Tuesday, June 7, 2011

La La Land, Part One

One of the most exciting adventures I have been on was my road trip to LA. Jesse was going to be out of town for a week and a half and trusted me enough to lend his car while he was gone in Atlanta. I already had a crazy summer but didn't know what to do with myself next. A couple months earlier, I went to a music festival in southern Cali called Coachella, that left me pining for more. My original plan was to go to Burning man, which was in the Nevada Black Hill Desert. But with little time to prepare and no money to accommodate me on my escapade, it slowly got booted from my "list of things to do this summer". So as I sat there twiddling my thumbs, I had to think of some master plan to keep me occupied. Hmmm... No money, a car for a ten days and nothing to do. This was dangerous and could potentially get me in trouble. So I did the only thing a freshly 24 year old would do. I took my rent money and some cash stashed away, packed a few things, put my puppy in the car and headed south. Ring, Ring....  I quickly dialed a friends, but first were my alley cats in San Francisco. "Umm... Hey!! What are you doing this weekend?'' I asked in confidence to my friend "Just working. I might hangout with my friends. Why?'' Robert replied nonchalant. "Well, I have my friends car for a little over a week and I was driving down that way anyways....so I wanted to see what you were doing." Surprise! There was a pause for a few seconds before he started laughing and proclaimed I was out of my mind but that if I wanted to come over, I could. So there I was, driving from Seattle southbound on I-5. I was out of my mind. I took my rent money for hostage, made my dog my side kick/ partner in crime and commandeered my friends vehicle while he was gone. Who does that?!

 When I got to Portland, OR, I felt a little anxious. Thoughts started to race through my head. Should I turn back. I really shouldn't be doing this. He's going to kill me. What if I don't have enough money or I run out of gas? Or I break down somewhere and a serial killer kidnaps me and then I have to be forces to live in a basement until he decides how he wants to kill me?!  I was literally having a mental breakdown on the freeway.  Calm down now... You're fine. Just take a deep breaths.  I immediately flicked the little angel off my shoulder and continued on my journey. The time started to fly. 6 p.m...... 7 p.m....9 p.m....11p.m... Suddenly it was midnight and I was starting to get tired. My eyes were glued to the charcoal pavement I drove on. At this point, I was more in fear of hitting a deer or elk then I was of flying off the freeway, being killed at a rest stop or crashing cause I fell asleep. I was going pretty damn fast down the winding valley. Finally, I came across a sign that convincingly said there were motels up ahead. I was in the middle of nowhere. What could I possibly get at this hour? I slowly pulled into this little carnival of a town and really slowed down when I saw the lit up welcome sign. YREKA! It loomed at me in a Come in...we wont hurt you... way that made me almost turn around. One of three things were bound to happen. 1. It would be like Hansel and Gretel. The little old lady would lure me in with her gingerbread house made of yummy candy then end up being a witch and EAT ME!! 2. I would pull in, not thinking much of it because I was tired, get a room and in the middle of the night, my life would turn into the movie The Vacancy. or 3. I would get a room, most likely a seedy one judging by the little town, and just go to sleep scared shitless with my dog to protect me. Yup, it was number 2. Just Kidding!! ha ha. I pulled up to this hotel called Budget Inn and almost slept in the car.

But I mustered up the courage to go ring the door bell for the manager, pepper spray in hand just in case.  *wink wink* A little dark man, smelling of curry came to the window. "Hello..what can I do for you?" He asked with his thick accent half asleep. "Ummm.. hi... I'd like one room for tonight please." I said nervously and glanced behind me to make sure no one was running up to stab me with a huge kitchen knife. He took my credit card, processed the info and handed me the room keys. "Room 204 to the left. Check out is at 10:00 a.m.. Thank you." He closed his window then disappeared through a dark brown door into a room with just a T.V. on. I walked very fast back to the car, jumped in, and locked the doors. Finally safe. Francois looked at me with his puppy dog eyes like I was crazy. I stared back, then looked around paranoid, afraid I'd be killed at any moment. They always kill the guy who is in the car. They always do! Or they wait until the innocent person parks and when they get out... Bam!! Their dead, I thought, panicking a little. I fumbled for the car keys in my purse, put them in the ignition and managed to turn the car on. Pulling into my assigned space and parking, I hurriedly grabbed a few things. Purse... check. Keys...check. Dog...check. Oh shit... what am I forgetting?! EEEeEEEEKS! Oh that's right! Pepper spray. Phew!  I ran to my room, got in and locked every lock I could find on the door. There was one. But I placed a chair in front of the door, just in case someone tried to get in. Francois trotted up and licked my hand as if he was letting me know he was going to protect me. I think he knew I was scared. I was a little intimidated to take a shower, thinking it might turn into a Albert Hitchcock movie and mommy dearest would appear on the other side of the shower curtain. So I made Francois take one with me; periodically looking out into the bathroom. After drying off, I put on my PJ's and climbed into bed. I feel asleep with Francois at the end of the bed, pepper spray in one hand and a high heel in the other. Just in case.

 The next morning, bright and early, we walked to the car once again to venture on towards Los Angeles. "You have dog in the room?! I charge you extra." Another man with a thick accent yelled from behind me. Startled, I flung around and lied "Oh no.. this guy... I was just...ummmm... I took him to the bathroom. Then forgot I left something in the room so i went back in to get it........he just followed me in." I looked at Francois like how could you follow me in there! The man knew I was lying, considering I was pulling him around by his leash. Dogs are always a good resource to use when trying to get yourself out of sticky situation. For instance, when you are on a bad date. Or when you don't want to hangout with someone. Or your roommates shirt comes up missing, you would say something along the lines of... "Oh.... he accidentally peed on it and I had to take it to the dry cleaners. So Sorry." Knowing, that you had worn it the night before for a really hot date and it was actually in your dirty laundry basket. So the man stared at me. It was almost like a I was about to have a showdown; first man who draws first wins. Instead, I jumped in the car and took off. Waving as I drove out of the small parking lot. Goodbye Yreka, Hello LA.    

**By the way... Yes, this is based of true events and experiences from my own life.**

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