Here. Enjoy an old LiveJournal entry while I continue digging my grave. Thanks.
Where Erin Finally Gets Her Breakdown
Originally posted August 6, 2007
For my birthday, I made the four-and-a-half hour trek to Cincinnati, where I got out some of my teenage angst at Warped Tour with my best friend Christina. I left Ohio the next morning with plenty of time to get home, chill for an hour or so, and then go to work. With the Pennsylvania border nearly in sight, my asshole car decided to curiously stop accelerating, no matter how loud I childishly shrieked while stomping on the pedal. A few more rounds of that, and I’d have been Flinstone’in it.
Even curious-er, the warning lights on the dash, each and every last one, began lighting up and blinking like an arcade game. Before my common sense had a chance to wallop my crown with a mallet, I took it upon myself to ease the car off the highway and onto the shoulder, where I then bashed in the button for the flasher with the heel of my hand.
First I laughed, because of course I would break down. Of course. Why not? The laughter was cut off by shock. I stared straight ahead, mouth agape, and reached for my phone without blinking. I dialed Henry. As soon as he answered, the tears flowed freely.
“No you did not. Nuh uh,” he stammered. I was surprised he could even hear me without having a dog translate. While waiting for him to say the magic words to make the car miraculously re-start, I became unnervingly aware that I was unable to pull off as far as I probably should have to avoid impending vehicular manslaughter. Each semi that passed sent the car rocking and swaying perilously. Even smaller trucks and cars made their presence known as they barrelled by. I considered exiting the car and stepping back to safety, but then my suicidal tendencies rose to the occasion and I screamed out loud, “Hit me! Come on, hit me! I welcome it! My flesh begs to become one with the road!”
I then sent my pal Lauren a suicide-drenched text message, to which she promptly responded via real time phone call. She suggested I try to push the car further back onto the shoulder and I started whining about not wanting to defile the white shorts I was wearing and as my luck goes, my period would probably burst through the gates, like Old Faithful looking festive for Valentine’s Day, leaving me to moon all the lewd truck drivers with a sanguine bull’s eye.
Because of course I’d be wearing white shorts that day. Better than the latex sundress with the human hair fringe, I suppose.
I sat there in the ninety-degree heat for about an hour, fluctuating between crying, kicking the tires with my flip-flopped feet, rage-dialing Henry, and happily rifling through my Warped Tour swag; it was a very Sybil roadside display.
Toward the tail end of my towtruck wait, the heat began to make me forget the value of life and I floated away on a daydream’s wings, imagining a pair of hill dwellers emerging from the woods near my car and dragging me back to their dirt mound where I would spend the rest of my life frolicking around in a frayed potato sack, guzzling moonshine with my breakfast of stranded roadside traveler’s roasted left buttock, and shootin’ at the highway patrol with a makeshift archery set.
Unfortunately, the dashing (scruffy) young (middle-aged) man (man) operating the tow truck glided to a halt in front of me, bursting my savory fantasy into shards of disappintment. Wiping away tears, I informed him that I wanted to kill myself, and, taking in my disheveled and sweat-soaked appearance, he awkwardly cleared his throat and suggested that I go sit in the truck and cool off. And that’s what I did, too; it was me, the AC, and the loud notes of Wheeling, West Virginia’s finest country music station ricocheting twangingly through the cab. The AC was on full blast and kicked around my sweaty tendrils with its icy breeze, a temporary relief until the driver entered the cab and we embarked on a ride grappled by awkward silence.
He only had to drive me about a mile or two up the highway, where he dumped me off at the Pennsylvania Welcome Center, but not before pestering me for payment that one would think Henry would have handled for his poor, stranded girlfriend (who was too busy skirting past suicide’s calcified nails), before continuing on to the Wheeling Nissan dealership. Incidently, this is where my broken carriage still sits in a heap.
I was left to maunder around the welcome center with my giant purse, bright green tote bag, and that motherfucking red Vincent Black Shadow plastic shopping bag from Warped Tour. I looked like a fucking runaway, my skin slick and oleaginous with an amalgamation of sweat, gritty dirt, and failure. I’d have sloughed it off with a white rag, but I was too busy flying it high above my crown in surrender.
Prior to the towing, I had already called work and informed them of my plight, so they knew I would be late. Standing in the middle of a tractor trailer-dominated parking lot, I glanced at my cell for a time check, which made me choke on the fact that the possibility of being late had quickly turned into a reality, and if there’s one thing that pin pricks the ulcer, it’s being late to work.
