Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home, Sweet Tuscaloosa

It has been an eventful couple of weeks. Things are only just settling down, which is why I now have time to do things like experiment with Rice-a-Roni (recommended), see Inglourious Basterds (recommended with reservations), stub the toenail off one of my toes (not recommended)... and blog.

The night before the twenty-seven hour drive from Utah to Alabama, I realized that I had been overly optimistic when planning what to bring with me. In my Prius. (I know, right?) After playing tug-o-war and there's-no-way-in-hell tetris for a sweaty and frustrated half hour, I gave up on bringing any furniture, including my Swedish bit-by-bit desk. Then I gave up on bringing all of my books. Then I started evaluating every item I owned for its utility and replacability (bowls and plates? I can buy new ones.) By the time I crawled into bed I had pared down my earthly possessions to the point where I probably could have entered a prison or a monastery without having to surrender anything further, but everything was packed nicely into my planet friendly vehicle.

I let Andy drive because I was extremely nervous about whether or not my car would be able to attain full speed loaded down with all of those boxes and pillows and things. Actually, looking back, I was very anxious over who-knows-what, and I didn't relax for the first, oh, three hours of the drive. Luckily Andy's sense of humor, a great playlist, and the little Prius that could helped chill me out, and by the time we got to Denver, I was ready for a good time.

Which we proceeded to have, first at Great Divide, then at Wyncoop, several glasses of good times, in fact.

The next morning we peeled ourselves out of bed bright and early and drove our hung over butts through the McDonald's drive through, out onto the freeway, all the way through Kansas (where we managed to pick up a $164 speeding ticket) and on to Little Rock.

In Little Rock, we stayed at a motel several notches skankier than the one in Denver witnessed behavior and outfits several notches skankier than you'd find in New Orleans at Mardi Gras. Once again, we enjoyed ourselves a large glass or two of good times, this time at The Flying Saucer.

The next day, in spite of confusion over toll roads and a seemingly obscure back road into Alabama, we quickly found ourselves in Tuscaloosa--so quickly, in fact, that Andy expressed regret that the trip was already over. When we were almost to my new house, I figured out how to load google maps on his blackberry. How timely.

The next several days were a blur of procuring furniture, a bed, and a million other things that had been left behind (intentionally or accidentally) in Utah, attending Writing Center Orientation (part of my assistantship), getting a bank account, pestering the landlord for a refrigerator (received two days after arrival) and a washer and dryer (received one week after arrival), meeting new people, etc. Shout out to Andy for all of the things he did for me: assembled bookshelf, bed frame, bedside table for me, fronted me the money for all purchases since financial aid hadn't come through yet, replaced lightbulbs throughout the house, fixed doorknobs, and generally did everything he could to look out for my safety and comfort. He also treated me to several delicious southern meals. Just generally let me know how much he loved me in every way possible.

And then, on Thursday, I drove him to Birmingham. We went to the J. Clyde for lunch (and of course beer) and then I dropped him off at the airport. What a surreal moment, knowing it would probably be months before I saw him again, having to turn around and navigate my way back to Tuscaloosa for the mixer which concluded the WC Orientation. Needless to say I got a bit drunk, which helped me to sleep that first lonely night without him.

More later.


margosita said...

As someone who also left behind (or rather, moved in the opposite direction than) my boyfriend for the MFA, I just want to say, I know how much it sucks.

But we've been doing long-distance for a little over a year now and thus far it hasn't killed us, or the relationship.

Anyway, good luck with everything! It's an exciting time, right at the beginning!

rachel said...

Thanks, margosita. It's always nice to hear about success stories...so many people seem to think long distance is hopeless. Yes, it is exciting. Which program are you at, might I ask?

margosita said...

I'm at the University of San Francisco.

I hope things are even more settled, now, and you are enjoying the beginning the semester!

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