Saturday night we arrived at the Hampton Inn in Lincoln, NE, showered, and then crashed and burned at 11:30...40 hours after my day started.
I woke up at about 1:30 am, apparently immediately after a temporal lobe seizure. This part is a little hazy for me. I was severely disoriented and anxious and nothing looked remotely familiar. I did the post-seizure thing I do; pacing from the bathroom to the bed to the window and back to the bathroom; lap after lap after lap. Finally Lori helped me settle down, wrapped me up in a blanket, and set the laptop in my lap. She told me later that she was looking for some sort of touchstone for me in that scary room full of unfamiliar things, and she was hoping the online news groups and blogs might do it. Who knew that Tiny Cat Pants would save my sanity someday?
Probably at this point I ought to mention that this was my own stupid fault. The drug I take to control the seizures makes me sluggish, and I knew I'd be working that long day on Friday, so I skipped my Friday morning dose. Ditto Friday night, and the Saturday morning. I was thinking that I could get by without it long enough to get through those long sleepless hours. But...uh...no.
So finally at 3:30 am I was calm enough to sleep again, and went back to bed. The sleeping was most excellent, except for that dream where I was supposed to be watching Lori's car. I went inside the house for a minute to go to the bathroom, and came back to find her beautiful convertible vandalized, missing it's top and covered in a homemade camouflage paint job. My heart stopped for a moment. "Uh-oh...Lori's going to kill me when she sees this.
Luckily, I woke up at that point. But reality wasn't much prettier: 8:00am and Lincoln, Nebraska.
The hotel had a free mini breakfast buffet, so we took turns going down to load up trays of food and bring them back to the room. We couldn't actually eat in the dining room for a couple of reasons; first...I looked like crap. Crap on a cracker. Crap on a stick with Thai peanut sauce. I looked like a lesbian heroin addict on the second day of rehab. Hollow-eyed, monosyllabic, spiky hair pointed skyward like Bill the Cat. Lori, as usual, looked good. Fresh as a freakin' daisy. Clean, chipper and alert.
I mainlined half a pot of coffee, showered again, and we headed out. We decided to take secondary routes home and avoid the interstates, since pulling the Jeep with our little Ford Ranger left us with a top speed of about 55mph.
The little truck struggled some, but we got into a groove and made our way through Nebraska, then Iowa, and into Missouri. In Missouri, we turned onto Route 36, which is a four lane road that cuts through Missouri from St. Joseph to Hannibal without too much traffic or too many stoplights.
The little truck crept along; 45 mph uphill and then 65 mph downhill, for the 300 miles across the state. Occasionally one lane would be closed for construction and we'd have a long line of cars backed up behind up until they could eventually get by. We decided that no one should mind...this was, after all, Central Missouri, and all of these people had at some point in their lives cruised down the highway at 15 mph on their John Deere tractors. 45 should have looked like Indy racing.
We crept along uneventfully, entertaining each other by talking about our favorite topic: sex. We compared how many sex partners we'd had in our lives (I won), decided who was our favorite (besides each other) and who was the most inept. We talked about who we'd slept with that we'd rather forget, who we would have slept with, but never got the chance. We talked about our firsts...first guy, first girl, first love, first time we realized we were gay, first time we said it out loud.
That got us through Missouri to St Louis. We crossed over from Missouri to Illinois for the psychological boost of being in our home state and started on the last three hours home at about 8:00pm.
And that's when we hit the wall. It was dark, we were tired. We'd talked about everything we could talk about, and we were ready to be home. Lori finally dozed off, and I turned off my head off and aimed the truck towards Union County.
At 11:00, we pulled into a church parking lot in Ware, unloaded the Jeep, drove the now feather-light truck back to Cape Girardeau and dropped off the car hauler, then went back to Ware to get the Jeep. I drove the Jeep the last 10 miles, Lori drove the truck. The jeep was LOUD, and I couldn't find the controls to adjust the seat, so I drove home leaned way back like a rural white-trash gang banger.
Finally, at midnight, between Sunday night and Monday morning...it was over. We arrived home with all of $13 left in our travelling fund...but we'd all survived. Me, Lori, the Jeep, our relationship...all alive.
I consider that a HUGE success.