: Due to his now really not wanting to take his eyes off the road, he asked me to look on the dashboard and "press the light bulb."

What do you think I did?


If you guessed, "She's concrete as a sidewalk. She must have pressed the actual bulb on the right, not the light bulb insignia on the left that actually does something," we have a winner!

What do you want from me?

Comments (5)

I do not think that makes you concrete. Tim should have been more specific. I am an abstract thinker in the tradition of Einstein, Homer, and Buddha and I would have pushed the light bulb on the right. (OK, maybe not Buddha.)


Sorry you had to experience the horrible 199 again! Hopefully the coast is worth it!
When I read that you were going thru Medford, I thought woohoo....they are headed toward Washington. Then it was with a heavy heart that I saw that you headed back south again!
Are you doing a promotional tour? or just psyching out the Northwest?
Enjoying reading about your travels as always! Is there a place on your website that tells when and where you are doing royal appearances?

Robin, I had no idea we had so much in common! I use my brain in the tradition of Homer, too. (You do mean Homer, as in "DO'H!", right?)

Kristy - Never fear, if we ever do head for WA, you shall be the first to know (even before my very own mother - how's that? Uh... just kidding, mom.)

My tour was all summer. The closest I got to you was doing a reading/signing/royal schtik (can you say "boa"?) at Powell's in Portland, which isn't actually that close.

If you click the "appearances and events" link on my website which is on the homepage under the sign, you'll see where I'll be. Since summer, it's been mainly radio and I don't have anything upcoming in your area and already did a couple of nationals - sorry! (If you have an "in" with your local NPR, though... )

After we leave Crescent City, we'll be driving south (no more 199 for me!). I'll be blogging about why we're here (for 2-3 months), shortly, but... it has to do with Tim going to prison - sort of. (And you all thought he was a "saint," didn't you?)

Call me concrete too, but I would've done the same thing. Esp under the pressure of kareening down the road the way you were.

Enter email address below to subscribe/unsubscribe to comments on this post without having to post a comment. Your email will NOT BE PUBLISHED. It will be used only to notify you of replies.

Subscribe to Comments
Unsubscribe from Comments


About Me
About My Book
Contact Me

Friend me on Facebook

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 Subscribe in a reader


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 13, 2008 1:01 PM.

The previous post in this blog was On the Road Again (Again).

The next post in this blog is There Goes The Neighborhood.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35