I took an Ativan at like 6pm last night so I’ve been passed out for the past 13 hours. My parents will be here at like 10:30am to drive me to Atlanta. It’s fanny pack off day so I’m literally counting down the minutes until they unhook me from this thing.
I’m a little short on cash right now so I’ve been walking down to the lobby of my apartment complex to have my coffee. It is a “perk” of the complex but a “perk” I don’t think they thought people would take advantage of. The manager of the complex always looks judgey when I walk in there. In my head I’m like, “YOU SAID THE COFFEE WAS FREE NOW STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE IT AIN’T!” In reality I’m like, “Hi there, good morning!”
Oh…look…a little chocolate chip muffin…don’t mind if I do.
Drinking my coffee and trying to write. Can’t focus because I want this thing off so badly. I’ve already had it caught on four door knobs this morning. Four. Only three more fanny pack sessions. I have a feeling each time will be more annoying than the last.
My parents got there early. Fuck. They have two thirst stores they want to hit up in Atlanta so we have to get an early start. No, it’s fine. This will kill time. Better browsing a thrift store than listening to the click click click of the fanny pack. Oh, and make that five door knobs.
We’re at McDonalds, getting coffee to go. I’m sure the three of us have had enough coffee to power a small office complex by now, but there’s something about starting a road trip that makes a Nelson have to stop and get a coffee. It’s a Pavlovian. I’ve accepted it.
Dad is talking about sports and politics at the same time. Not sure who he is talking to. Mom and I aren’t really paying attention. My mom asks for three senior coffees. Hey what the-
We stopped at the Georgia Welcome Center to use the restroom. I like that people my parent’s age are still using rest areas. Mom sat in a rocking chair. I looked at a travel video for Macon, GA. Wasn’t sure how they were gonna sell Macon. After the video, I’m still not sure.
Dad is in the back seat listening to the radio on his earphones and and also fully participating in the conversation. Not sure how he does it, but it is quite remarkable. Less than three hours until fanny pack is off. The longest three hours of life.
We get to Atlanta. I drop my old modem off at Xfinity. Two thrift stores and we are already thinking about lunch. Panera or Goldberg’s Deli. PANERA OR GOLDBERG’S!!!???
Thrift store #1. My parents like thrift stores. It’s their thing. Humans learn from mimicking and this is true in my family. Now Jaimie and I go to thrift stores together. My sisters go to them. Some families like to drink together, ours likes to ramble through second hand goods.
We are each off in our own section of the store. I stare at a book by Sarah Palin for about five minutes, wondering how people can believe this stuff. But then I realize that people are seeing me read this book and think I believe it so I put it away and apologize to the people standing around me. I’m carrying my fanny pack like a purse at this point. Only 1 hour and 40 minutes. Ugh, so close yet SO FAR AWAY!
PANERA OR GOLDBERG’S????
We went with Panera. It’s fine. Panera is never an inspiring choice. It’s like going on vacation in Norfolk, VA. I mean, yeah you can, but you’re not gonna remember it. I go for the Pick 2, Greek Salad with an Italian Sandwich. And water. It took me a minute to remember what I had. See? Norfolk.
My fanny pack buzzed! 22 minutes until infusion is complete. 22 minutes. That’s a sitcom. I can handle that. One more sitcom and this infusion is over. What they don't tell you is that these are the longest 22 minutes. One more thrift store and then to Emory.
Thrift store number 2. Mom finds a pair of Dancecos for $5, #score. Dad decides against a t-shirt that would have made him an accidental hipster. I look at a coffee table book of the 72 Hardest Golf Holes in the World and decide there is no way these can be real holes.
It buzzes! I’m done. Let’s get to Emory and get this thing the f$@*% out!
Yeah, the waiting room. What they don't tell you is that no one else really cares about the fact that your bag is complete. There’s not a waiting room party and they don’t whisk you in and get you unhooked. People are getting serious medicine. So we wait.
Oh dear, if I don’t go in soon we will get ass hammered with Friday afternoon Atlanta traffic. But it’s not like this is a PF Changs and I can ask the hostess when my my table will be ready. I start to look around to express my displeasure but that ends very quickly. People don’t have much sympathy for your wanting to beat the traffic in an infusion center. There are sick people here, and sure I have this thing too, but it’s really bad form to go to a nurse and say, “I’m ready to be unhooked now.” What are they gonna say? “Does this look like a f$@*%+ing PF Changs to you???”
I’m unhooked. #TeamYay
We pull onto the highway.
(Looks at Traffic)
Dear Lord we’re screwed.
We’ve gone 8 miles.
Another 8 miles.
(Three hours and thirty minutes later, after what should have been a 2 hour drive)
My parents drop me off and I realize I don't have my key, aka I’m locked out. I also realize that I am unhooked from my fanny pack and that literally nothing can drag me down.
I do a little dance.
I walk to the pool. Untethered.
End of Day.