A Retraction

We’ve been dodging rain this whole trip, driving through sporadic showers in Tennessee, under ominous clouds in Arkansas, until just after noon today. Somewhere between OKC and Texas, the sky cleared, all blue. And it was somewhere between OKC and Texas, after my brother fell asleep for his after-lunch nap, that I let myself feel exactly how large a task I’d taken on with this expedition. The thing about driving across the country is that distance is concrete. Sure, you could take a short cut, avoid traffic, but the distance from one city to another is the same. Today it was in the miles between OKC and Texas that I finally acknowledged that I had done an incredible feat, a year before, when I drove from Arizona to North Carolina in two days , alone with a cat.

I know I said this wasn’t  a love story, but I think I lied. Honestly, I’ve never thought of my relationship with my boyfriend as an epic like that of Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars.  And while I don’t think it’s necessary to talk about romantic love every day, as I was crossing those flat plains and long stretches of nothing but road, I could feel my excitement growing to see the man I love, and I wanted to tell every person I came across.  Wasn’t he the reason I was dragging my belongings and my brother across the country? Wasn’t he the reason I’d been counting down the days at the end of what should’ve been a successful professional year? Being braver I should’ve woken my brother up and told him — “This is apropos of nothing, but I love TJ. That’s all. Go back to sleep.”

 

Day 2

Departed Maumelle, Arkansas at 7am Central

Arrived in Albuquerque, New Mexico at 6:30pm Mountain

Miles: 876

Stops: 4

Current Mood: I’ve never wanted a hug from one human being so much in my whole life

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