“Cause you know how to give me that, you know how to pull me back when I go runnin, runnin tryin’ to get away from loving ya. You know how to love me hard. I won’t lie, I’m falling hard. Yep, I’m falling for ya but there’s nothin wrong with that.”
“I am thankful for Penis” were the words I uttered right before I proceeded to spit on the table the shell of the almond I had just cracked with my teeth. That should give you a preview of the shenanigans that ensued after the exhausting 13 hour overnight drive to Chicago, but I’m getting ahead of myself, first things first.
Wednesday I got up with ‘Nickle’ earlier than usual because we had a very busy and very long day ahead of us. I ate breakfast, showered, made my duffle bag, packed my pooch in his carrier, and called a cab to take me to the west side to drop him off at a pet hotel on Spring and Greenwhich. I then asked the cabbie to wait for me so he could drop me off at work instead of lugging my luggage all the way across town. Half way down the road, I realized I had forgotten my pup’s food.
I didn’t stay too long at work, I had errands to run at British Airways so I left earlyish. I was also in charge of getting to Jersey City before 4pm to pick up the rental car we reserved for the road trip. I got to the Budget offices at around 3pm and dealt with New Jersey incompetence at it’s finest. After about 45 minutes, I had the car and I started my drive back across the Holland tunnel and into the city. I tackled the horrendous commuter clusterfuck that was downtown Manhattan and some how managed to get back to the gallery a couple of hours after I said I’d be back. I googled places to buy the apparently very specific kibble my picky canine eats as I waited for ‘The Wife’ to come meet me since she had asked us for a drive to Ohio. The task proved to be harder than expected and, after a few frustrating phone calls, I finally located the food at a pet store near where ‘Nickle’ works.
We picked up the car from the garage and drove south in the slightly less trafficy sea of cabs and cars. I purchased the food, picked up ‘Nickle’ and ‘Judy’, redeemed my canine mistake, and finally started driving west to our Thanksgiving extravaganza.
Although the drive there and back is probably one of the most significant parts of the trip, it was also one of the most exhausting. Thus, it is kind of hard to describe it because it all just seems to melt into one blurry lapse of no sleep, stress, lots of junk food, shitting in gross toilets, and uncomfortable seating positions.
The first trek was from New York to Jersey to somewhere in the middle of Pensilvania where, after 4 hours of stopping a few times at gas stations and rest stops, ‘Judy’ paid her dues and I took over the wheel. I drove for the next five. A couple of hours into my turn, I dropped off ‘The Wife’ at a bus stop in Cleveland, refilled the gas tank, and drove another for a bit more as ‘Nickle’ performed some illegal acts on me to try and keep me awake and focused. I stopped him somewhere on the Ohio portion of I-90 right as a cop car was shinning its headlights on us. Thankfully there were no arrests.
My boyfriend became the driver right before the sun was about to come out. He drove us through the rest of Ohio and into Indiana where we stopped in Gary for some much needed coffee and breakfast food. By this point, we were all very delirious. ‘Judy’, who’d been sleeping the whole time we were driving, valiantly offered to play chauffeur the rest of the way. She drove us into Chicago as ‘Nickle’ napped in the back, and I continued plucking my nose hairs to stay up and keep her company.
Upon arriving to our destination, I was a bit terrified that our hosts, ‘Seek’ and his family, who had most likely gotten more sleep than us, were going to be ready to start partying because they were excited to see us. For a second, ‘Nickle’ joked about having shots ready for the moment we stepped in, I told him I needed to sleep. Thankfully, everyone was still tired because, even though they had slept more than us, they hadn’t slept enough due to the obvious celebratory air we were all breathing.
After kissing and hugging everyone, I strategically positioned myself on the couch and held my baby’s head next to my chest to lull him to sleep. My plan worked and we napped for a couple of hours.
We woke up in time to freshen up, tag the shower floor with our genetic signature, and go on a booze run. I still needed more sleep, but I figured I’d just start drinking and forget about banal human needs. Indeed the shots and the beers came. Within an hour I had a comfortable buzz. ‘Sarah’, ‘Seek’s’ business partner, was hosting dinner at her place. As instructed, we left for her apartment at around 5pm only to realize that food wouldn’t be ready for another couple of hours. Instead of waiting for solids, we continued drinking our calories at our host’s, and later at a bar around the corner.
After a few more shots, beer, wine, and whatever else we could find, we made it back to dinner just in time for me to be thankful for Penis, and my man to slur how grateful he is to have me in his life. The rest gets blurry.
