From Zion To Cryin’
On Thursday, November 28, 2013, I rose at a very stupid time and drove from Los Angeles to Zion National Park, which took me six and a half blissfully easy hours. After several days spent frolicking amongst the various displays of ridiculously outsized natural beauty, the drive home on Sunday, December 1, 2013, took twelve long, mind-numbing, depression-inducing hours.
After months of soul-searching, I am finally ready to tell the story of that horrid day.
10:00a – Reflect on the beauty of Utah.
10:30a – Think about Mormons.
10:45a – Eat one quarter of a bag of Trader Joe’s Baked Cheese Crunchies.
11:00a – Reflect on the beauty of the Virgin River Gorge. Tell myself that it’s…GORGEous. [Giggle]
11:15a – Think some more about Mormons.
11:30a – Marvel at 75mph speed limits! LIFE IS GRAND!!!
12:00p – Vegas.
12:30p – Ten feet from Vegas.
12:40p – Mood darkens. Listen to “Black Skinhead” by Kanye West.
1:00p – Twenty feet from Vegas.
1:15p – Think about Ewan McGregor.
1:30p – Eat one quarter of a bag of Trader Joe’s Baked Cheese Crunchies.
1:50p – Fifty feet from Vegas.
2:00p – Consider driving the fifty feet back to Vegas and making a home there.
2:30p – Crawl off the exit in Primm, Nevada because I need gas and because I’m very close to opening the sunroof, standing on my seat, and screaming expletives at no one in particular.
2:35p – Instantly regret my decision as the parking lot of Whiskey Pete’s Shitshow Casino And Gas Station (I believe that’s the official name) is the 7th, 8th, and 9th Circles of Hell combined.
2:42p – Attempt to exit the parking lot and realize the futility of said attempt due to the other seven hundred cars and semis making the same attempt via one poorly constructed exit lane.
2:44p – Begin a set of desperate texts to my friend Jay, who was supposed to accompany me on this trip.
2:50p – Consider a detour through Mojave National Preserve.
2:57p – Consider the possibility of getting lost if I take a detour through Mojave National Preserve.
2:59p – Consider getting lost in Mojave National Preserve a far better fate than living out the rest of my life on this desolate stretch of freeway.
3:10p – Still in the parking lot.
3:18p – Text to Jay: “Maybe I should just give up and stay in this parking lot for the rest of my life.”
3:19p – Text from Jay: “I bet you’d make a great blackjack dealer!”
3:20p – Think to self: WHY IS THERE ONLY ONE EXIT LANE FROM THIS GODFORSAKEN HELLPIT OF DESPAIR-RIDDEN AWFULNESS?!
3:21p – Deep, calming breaths.
3:30p – Text from Jay: “It will get better!”
3:31p – Text to Jay: “I don’t think it will.”
3:45p – Text to Jay: “My desire to punch someone has never been stronger.”
3:46p – Text from Jay: “You should get out and ghostride your whip!”
3:47p – Briefly scowl at Jay, even though he is many, many miles away and is only trying to do the right thing with his suggestion of “ghostriding” my “whip.”
4:00p – Finally released from the hellscape of Primm! I do not see any brake lights! I am finally leaving Nevada! LIFE IS GRAND!!!
4:30p – Think about Peter Sarsgaard.
5:00p – Arrive at Baker, where there are so many brake lights.
5:15p – Eat a tuna sandwich that I made seven hours ago; stomach responds with a melodic grumble.
5:35p – Wonder if I have deep vein thrombosis in my right leg.
5:47p – Mutter long string of expletives.
6:00p – Five miles from Baker. Whisper to myself in a register only barely, barely audible, “Have you ever entertained vaguely homicidal thoughts while stuck in really terrible traffic? Asking for a friend.”
6:15p – Text to Jay: “I’ve been driving for over eight hours with no end in sight.”
6:16p– Text from Jay: “The freeway has to end sooner or later!”
6:30p – Consider pulling over, setting up my tent, drinking the half bottle of red wine squirreled away in my trunk, and settling in for the night – or for the rest of my life.
6:42p – Marvel at a man peeing right on the side of the road. My, what a graceful arc of urine!
7:10 – Listen to “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
7:15p – Listen to “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
7:20p - Listen to “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
7:25p – Listen to “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
7:30p – Text to Jay: “I don’t think Maxine (my car) wants to talk to me. We drive in silence.”
7:45p –Listen to “If I Had A Million Dollars” by Barenaked Ladies. Sing out loud and off-key, “If I had a million dollars, I would build a freeway in the sky that went directly from Los Angeles to Zion National Park, so I never have to see Nevada again!” [Cackle]
8:49p – Text to Jay: “I am a shell of a woman, drooling on myself in line at the In-N-Out…I have eaten half a bag of fake Cheetos & a tuna sandwich. I’m incoherent and my entire body hurts.”
8:53p – Text from Jay: “I feel as though you might give ‘animal style’ a new meaning at In-N-Out.”
8:54p – Text to Jay: “I’m feral.”
8:55p – Text from Jay: “Well then, you should definitely ‘animal style’ your fries, too.”
8:56p – Text to Jay: “I’m gonna ‘animal style’ someone’s face if I don’t get food soon.”
9:57p – Twelve hours and a high percentage of my sanity later, I am home, freed from the oppressive bondage of the I-15.
10p – Fall asleep in my clothes.
Epilogue – Find a french fry in bed the next morning. Whimper quietly during rush hour commute.