August 12, 2010, morning:
August 5, 2011, 8pm:
On Thursday night, I rented a car, loaded it to eye level with my three enormous pieces of luggage from Ukraine plus some of the boxes of my old thing which my other had, then, too restless to sleep, decided to drive right away.
I napped twice during the trip for thirty minutes each — once at six am in a McDonalds parking lot where I put sneakers over the parking break and seat belt buckle to soften them, and second time on the should of a highway off ramp where I pulled in front of a big rig whose driver, I imagine, did the same as me. There, I slept seated and I woke when the car became hot at about 10:30am.
I detoured to visit a friend at Notre Dame University. We had lunch instead of dinner because I made great time and would get a discount for returning my rental car within 24 hours. He gave me a tour and a Time Magazine with an article entitled Five Myths About the Economy. One of the myths was “the free market can fix it,” another “entrepreneurs drive the economy.”
I got snagged in horrible Chicago traffic, where I wondered about the innovative and courageous bureaucrats tasked with managing the transportation system.
Hard, intermittent rains fell for the last hour of my trip in Iowa, as the glow of the sun shown behind clouds before me. I arrived at my condo in the cool, damp evening and remembered the combination to my garage door. It opened on my first attempt, as if I had been there just yesterday. All my belongs looked clean and intact and the only smell was that of mothballs. A small, year-long worry vanished.
There were three racoons in the dumpster. I left the lid open.
I unpacked my car and hurried to the Cedar Rapids Airport, dropped off the car, $398 instead of $582 since it was just a single day. I have no idea why the cost of one-way rentals has skyrocketed. Then, excited by the turns of my life unfolding before me and feeling awake and alert, waited for my friend Regina to pick me up.
I think this will be a big year for me.