Some time between the turkey (or tofurkey in my case) and dessert, I tried to help fluff some whip cream only to spill it all over the kitchen floor. I took this as my cue to call it a night and, after talking to ‘Nickle’ about it, we decided to head back to our Chicago home. We didn’t even leave the couch when ‘Judy’ cleverly suggested we take a nap in the coat closet, and wake up a couple of hours later in time for us to join the rest of the crew who were planning on returning to the bar we previously visited. At 2:30 pm, I rose from my slumber in a freak out because I was did not instantly recognize where exactly I was. I got up and went to the shower where I ran into ‘Sarah’ who informed me that everyone had been gone for a few hours already.
Ironically, we fooled around in the closet, had a slice of chocolate pumpkin pie, and passed out again for another much needed few hours.
Friday morning, after a long 12 hour nap, we woke up refreshed and ready for what ever mayhem would ensue. We ate more pie and chit chatted a bit till ‘Judy’ picked us up to go to ‘Hunt’s’ apartment to shower before partaking in some post-Thanksgiving brunch. Another session of stroking each other’s genitals under the shower head, and we were out in the car on our way to a restaurant on West Chicago Avenue who’s name escapes me now. We ate a hearty Midwest meal which we downed with beers and bloody marys, and then we made a quick pit stop at ‘Hunt’s’ vintage store a couple of blocks away before heading North West to the second leg of our holiday road trip: Milwaukee.
Since the reason for us going to Brew City was to visit ‘Judy’s’ family, she offered to drive. The hour and a half trip was nothing compared to the gargantuan overnight cruise we’d taken 36 hours earlier, but I still wasn’t feeling like driving, and I wanted to write on the blog so I didn’t complain. We made a couple mandatory pit stops at gas stations to get more gum, snacks, and junk food, before finally arriving to her parents’ house just in time for dinner.
My favorite part of this part of the trip was the contrast between the more “friend vibe” we had experienced the night before, and the more “family aura” we felt at that time. It was just the break I needed since I am beginning to realize that my anxiety gets worse when I overwork myself.
We devoured some lasagna (or fish, in my case, since I don’t eat warm blooded animals), salad, and whiskey, and then we decided to check if the city lived up to its nickname by going to a few dive bars near the river, but not before trying the staple frozen custard dessert at one of the three different Kopp’s in Milwaukee. Normally this is not something I would crave and, although I didn’t finish it, I do have to admit that the treat was pretty tasty.
The bars in Beertown were just what I would’ve expected. They had a more collegey vibe than our usual watering holes in New York. In true chameleon form, I adapted and partook in a game of darts which, as much as I can adapt it does not mean I’m competent, I lost. We left downtown to head to a party that I don’t remember because I was already wasted. We didn’t stay long either. We ended up back at ‘Judy’s’ in her hot tub for a full 15 minutes before crashing on a futon in the basement.
Saturday morning we left more of our life juice at ‘Judy’s’ parents’ before coming up for some breakfast with the whole family. Our friend ran some errands with her mom, but we stayed behind to take a shower. Instead, we just ended up kissing and taking a quick nap. She came back to pick us up and we went to explore the city during the day. Despite having eaten food a few hours earlier, ‘Nickle’ demanded a hot dog and we obliged. To my utmost surprise, the Midwest establishment was so good I can almost say it was better than our very own Criff Dogs and, yes, they even featured veggie sausages.
We finished our second meal and walked around the local thrift stores as we digested our gluttonous transgression. I am not necessarily the biggest fan of thrifting but, again, this man is making me evolve, I enjoyed it and even purchased a couple of things. We headed back to ‘Judy’s’ to pack our bags and start our drive back to the Windy City.
Before getting back on the freeway, we stopped at Kopp’s yet again to have a fish sandwich and more frozen custard. Yes, that is also something that’s different about me: I now eat like a swine. This time around, we tamed our overstuffed stomachs by walking around the atrium of the Santiago Calatrava designed Milwaukee Art Museum.
After taking the mandatory pictures, ‘Nickle’ finally drove us back to Chicago.
We got back to the city in time for another shower and dinner. My one request during this trip was for some classic Chicago deep dish slices. I was still terribly stuffed from the three meals I’d already consumed but somehow I managed to fit in a slice and some beer. The night, as expected, was going to be a long one and I wanted to make sure I had something to soak up the copious amounts of whiskey and fermented hops I was sure to consume.
The party continued at a bar somewhere in the Ukranian Village called the Innertown Pub. For some reason (I think it was exhaustion) I was a bit antsy, but I decided to just relax, and have a good time with my boy’s friends. The night was really fun. ‘Sarah’ had asked ‘Nickle’ for his cell phone and was looking at our history through text messages which was cute, both ‘Seek’ and his sister, ‘Mrs. O’, kept telling me how happy they were that he was happy with me and, somehow, everything just felt alright with the universe. The anxiety went away.
