While I am tucked into bed or snuggled onto a couch, either passed out or halfway there sending sleepy, typo-laden texts, Megan is whirling around downloading cards (these little bitty block-like things that go inside cameras…which baffles me. How is it that a Lego-like object can help in the creation of a movie? Not to sound old, but in my day we’d be building castles and running horses through imaginary moats out of what is currently holding all the information for Fifty/Fifty. But I digress). Simultaneously, Megan is typically watching a movie, TLC-reality shows or the newest release from her friends’ projects, while also often reading a book, the literature in the hotel room, or any number of nerd-inspired blogs.
Megan remains on repeat. I am sound asleep, and often dreaming about very mundane things such as conversations Meg or I might have about where we can find a vegetable. Occasionally I have wild dreams such as my very first flying dream ever, in which I flopped about in the sky like an octopus out of water.
See above, but include showering on Megan’s end.
Everyone is asleep. Inevitably on a weekend, someone on West Coast time drunk-texts one of us.
I am snoring. Megan is not.
Megan is talking in her sleep. I am not.
First alarm goes off: it is always mine and I always snooze at least once. Megan manages to never wake up when my alarm bleeps (or she’s really good at pretending not to). At some point I do actually chuck my pj’s and pull on unwashed running clothes (we packed light! Very light!) and try to find a long road on which to run. Long roads = not getting lost. Vital when you’re on a schedule.
Meg’s alarm jangles and she snoozes. I’m running, and while a Dan Savage podcast filters through my brain, my thought process mostly goes like this: agree, disagree, highly agree, OOH A PRETTY HOUSE/HORSE/GARAGE SALE, agree, agree, ISN’T THIS TOWN CUTE/HORRIFYING/NOT RUNNER-FRIENDLY, agree, agree, CRAP WHAT STATE ARE WE DRIVING TO?
Coffee for both of us. Shower for me. Reading or internetting for Megan. Pack the car.
When packing the car actually happens, as usually we have a scheduling crisis that crops up, from a date canceling to realizing our next destination is farther away than imagined.
Depart! Cameras are rolling in the car, Megan and I are talking about last night’s date.
Inevitably, we have a conversation akin to this:
Megan: “What’s the date today?”
Alicia: “I have no idea.”
Megan: “Me neither.”
Alicia: “Yesterday was the twentieth.”
long pause …
Megan: “Today is the twenty-first.”
Sometimes this conversation is about our geographic location instead of the date.
Megan starts getting hungry. I do not. More caffeine is imbibed (coffee for me, Diet Coke for Megs). Megan makes phone calls to secure housing/date location, and then problem solves as things go awry.
Hunger paralyzes Megan and we pull off the road in hopes of finding a deli. The closest representation of a deli we have found anywhere (save for small-town Indiana) is often a McDonald’s. I’m not kidding. This is even with the help of Yelp, Google and asking strangers for recommendations.
As we cross each state line, we hop Huckleberry Fit over to the shoulder and illegally park. (Mom, this is completely safe. It says so on the internet.) Megan sets up a film camera. I take stills, Megs films me walking by the sign. If it’s at all feasible, we film me driving the car by the sign, then I pull an illegal u-turn and film myself driving the other way. (Mom, also completely safe as stated on the internet…and by Mary Wong.)
We cross a state line we weren’t expecting to cross, and we both question our sense of geography. This happens less on a daily and more on a weekly basis when it comes to time zones.
I type away on my computer and try really hard not to have writer’s block while Megan takes the wheel and makes up the time we lost on my speed-limit-controlled highway driving habits. I text with my date about plans and pray he doesn’t back out at the last second. I also think good thoughts as I’m not sure if I believe in the power of prayer. Darn agnosticism.
Why hello, city we’ve never been to! If we’re early, we check into the hotel and get ready. If we’re late, we go straight to our date and I get ready in the car. Besides learning how to put makeup on during this trip, I’ve also learned to put makeup on in the car. Currently working on learning to put makeup on while driving. Thus far, this has not gone well.
I’m on a date! Megan has a camera!
Megan texts me what she’s thinking. I’m not responding because I tend to forget to look at my phone while on a date. Megan thinks la-la-la happy thoughts and gets distracted by sparkles. I ask a stranger about his dating experiences and worry if my body language is making the right statement to him.
I’m exclaiming my way through a conversation. Megan is really hoping I’ll wrap it up soon.
Same as above, only Megan gets entertained by a stranger peppering her with questions about her equipment.
Back at the hotel we take over every outlet offered — and usually wind up unplugging at least one lamp and always taking power away from the alarm clock. I start online dating for the next few days. Megan starts scheduling. We bundle up and then call family and friends from the car so as not to disturb each other.
I start imagining I’m going to go to bed but get distracted by more online dating and freaking out that no one will date me or that all I’ll be able to find is the same old, same old and we won’t get a good cross-section of America. Megan talks me down.