Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Very I-395 Fourth of July

I hope you had a Fourth of July that was as relaxing and as entertaining as mine.

The morning portion of the day was productive... I got a lot of odds and ends done around the house, did some shopping here and there, and then went to a park to hang out, lay out on a blanket and just read.

I never do that sort of thing.

I should, more often, though. If I did, perhaps I wouldn't be the same color as a piece of chalk.

Anyway, I won't bore you with the details, but the things I did yesterday I'd been putting off for so long... so it felt good to finally scratch them off the to-do list.

***

The bulk of the day was spent at Chris and Noel's, where I crashed their intimate family barbeque. Since I'd met almost everybody in Noel's family before, I don't think it was as traumatizing or intimidating (for me, anyway) as it could have been... though I still felt a bit odd, at points.

Thankfully, nobody pointed at me and laughed. Not for more than 2 or 3 seconds in a row, anyway.

Chris and Noel are terrific hosts; they offered more food than I knew what to do with. And though I had a great time, and ate and drank a fair amount (or at least *I* remember eating a lot-- Noel was insisting that I eat more, throughout the night)... I hit a wall out of nowhere at about 9pm and excused myself.

I was just zonked. And a bit upset, as I was enjoying myself quite a bit, but suddenly felt the need for bed.

***

So I left at 9pm, and got home at 11pm.

See, I was so tired (and I actually mean "tired," and not "drunk," in case you were wondering) that I probably shouldn't have been on the roads. I wasn't weaving or anything, but I was pretty groggy.

Which might explain why I missed my turn at some point and wound up on an absolutely mobbed I-395 North, heading into the city.

Now, when I say "mobbed"... I should note instead that it was actually a parking lot. I quickly learned that I had to get out of the two or three rightmost lanes, because of all the pedestrian traffic. See, thousands of people were parking on the highway, many in the middle of the road, to get a view of the fireworks on the Mall. Two or three times that number were walking about, in the middle of the highway.

Possibly the worst driving experience of my life-- being that tired and having so many people walking about on the Interstate.

So, because I unknowingly missed a single turn, and when all I wanted (all I wanted!) was a bed, I'd gotten on a road to nowhere. And I wasn't moving at all.

And though the fireworks were quite lovely (when there wasn't an SUV blocking my view)... the post-Adams/Dooley portion of the evening sucked. I was so desperately in need of my apartment, but there was nothing I could do. I couldn't cross over to the other side of the highway, couldn't get to the nearest exit for miles (and therefore more than an hour's worth of waiting)... couldn't do anything.

All of which goes to show: never, EVER leave Chris and Noel's house.

Ever.

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