roadtrip chronicles II: santa goes to the dentist

houston, texas.
tuesday, july 11th.
2:10 pm.
1,203 miles.

If you thought I was skinny before, wait until after this trip - I will be a skeleton. Last night was the first night that Will and I slept in the car, and it was almost unbearably hot... but just almost. Even though about a gallon of sweat left each of our bodies over the course of a few hours, we decided that we could handle it for a month. Plus, as I told Will, it will make his dorm room seem like a heavenly land of cozy, cleanliness. Once we rolled down the back windows and took off as much clothing as possible, we were able to cope. Man, I can't wait for Washington....

We left Pickwick late Sunday night and drove Cassie back to her sister's place in Birmingham. We stayed there the night and left early the next morning to get my glasses fixed from an unfortunate mishap at the lake - thanks Cassie (it was really my fault, though). After leaving Birmingham, we headed south toward Mobile and then west to New Orleans. Will and I spent a few hours exploring the city and feeling somewhat desolate as we were surrounded by destroyed, empty neighborhoods and strip-malls that were gray and feather-lite. It was quite surreal, actually. I felt like I was in a ghost town even though Katrina hit 9 or 10 months ago. The people we did see, though, were no less surreal. As Will noted, they seemed to know something we didn't - whether it was in their arrogant swagger, or in their meek stares - they just looked as if they knew what was up. That's really the best I can describe it. This observation was especially accentuated after a visit to the French Quarter, which, altough colored and heavy with life and money, seemed just as desolate as the abandoned cars and apartments or the trashed downtown streets.

We ended our New Orleans experience on a fisherman's beach, with concrete steps falling into the sea, and water lapping at Mexico's feet. We watched the sunset and listened to Spanish voices and planned our next move - food and sleep. So we drove toward Baton Rouge and ate. And we slept just outside of the city, and this part of the plan was almost foiled when a concerned homeowner decided to shine his flashlight toward our car from his driveway, forcing us to find a different resting place. And we did, and we sweated, and we talked because we couldn't sleep, and we woke up early and drove to Houston, TX where I now sit. We went to a Texas beach this morning, too. It was scuzzy, to say the least, so I think we'll leave the beach part of the trip up to California and Oregon. .....I'm hungry, I think I'll go buy Thom Yorke's album at Waterloo Records in Austin.....

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