Going Mobile: Nebraska, Iowa and Platypi

going mobile platypus

image via Creative Commons

On Monday, December 27, I drove away from my home for the past 25 months and found my way to the Denver inception of Highway 76. Destination? Des Moines, Iowa. As of 7:43am on Monday, I was officially homeless. Granted, I’ll be returning to Denver soon enough, but there’s never been a point in my entire life where I’ve not known (and well in advance) where I’d land.

My friend Merredith had made me a few mix CDs. I’d imported them into my iTunes but being the packing pro that I am, I’d conveniently packed my iPod sync cable in a box unknown. Fuck my life for the first time this trip – looks like I’d have to go old school and…

actually use CDs.

The trip was made in ten hours flat, and by flat I mean flat. Like nine-year-old girl’s chest flat. I posted on my Facebook page that if you laid every platypus on Earth end to end, the accumulation would neither be as long nor as flat as Nebraska.

I arrived at Angie’s house (she’s Jason’s sister) after acquiring a disposable litter box at the Hy-Vee down the way and proceeded to unload my potable life: two dogs, two cats, one suitcase, a pillow, a dog crate, two dog beds and assorted and sundry items imperative to redheaded travel (blow dryer, flat iron and two bags of “personal care items” I had no fucking idea that I actually used on a daily basis until the business came down to packing them).

Within fifteen minutes of our arrival, Small Dog had crapped on the carpet and Big Dog pissed on the Christmas tree. Twice.

It’s gonna be an awesome trip.

So, as I’m still working while on the road and spending time with Jason’s family, here are some observations from departing Denver, the flatlands of Nebraska and my current state of being in Iowa:

  • Music: No matter how much you think you’ve heard, good friends can see into your soul. A kickass mix CD can make you see beyond the most mundane landscape and into your heart. I still love Ella Fitzgerald and Ben Folds, but now I also love a few more things about my life I didn’t know were there.
  • Small Cars: Are underrated. The payload capacity of my Mini Cooper is perfect. It holds two dogs, two cats, and one redhead. And there’s still room in the passenger seat. I’m also pulling over 30 MPG on the freeways with the cruise control set on 82 MPH.
  • Grief: Knows no timeline. No one else can dictate what you feel, when you feel it or how. Sometimes the best we can do is simply be there, hold the ones we love and offer support.
  • The Impossible: There’s no shame in holding out for the impossible. There’s some real fucking audacity in the impossible – wishing someone you loved would miraculously come back, imagining you could magically take away the pain of those you’ve come to love, seeing the gentle reminders of the ones you love around each corner. When we can’t have or do something and people tell us it’s impossible, that just makes my mind work overtime on ways to fuck the “im” straight up.
  • Friendships: We can never calculate how, when or why we’ll meet the people who will become the most important to us. Geography should never be used as an excuse to not create relationships and totally shit life events can bring incredible gifts into our lives. Quit making excuses for not touching the people the universe

Tonight, it’s UNO at The High Life in downtown Des Moines, followed by a quiet day tomorrow. I depart Des Moines at the ass crack of dawn on Friday to head back through Denver, stay a night and then on my way to Los Angeles to settle in for a month there.  Now if you’ll excuse me, Small Dog has turned into a little Easy Bake Oven for poop and I have something to go clean up.

14 comments
Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day Erika, I always suspected that you were really special. Now you've proven it beyond doubt. First, you lead your post with a picture of that most quintessential Aussie, the platypus. Did you know that when descriptions and sketches of the platypus were first sent from Australia to England, British scientists believed that some smart colonial was trying to deceive them and that such a monotreme--there's a bit of culture-- didn't exist. Second, you confess that you love Ella Fitzgerald. That's a quintessential--find a good big word and thrash it to death--mark of a woman of real class. Do you know the song "You Don't Know What Love Is"? Ella first recorded it in the early 40s. It's a beautiful, if melancholic piece, bloody hard to sing well but Ella captures it's mood and style perfectly. It'll probably make you feel sad but a little less lonely. Drive on, or as previously recommended, Ride Red Ride! Regards Leon

The Redhead
The Redhead

Wow - I didn't know I had all of those things going for me :)

Laura W aka IA Cosmogirl
Laura W aka IA Cosmogirl

My friend Crista and I are hitting a movie - we might have to stop by the Miller High Life! if only for a quick toast to Jason!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Oh, hell yes :) Would love to meet you...

Grant Griffiths
Grant Griffiths

And it is those friends who stick with us through all of the shit in our lives that matter the most. Those are the true friends who we can count on and who can count on us. BTW, I almost fell out of my chair when I read a "little Easy Back Oven for poop." That is priceless!!!

The Redhead
The Redhead

She IS a little Easy Bake Oven. Betty Crocker doesn't want anything to do with THESE cookies.

Toby Click
Toby Click

My equivalent of this was driving (twice) across Kansas moving to Denver. I was surprised to find I actually LIKED the drive (at least the east half of Kansas). Not 100% flat, as I was expecting, but there were gentle, rolling hills, like the Windows XP background. For music, I found myself playing the KLF's "Chill Out", Galaxie 500, and IRS-era R.E.M.

The Redhead
The Redhead

I'm trying to avoid the drive through Kansas. Weather here might be taking me down there and adding the 1.5 hours to my return trip to Denver on Friday. We shall see!

Killian
Killian

As someone who has friends in every corner of this sandbox, I wholeheartedly agree with the part about reaching out. I hate that the distance keeps us from physical proximity, but not a single day goes by that I don't communicate with the ones I love in some way. Distance means nothing when love is the medium.

The Redhead
The Redhead

"Distance means nothing when love is the medium." <<<the good stuff. right here.

Xenia Smith
Xenia Smith

I'm looking forward to hearing about the journey... :) enjoy...

The Redhead
The Redhead

Thanks! I'll do my best to keep it updated. It's business as usual, just elsewhere :)

Mike Masin
Mike Masin

Next time, don't let the dogs read the blog; it seems they took my comment to leave a bit of yourself everywhere literally. Land safely at your next stop; I look forward to the next transmission from the mother ship.

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