After “enjoying” a Pickleback shot (me) – that’s Jameson followed by picklejuice, and no, I’m not kidding – and something delicious with Kailua (Megan), we enjoyed another few hours at Neil Strauss’ home, mingling with a plethora of other guests. There was the young PUA’s mom who was visiting from Australia, the pornstar who had us in stitches, and some remarkably good looking people ethereally floating by. I only hid in the bathroom once to catch my breath after a bizarre interaction with a PUA, who snarked a comment at me that could have been said right back to him, and Megan did a remarkable job gracefully swinging by me and acting like she was telling me a secret when really she was telling me my face was showing….and it was showing that I felt intimidated and skeptical. Cue the “You belong at the table,” motto.
Sometime after 10:00pm, we bid adieu to the group and piled into the car. After a brief backing up situation in Jazz, Megan’s Honda Fit,* we got on the twisty backroad canyon highway that promise to take us to I-5. Our conversation of recounting the day’s events lasted until we hit a gas station, when my over-thinking brain too control of my thought process: you’re six hours from home, and it’s late my brain said. Drink a 32 ounce Diet Coke with no ice. NOW. I tried to fight back, saying I certainly didn’t need that sort of thing, when my brain barked, Caffeine! I was helpless.
Megan curled up and went to sleep. She looked incredibly sweet in her dress and leggings, tucked into a ball in the passenger seat. I powered up a podcast and stared into absolute darkness, only disrupted by my own headlights and the lights of those driving the opposite direction.
There was nothing for miles. A reasonably flat road, nighttime, more darkness, more nighttime. I tried not to stare into space (literally) to watch for shooting stars, instead keeping my eyes on the road and looking for raccoons or possums, sipping the sodapop I’d bought as slowly as I could muster.
Hours crawled by, until eventually the highway felt like a lullaby trying to sing me into submission and the only thing keeping me awake was the knowledge that if I dared fall asleep, I would in fact probably lose control of whichever organ currently had a hold on the Diet Coke. I stared at road signs, trying to decide if I could coax myself into driving another 20 miles to the next services stop, another 30 miles to the next one. I knew pulling over would result in two things: first, Megan waking up and second, me begging her to drive. We were both tired, we’d both had long days, and she had to be at work at 8am whereas I could sleep in.
Eventually, 70 minutes outside of home, I succumbed to the pressures of my bladder and thanked the stars, shooting or not, for a services station I’m not sure I’d ever seen before. Megan did indeed rouse from sleep, and I did indeed as her to drive, once I’d relieved myself from one of the most intense holdings of my life. She agreed, and minutes later I was completely passed out, blissfully not focusing on anything but whatever dreamland had in store and thankful Megs had a little bit of awake left in her.
*Yes, Megs and I both have Honda Fits. Yes, we’ve both had them since pre 50/50. Biggest difference is Huckleberry is standard shift and Jazz is automatic.