I have a love/hate relationship with many things. Road trips are one of them.
I love road trips in the nostalgic, seeing America sort of way. Turning up the radio and passing weird things you never knew existed? Pretty fantastic. However, there is nothing fantastic about being in a confined space for hours with noisy people. I believe I was meant to be an artist with a large private tour bus and paid driver.
That, of course, would require singing talent. Or at least autotune. As I am a nineteen-year-old on my way to a hospital rehab facility, the tour bus was not made available to me. Something about “lack of funds.” I was instead offered a Toyota Camry with the accompaniment of my mother and brother.
I love my family. Truly, I do. With the exception of my father, they’re all very outgoing and wildly entertaining. This is great for when you need a good laugh. It is slightly less welcomed when you are in a car that seats five-max.
Now, given the societal impression that women are louder than men, I’m sure you’re thinking it’s my mother who’s voice is still ringing in my ears. You would be wrong. My brother’s voice packs the punch of a sorority alumni meeting. It also reaches the same pitch. It’s quite astounding actually.
Within the first few hours, the sound war had already begun.
“MITCHELL! SHUT UP!”
“I SWEAR, I’M GOING TO (insert something horrendously violent and out-of-character)!”
“Seriously, just kill me now.”
What can I say? Annoy me and the words that come out of my mouth either double or halve my age.
As of now, I have a constant headache. When doctors ask how many headaches I have a week, the answer is one. I have had the same headache for over three years now. At this point, I should name it. Something bitchy.
This may come as a shock, but loud noises make headaches worse. Very loud noises make me feel like I’m dying. The level of noise that my brother sends into the world makes me homicidal. If you see me in the news for somewhat murderous charges, you will know why.
This particular road trip was divided into three days of driving. My mother and I did it in two last September, but it was just too much. We waited until school ended for the little one and headed to our first stop in Colorado Springs.
Did I mention it was my brother’s sixteenth birthday? I suppose he’s not so little anymore, but it pisses him off when I call him anything referencing him being young. So I will continue to do it. One of my personal favorites is “Baby Mitch,” which I called him when we were younger. I usually drag that one out of hiding when he’s complaining about something stupid. Sisterly love.
We tried to make his birthday as special as possible. Obviously, this was not his first choice of activities. But, it’s just the way things worked out. He picked out the movies to watch in the car (Finding Nemo and The Breakfast Club), and chose what fast food was picked up on the way. Reservations were made at a nice hotel for the night. Standards were far beyond our norm for rest stops. We normally drive as much as we can, then look up a decent place in the AAA guidebook. This one had an indoor pool, restaurants, wii games in the lobby, and a chef working an omlette bar come morning. It had an upscale cabin vibe, given the mountain surroundings. Definitely better than your standard Marriott with continental breakfast. Seeing as most kids in our town just get drunk on their sixteenth, I think his experience was an upgrade.
The next two days resulted in a lot of laughing, fighting, sleeping, and pill-popping. Being in a small car makes Advil exceptionally desirable. It also makes duct tape and rope desirable. Draw your own conclusions.
As of now, I am officially in Minnesota. Let’s just hope this week is easier than the drive.