Struggling to find a proper balance with all of my bags, I staggered inside the welcome center, where I was assaulted by a throng of happy travelers, bustling to and fro like crows during a midnight scavenge.
Hooray for Pennsylvania!
Coffee from a vending machine; oh the wonderment!
You know that scene in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, after he discovers his bike has been stolen? And he’s skulking down a dark alley in the rain, hissing at anyone who passes? That was me in the welcome center, trying desperately to eschew the probablity that someone would mistake me for a homeless hooker and try to read me the word of the Lord. Luckily, the fusion of the aforementioned hiss and the fact that I smelled like the entire Warped Tour was rotting under my arm pits, like bodies of punks in Ed Gein’s garage, was enough to make like Moses and part the horde of smilers.
Freshening up was futile, if you consider the fact that my deoderant had melted in the heat. So my sprucing consisted of peeing like I had downed a six-pack at the rib fest, followed by several strategic water-splashes. And by strategic I mean: in my face with cupped hands, so really — not that strategic.
I passed by Vending Alley and salivated over shiny packs of HoHos and Doritos and refreshing cans of Mountain Dew and Slice, wishing I had some money and realizing that it had been a long time since cold wet beverages coursed down my gullet. Dejected, I leaned down for a squirt from the water fountain, mis-gauging the stream and getting water up my nostrils.
On my way back outside, an elderly couple stopped dead in their tracks, blocking my route to the door. Then they turned toward each other and struck up a leisurely conversation with each other. With bags slipping down my shoulders, my own body stench fluttering up my nostrils and hypothetical service station dollar signs spinning past my eyeballs, do you really think I was in the mood to watch these fucking aging yuppies, all gussied in their Eddie Bauer Senior’s Collection golf shorts and polos and holding their vending machine coffee cups with extended fingers, pause and chat like they’re sitting in a fucking jazz club?
NO. Mama was tired and angry and her fucking TOES hurt from repeatedly bending her car tires like Beckham, so get the fuck out of Mama’s way.
I utilized the universal Move IT DICKSHITTER hand motion and growled, “Come on!” which inspired them to smarten up by sidestepping and I bowled past them, muttering heart warming names like bitchcunt and AIDS-eater. Have fun at your condo on the lake, assholes.
I selected a picnic table further down from the welcome center’s hotbed of activity, and slammed all of my belongings down around me. My friend Merry had the good fortune to call me at that exact moment, as I swiped away sweat beads from my brow and snarled at a fanny-packed lady walking her dog. It was not one of my finer telephone moments.
Thankfully, I only had to dodge eye contact for thirty minutes or so before Neighbor Chris pulled into the lot, with Henry and Chooch in tow. Chris ran into the welcome center without even waving hello to me; I assumed he had to pee really bad. Since it took them about an hour to get there (Ed. Note: it would never take me that long), Henry let Chooch out of the car seat so he could stretch his legs, and I don’t know, reunite with his mother whom he hadn’t seen in two days. When Henry pulled him out of the backseat, I was delighted to see that he looked like he had just rolled down the hills of West Virginia: his face was a collage of his meals and activities, his clothes were stained, and he was barefoot. A telltale sign of what goes on when Mommy’s out playin’.
We stood around and talked about the car, Henry being all optimistic while I was saying things like, “It’s a goner. It’s one dead motherfucker, Henry. Fuck that piece of shit, you know? Fuck it all the way in its asshole while its sucking Satan’s dong.”
I realized Chris had been gone a long time. “What, is there a spa in there that I don’t know about?” I asked disgustedly. I wanted to go home, take a cold shower, and go to work. Yes, I wanted to go to work! I welcomed the subarctic temperatures and the muted pallet of the cubicles. It’s like an eight hour massage for my brain. No bright lights, no loud noises, no Henry to fight with about the unknown state of the car.
“Oh, he’s looking for fishing maps,” Henry said, matter-of-factly.
“I’m out here half-dead, probably in need of a blood transfusion and shock therapy, and Chris is looking for fishing maps?” I yelled. We went inside to fetch him. He was really sad that he couldn’t find what he was looking for. Then Henry asked me if I had any change so he could get a drink and my inner Pazuzu nearly erupted from my mouth and skull-fucked him.