Getting up to date

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Our time at IDA came to an end a bit early, but Lucky and I got some more time in TN as we spent a couple of weeks with my mother and sister in Martin and I got to hang out with my nieces and nephews for a short while before we left for my older brother’s wedding in New Jersey.  Much of our time in Martin was fairly uneventful – for the most part, there were lots of children running around and lots of bullshit family drama which I refuse to participate in on principle.

We drove to New Jersey from West TN with my mother and two older sisters (I have five siblings).  In an attempt to make our time confined in a vehicle with three volatile personalities (fifteen hours), Lucky and I slept most of the way (or tried to).  Lucky and I shared a room in the hotel with my sisters once we got to Jersey which might have been pleasant if they weren’t constantly at each others’ throats, but thankfully they got over their differences long enough to have a good time with my brother, David, the groom.  The first night after we got to the hotel, the whole family got together for dinner with David and his bride-to-be, Kristy at a bar nearby called Pick-a-Lilly Inn.  It was pretty fucking awesome.  I finally got to meet Kristy, and my whole family with all of my siblings was together for the first time in nearly 10 years.  I had chicken parmigiana and Lucky had shrimp, there was all kinds of awesome seafood – one of our appetizers was cheesy crab bread.  It was an awesome night after such a long ride.

The wedding itself was beautiful.  David and Kristy got married at the Smithville Mansion outside in the gardens.  They wrote their own vows and the wedding was fairly progressive, but mostly it was just sweet – Kristy’s vows were super cute and super funny.  Personally, I’ve never been fond of the concept of marriage, but I do love celebrations and this was a good one.  At the reception, we got drunk on wine, ate some badass food (almost every dish had bacon) and danced to some great music played by a live band.  Of course, some shit had to go down – my cousin Jennifer got cut off because she vomited in the beer cooler and then made a huge scene when the caterers told her she was too drunk, but other than that, shit went alright.  The after party was held at our hotel in the lobby (as if my family actually needed more alcohol), and we pretty much continued what we’d started at the reception until last call.

Lucky and I had intended to continue our travels after the wedding, heading to New York to check out whatever things are being done there, but Lucky realized she was running low on hormones and we needed to head back to place the next order so we caught a ride with my little brother, Alex and his friend Marie who would be passing by our town to drop us off on their way home.  We left at 7am, prepared for a 21-hour ride south which, despite the length of the drive, was way more pleasant than the trip from TN, that is, until some shit went down.

Every Floridian knows Georgia as the unofficial toll road between the “Sunshine State”, and literally everyplace else.  That said, to make it through Georgia without a ticket, or at least without being pulled over, is a damn near impossible task, particularly if you’re driving with FL tags.  On their way up to Jersey, the Georgia highway patrol missed my brother and his companion, but they were not going to let it happen a second time.  Marie got stopped by a uniformed gang member on mile marker 1.  Exactly one mile from the Florida border.  Officer Friendly only wanted to let us know that the tag light was out and the tag was mutilated except, oops, no they weren’t, my mistake but I do have to arrest your friend because she was driving unknowingly with a suspended license.  See, initially he had stopped us for a bullshit problem that wasn’t actually a problem but was enough of an excuse for him to check us out and see if there was anything else he could get us for – and he found it.  So he kidnapped and ransomed our friend for $700 and she had to spend a night in jail because we obviously didn’t just have that in our pocket.  Alex came and stayed with Lucky and me so that he wouldn’t be too far away when he needed to turn around pick Marie up from the jail the next day, and literally made himself sick with worry but shit got figured out and they finally made it home safely, albeit indebted to a bail bonds agent.

Now, we are back home and our trip has come to an early end, but there will be more adventures and crazier trips to come.

Day 4, Last day at IDA June 8th – My Mom is a Dick

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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.