Maine Travelogue Day One: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Before I go any further in this narrative, I have to write a kind of preamble. Friends often tell me things in confidence. Some of them know I have a blog, others are dimmly aware, but don't really follow or understand, and still others don't know and I haven't told them. This is a round about way of saying there is no way for me to write this travelogue without disclosing information here that could not only get myself into trouble (for putting it in a public forum for entertainment purposes), but also cause a rift in a other relationships. But my loyalty, even when I have been asked in the past not to blog something, is always to the story first. When possible, I have done my best to try and keep this kind of information, and the potential damage, to a minimum. But this is not always possible.

And now back to the story.

Before we even left, there was trouble.

The Amazon made it sound like once we got to Camp, we would all be staying in a cabin together. "Kind of like an adult slumber party," is how she put it. Tough guy, who is the Model's live in boyfriend and a long time friend of the Amazon, absolutely refused to spend the night in such an environment. Apparently he told the Model that he would book a room at a hotel rather than sleep like that with all of us. Fortunately, the Marmit sent the Model an email explaining that we would be staying in the Infirmary, and each of us would have private rooms.

Once we got to Maine, the Model and the Amazon had each rented cars. Although CQ was originally supposed to hitch a ride with the Amazon, upon reflection he realized that "Big Bad listens to alot of country music. I would have to listen to the Amazon sing country music for an hour and a half" and decided that he wanted to ride with the Model. At about the same time CQ was coming to his revelation, the Amazon decided she didn't want to listen to CQ whine for an hour and a half and so I was to ride in her car.

And we hadn't even left to drive to the airport yet.

Because of my father, I have travel anxiety. Traveling with my father could have given a narcoleptic shot up with thorazine and xanax travel anxiety. He was one of those last minute rush to the airport, the panicked get to the gate only to remember that he left his ticket on the bathroom sink, nervous breakdown in the car half an hour into a seven hour drive because he couldn't get the Knicks game on the radio type of travelers.

The way I manage this anxiety is if the airport says arrive two hour before departure, I'm there 2 and a half hours before departure. So when the Model said CQ, Tough Guy, and I would be catching a car from her place at 7:30, be at her place at 7:15, I woke up at 5:30. I didn't have much to pack. We were only staying for two nights after all.

I was excited while I walked to the Model's because I thought traveling with a group would be easier.

CQ arrived looking like he was planning to spend 40 year in the desert. He had a huge bag that would obviously need to be checked. The Model and the Tough Guy had packed a bag together. They would also need to check their bags.

Two days, people, two days.

They obviously needed my how to travel with just a pair of panties in a paper bag tutorial.

Everyone but myself was running late. There was traffic on the highway, and we arrived at the airport an hour before the plane was supposed to take off. The Big Bad and the Amazon met us there. CQ wandered off in search of a bathroom. We waited for him to return, but then gave up and decided to head to gate, he would catch up. On our way to the gate we found him in a newstand buying trashy magazines and snacks. Once through security, he wanted to stop again and get sandwiches. By this time, it was 20 minutes until the plane was supposed to take off. Twenty.

This simply a very longwinded way of saying that everything that could possible trick my travel anxiety -CQ's wandering, our waiting for him, getting to the gate just in time-was being pushed to this limit. But I was trying to keep it under control.

The plane ride itself was uneventful although I was a little disturbed by the Tough Guy's confession that he couldn't remember which car rental company he had placed his reservation with.

One off the plane, CQ said to the group, "I have to go pee-pees."

Not just pee-pee, but pee-pees.

The Model and I went down to baggage claim, while Big Bad, the Amazon, Tough Guy, and CQ all went to the car rental pick up. Only a few minutes passed when CQ returned to inform us that Tough Guy and the Amazon had taken off already. No call, no text. Just taken off. Meanwhile, I was texting the Marmit to let him know that we were at least in Maine, if not yet on the road. He suggested on the way up we should stop at the shops at Freeport. He would be work when we arrived and so there was no reason not to take detours. The Model seemed up for it.

Finally Tough Guy showed up with the car, and we all piled in. I told him about Freeport and he seemed to hear and agree, but then after twenty minutes on the road seemed focused on getting to Camp.

"What kind of itinerary do you think they are going to have for us?" Tough Guy asked the Model.

"Itinerary?" I thought. The only thing I had been told, and that multiple times, was to prepare to seriously drink. No amateurs. No pansy-ing around with a Coors Light for two hours. I'm talking about a real Charles Bukowski type of excursion.

CQ was in the backseat with me talking but not really saying anything. He was trying to get one of us to engage in conversation, but I refused to speak to anyone with the lexicon of brain damaged four year old. Finally, he blurted out, "I drank cat piss once."

Now he definitely had our undivided attention. I don't know if any of us actually asked for elucidation, but he continued. "One night a bunch of us from the clinic went out drinking. On my way home I remembered there was a vial of cat piss in my pocket, and I was drunk. So I drank it."

I've done a lot of things because I was drunk. I'm sure many of them have been unsanitary, and certainly a large number I regret, but I have never ever done anything like that. If I did, I would never drink again.

And I decided I would never take my cat to see him for a check-up.

And never to let him even so much as air kiss me in the future.

After that little confession, I decided to put my headphones in and didn't remove them until we were about twenty minutes from Camp at which point I discovered that the Model and the Tough Guy were broiling on the verge of a fight. Once we drove up the driveway to Camp, the Model had degenerated to throwing things, mainly just the directions and stir sticks, at the Tough Guy. When we got out of the car, she immediately lit up a cigarette and hugged me. "On Bunni," she said, "You are my life line to sanity."

When I am the last bastion of your sanity, you're in the deep end of the pool with a bowling ball tied to your ankles. Don't bother struggling. Just let go and try, as much as you can, to enjoy slowly asphyxiating.

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