We finished the night back at the bar where we’d been on Thanksgiving night. More shots, more beers, and at around 3:30 am I passed out.
On our last day in the Midwest, I woke up next to ‘Nickle’ and laid in bed for a bit as we talked about the previous night. He mentioned how he had to pee sometime in the early morning and got up to do so only to see ‘Seek’ still up and drinking. He smoked a hit with him, took a shot, and then went back to bed with me. This was important because part of my worry about the trip was our quitting smoking and if we were going to be able to stay strong amidst all the temptation, and also because he’s usually the one who needs me to help him with the cravings when we’re drunk. He told me this with the biggest smile of accomplishment mentioning how he was happy he did it alone. I was happy for him as well.
We got off bed, took showers, went to ‘Seek’s’ store, then to brunch next door, and then back to the shop to thrift some more. The farewell was a bit emotional, but not as emotional as it’s been in previous instances.
This time, I volunteered to drive us out of Chicago and towards Indianapolis, our next and almost last stop of the trip. There was a steady amount of annoying traffic the whole way and, while we were expecting to make it there by 7 pm at the latest, we didn’t get to my sister-in-law’s till well past that.
To be honest, this was what I was looking forward to the most about the whole experience. I wanted to see ‘Nickle’ with his family and it meant something to me that he so adamantly wanted me to meet her. We wanted to spend the night but, because of issues with returning the rental car, all we could afford to do is go to the neighborhood Applebee’s and have a quick dinner before starting yet another monstrous overnight 13 hour drive.
I offered again to drive for the first part. ‘Judy’ slept in the back and I took us 4 hours into Columbus where we were going to pick up ‘The Wife’. The anxiety had been present for most of that and I felt like I needed the rest so I asked ‘Judy’, who’d been sleeping the whole time, to take charge as I laid in the backseat on my lover. This time, we slept a bit more.
After four hours, she asked for a relay and ‘Nickle’ obliged. He put a very valiant two and a half hour effort before I made him switch with me again because he seemed like he was going to pass out and kill us all. We exchanged places at a rest stop and I asked him to just keep me company because I was also feeling drained.
Towards the last hour of our last pit stop, we hit a bit of traffic. By this point everyone in the car was awake and we were all deliriously trying to keep me awake. Somehow, someway, we made it to Philadelphia where ‘Nickle’ and I made the executive decision of taking a nap at ‘The Wife’s’ apartment before attempting to finish the drive and potentially die in the process.
The couple of hours of eyes shut were just what we needed and, although my anxiety was at full speed, I felt significantly better. We decided to go to brunch before finally getting back to the city so we drove to Honey’s somewhere on 3rd street. The food was surprisingly delicious. Philly tends to have a fame for having subpar restaurants. We stopped by a plant store, the girls purchased some leafy decorations, and we dropped off ‘The Wife’ back at her place on the way out.
‘Judy’ drove the rest of the way as I laid in the back seat freaking out here and there, and secretly wishing that ‘Nickle’ would just touch me to remind me I’m still here. My mind reader appropriately did so a few times.
The first borough we stepped foot in was Staten Island, we drove by it and over the Verrazano bridge and into Brooklyn. We dropped ‘Judy’ off at her place, dropped off our stuff at mine’s, and picked up ‘Toto’ back in Manhattan before finally leaving the state again to go to New Jersey to return the rental. It felt great to be back in the city four a couple of hours.
Finally, the true end of our trip begun with taking the PATH train back to 14th street to then take the L to Brooklyn. We stopped for some groceries, and then headed to my apartment to make some dinner. We got side tracked by some much needed de-stressing sexy time. We took a shower to wash away our sin, enjoyed a home cooked meal, talked about the trip, and repeated our transgressions by having a second round of blow jobs. After climaxing we instantly passed out on the couch.
I woke up a few hours later to ask my babe to come join me in our actual bed.
The Midwest was not what I expected. It was less crazy that I thought, yet my anxiety was significantly worse than what I had hoped it would be. The drive went smoother than I had foreseen, yet I was more exhausted than I had imagined. And just when I thought the worst in terms of anxiety was over… the rest of my week was about to start.
“And Yes I’m kinda crazy, that’s what happens baby, when you put it down you should’ve give it to me. Good like that, should’ve hit it like that, had me yellin’ like that. Didn’t know you would’ve had me coming back.”