Top 100 Things I’ve Done – #29

Top 100 Things I've Done Add comments

Take a terrific trip at a terrible time.

It was only days before spring break and our relationship was broken. The rollercoaster had finally derailed and our plans to travel together were trashed. The weight was crushing me, so I hopped a standby flight to the west coast, hoping I could escape my misery alone in Hawaii. With bitter disappointment, I found all the flights to Honolulu were overbooked. I was stuck at a hostel in San Francisco. Her voice mails were too much. I phoned home. Somehow she convinced me we meet in Orlando.

The next morning she started her twenty four hour bus ride from Rhode Island and I boarded a flight to Miami. It was the closest I could get. That night she slept on the southbound Greyhound and I found a bench in the parking lot of Miami International. With my arms and legs wrapped through my luggage, I enjoyed the warm intermittent sleep as best I could.

My spontaneity had given me a weightlessness feeling; a sort of a mix between butterflies and freedom. However, Dad saw this as a tragic display of irresponsibility and our communication was therefore severed until my return to reality.

The next morning I took the first flight to Orlando and collected my luggage. My bank account was empty, but my new Visa had a full appetite. I smiled at the car rental agent as he fed my credit card a shiny white convertible. It was a Chrysler Sebring type; the cheapest car made without a roof.

The first stop was Wall-Mart. $22 for their cheapest tent would serve as sufficient and cheap housing. Second, I made my way through a McDonalds drive-thru roofless and bought myself an Egg McMuffin and one of those very neat and clean potato crunch things. A quick call to the half of home that would listen and then I made my way to the bus station. Her Greyhound rolled up with impressive punctuality. Ragged and tired, northern folk filed off the bus into the hot December sun.

Her smile was crooked, as if to express excitement while admitting sorrow. My weightlessness was amplified. Sitting in a car with no roof may have played a roll.

Then we drove.

I don?t remember all the places we went and I don?t remember the order. But I do remember most of the things we did and I remember how I felt; vividly.

We were going places we had never been. We slept under the stars. We showered at truck stops. We saw street acts in Key West. We hung out in South Beach. We kayaked into the sunset.

Our emotions were going places they had never been. We had fallen in love. It was falling apart. We were jealous. We were passionate. We were excited. We were depressed. We were sure. We were unsure.

The weightlessness, the places we went, the things we did, the emotions we felt, made the entire trip surreal. It was only Florida and our story was pretty normal, but it didn?t feel so. It was a terrible time for a trip, but maybe that?s what made it so terrific.

One Thought on “Top 100 Things I’ve Done – #29”

  1. Suzy Says:

    If you turned this story into a cheesy love novel, with Fabio on the cover… all the girls in my office would read it at lunch time.

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