Friday, December 9, 2011

Mad Dash Across the Country

Probably around the beginning of summer I began thinking of what we should do at the end. Our lease expired mid-August and as that time quickly approached I debated and dithered. On August 1st, Layne and I made a snap decision to move to Washington, D.C.

I always knew we'd end up here because it's where Layne grew up and wanted to be. Also because - hello. We are just East Coast people. I was excited to try something new after living in almost every western state and never exactly finding home. I knew I wasn't going to settle anywhere in the middle, which meant I was ready to try the East. He was excited to go home again.

We had just under two weeks to pack up our lives and decide what to do before our lease was up. This was spent taking finals, packing, and using every spare moment to apply for internships and jobs. We took a day and threw everything into a trailer and my parent's van. We unpacked it in the in-laws garage and finished our day around 1 am. The next morning, we took off  for a pre-planned family vacation with no idea what we were going to do with our lives upon our return. The tipping point would be for me to land an internship. Once I got offered a position, we would go.

A week or so later, I secured an internship and immediately accepted. It was a Friday, and the next Thursday we loaded a 16 ft moving van, strapped our car to the back, and drove the 36 hours straight through the country.

A drive that long is mainly monotonous, and there are few things to say about it. I did confirm my lifelong that all of middle America pretty much sucks. I'm sorry if any of it is near and dear to your heart, but I found it mainly boring and indistinguishable. Especially Nebraska. It just never ended and every time we filled up for gas there were hundreds of black crickets jumping around! The most exciting thing to happen was when a car burst into flames in front of us just outside of Chicago.

I can't complain about the length of the drive; Layne drove all but 4 hours.  It was around 3 a.m., about three hours from our destination, at a gas station in some small backwards town in the mountains of West Virginia that Layne very nearly hit his near-breaking point. It took a good half hour to coax him back into the truck and the rest of the drive was filled with a quiet relief that we knew we could make it, we were almost there. We were so exhausted by the end that when we pulled up in front of Layne's friend Jace's house, we tripped out of the van and instantly fell asleep on pool chairs in the backyard. Jace's wife Cori came to wake us sometime later, and though she called her whole way across the yard I didn't realize someone was there til she was standing at the foot of my chair. Layne took a fair bit of shaking to raise. I can remember that bone-aching tiredness now and I just want to pass out thinking about it. In fact, zzzzzzzzz....

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