Prompt: Put your story in motion, tell it from the vantage point of the journey, not the destination.
Word Limit: 1500
The Road Trip (733 Words)
I don’t know how I get myself into these messes. I’m stuck in the back of a 2001 Chevy Cavalier with two other people and two guitars. One of these people weighs at least 350 pounds.
I’ve never been claustrophobic, but at this moment I can feel my blood pressure rising and my breathing increasing. I’m not sure if the ‘walls are closing in’ or if the orca next to me is just scooting a little closer.
I didn’t expect to find myself in situations like this when I signed up as the biographer for Ockym’s Razyr. However, the gig does not pay well and I’m low on gas money. So instead of driving myself the 119 miles to Columbus for today’s gig, I opted to hitch a ride with guitarist Hal Levatine. Bassist Matt Vance, Hal’s girlfreind Denise and her friend Sidney are also catching a ride.
Denise and Hal are trying to play matchmaker with me and Sidney. I’m not interested.
Few people realize that the most difficult aspect of being in a band is not writing songs. It is not learning an instrument. It’s not getting along with conceited self-absorbed assholes. It’s getting people to come out to your shows. Most people would much rather sit at home and play Call of Duty than support their friends’ band by buying a ticket and coming to a show. That just takes way too much effort. If you offer these friends a ride they sometime change their minds.
It still takes a lot of arm twisting to get them to buy a ticket.
The other three members of Ockym’s Razyr are ridindg in singer Adam Gillis’ van along with most of the bands equipment and a few more friends. They are all members of the entourage.
I’m trying hard not to vomit. It is raining out so all the windows are up and the deftrost is pushing out hot air. Removing my jacket in these close quarters is not an option. The smell of whiskey from Matt’s Coke bottle isn’t helping my nasea.
Neither is the fact that Sidney keeps looking at me like I’m a Twinkie. I read a news article that says they’ll be back on shelves in a few months. Just wait, sweetie. Just wait.
This car ride would be bearable were it not for the company. It would be bearable if we had a radio or a CD player. Instead Sidney reads road signs as we pass them.
“Adopt a highway litter control.”
“Speed Limit 65.”
“Welcome to Coshocton County.”
“Gas is $3.49 there.”
Most of the conversation is between Denise and Sidney. They babble about typical girl stuff. Which is to say: gossip. They chat about the new Bieber song, old friends that are still using drugs, Kloe and Lamar, who’s dating who, who’s cheating on who and which old friends are still dealing drugs.
While listening to their babble I’m struck with a profound thought. American’s (or perhaps just Ohioans or perhaps all people) like to feel superior to others. This is why the girls are gossiping abut aquaintances and celebrities with such disdain. Why their names must be dragged through the mud. Why they scoff and laugh when I admit my love for Katy Perry.
It’s why people love Jersey Shore, Hoarders and Sumo Wrestling. We all want to feel that we’re smarter, saner or thinner than someone else.
Every overweight person I’ve ever met has said to me at one point or another, “at least I’m not as fat as (insert name of someone who is innappropriately obese).”
“Now entering Muskingum county.”
It’s like nails on a chalkboard. No, it’s like a giant cheese grater rubbing against my back. I’m in pain. I’m in agony.
“It’s $3.46 here.”
“Holy Shit, Booboo!” Vance shouts in his best Yogi bear voice.
When we finally reach Columbus we have to circle the block to find the venue. We don’t have the best directions. I know it’s nobody’s fault but I still want to scream.
I want Sidney to shut up. I want Matt to cap his whiskey. I want Hal to pull over and let me the fuck out.
When we finally park and exit the vehicle I nearly weep with joy that I’ve survived the two-and-a-half hour journey and I’m no longer cramped in that clown car.
Then I remember… there’s still the ride back.