Our last day at IDA was largely spent attempting to get a ride out and dealing with crazy communication problems and general chaos as the festival was still in full swing. Lucky and I had not initially planned on leaving so early, but after getting a hold of my sister finally on Thursday, we were under the impression that we would be able to get a ride from Nashville on Saturday and that that would be the most convenient and ideal for my family. This information turned out to be false.
I will spare the details of waiting around the camp with our gear packed while we waited for a ride and asked around, hoping and praying we’d be able to get to Nashville in time to be picked up and just skip to the part where we got a ride from a cool trans guy named Auggie who dropped us off at the Greyhound station where we said our goodbyes and wandered off on our merry way. As we made our way downtown, we found out that we had come to Nashville in the middle of the CMA music festival, meaning that we had just walked into white redneck heaven. Thankfully, we found shelter at a Panera bread where we could charge our phone, get some food and call my mom. We had hoped to camp out there and wait for my sister to come give us a ride after she got off work, but our hopes were too high.
See, the reason we left early instead of staying at IDA the full five days is that my sister had told me that her friend, Mandy, was in Nashville that week and would be leaving on Saturday to go back to Martin where she and my mother live. She also said that, though she worked that day, she would still find a way to get us home from Nashville (but she did not tell me when she was supposed to go to work, which matters to this story). So, when we got into Nashville at 5:30pm despite our initial plan to be there by 1:00 or 2 at the latest, we were pretty peeved to find out that not only had Mandy left for Martin the night before, but that Kimmy, my sister, would be at work until 9:00. Of course, there was nothing to be done about that, so we just waited at the Panera Bread and charged our phones, now and then talking to my mom and trying to figure out our next move.
Over the phone, my mother told me that Kimmy probably wouldn’t want to come get us so late after work being tired and all this, but I held out hope until Kimmy got home at which point, I learned that the second she stepped in the door, my mom took her car (the only available car) and went to her new boyfriend’s house where she stayed all night. Kimmy expressed to me her fear of driving at night and falling asleep at the wheel as an excuse not to come get me after her car was returned (mom was supposed to only take an hour) and I expressed to her my anger at the fact that regardless of whether she intended to come get me, the only available car was taken for the night because our mom is selfish. Essentially, Lucky and I were stranded.
After some wandering, we found a spot out of the way from the main roads so as not to attract unwanted attention and slept for a couple of hours underneath a tree. Our initial plan as per Kimmy’s suggestion was to try sleeping at the Greyhound station because “hey, people do it all the time,” but the security pig there wouldn’t even let us in without a ticket – our packs made us an immediate target of pig attention while we were meandering about the city. All the same, we made it through the night without much difficulty and the next day, Kimmy eventually came to get us (it took her six hours to make what is supposed to be a two hour drive at most because of a huge wreck on I-40) and I spent the next couple of weeks punishing mom by smoking all of her cigarettes.