Sunday, August 8, 2010

#220: I-70

Interstate 70 runs across the country from Cove Fort, Utah to a park and ride parking lot in Baltimore, Maryland. Opposition to the highway led the highway commission to I-70 at it's intersection with Maryland State Highway 122 and the remaining pavement became used as a parking lot. I did not know this but that is probably because the furthest east I've ever been on I-70 was East St. Louis.

I was originally going to post something revealing here but instead I'm taking the easy way out. Commenting and posting a story about a much-traveled interstate highway. The story is based on me actually going to Denver. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision but it was that trip that should've made me realize the relationship I was in wasn't going to work out. I just kept ignoring the idiotic voice in my head because I was in love, damn it! The story is pretty accurate about what happened but I really think you had to be there.

It is 560 miles from Denver, Colorado to Lawrence, Kansas. Eight hours. Eight long hours that no one should have to endure alone which is one reason I invited my girlfriend to go with me. She was to keep me company and keep me awake which she was less than adept in. From Lawrence to Denver the conversation was peppered with decent conversation relating to the scenery around us and just interesting road trip stories. It was in Junction City when the text messages began, from her best friend more than halfway across the country. From Junction City to around the outskirts of Solomon the two talked with me getting madder by the minute.

Outside Solomon, she cozied into the passenger seat, placed her cell phone in the cup holder, reached over to take my hand, smiled at me and then snuggled in for a nap. After she fell asleep, she rolled over letting go of my hand. Her phone rang indicating that she had received a text message. I picked up her phone and looked at the message: ‘Let me know when you arrive in Denver.’ I immediately deleted the message and returned the phone to the cup holder. Aside from the slight snoring sound from my girlfriend, I was alone in the car until I had to stop in WaKeeney.

I was glad to stop in WaKeeney because I was sick of driving and was hungry. I also wanted her to wake up. After we grabbed some hamburgers from McDonald’s and a couple big bottle of soda, we were off, this time with my girlfriend driving. Her driving lasted until Ruleton when I took over again because her leg was hurting. We also had to stop for gas. She was becoming a huge pain on this road trip and I felt differently about inviting her when she began talking with her friend again, this time using instant messaging.

Another four miles we were in Colorado and the mood lightened. The conversation started back up and there was no signal so messages couldn’t be received or sent. Interstate 70 gradually rose over the horizon but it still seemed to take a long time to get into Denver. But when we did we were both awestruck with the beautiful Denver skyline placed against the mountains. At this moment I loved her even more.

The drive back was not something I was looking forward to. We left Denver in the mid-afternoon and followed I-70 back the way we came. Right outside of Limon, her phone rang. I knew who it was by the way she answered the phone. They talked as much as they could until the signal cut out around Flagler. It was just us again so I struck up a conversation about us possibly moving to Denver or taking a longer vacation and she agreed. We drove into Kansas cuddling in the front seat and all was right with the world again.
I tried to drive into Kansas cuddling with her but the signal came back as we arrived in and he was immediately calling back. She pulled away from me and answered her phone. I thought about if she would get mad if I threw the phone out the window. They talked from Burlington, across the Kansas border and near Brewster where she revealed that she was tired. They finally stopped talking to each other and she hung up the phone and put it into the cup holder and once again, snuggled in for a nap. I stopped in Colby to get some gas and me something to eat despite having eaten before leaving Denver and continued down I-70.

She finally woke up around Salina. She must’ve seen the angry look on my face because she asked me what was wrong and I told her that she’s spent most of the drive talking to her friend. She argued that we haven’t been talking which I relented to but said that she could talk, too, she didn’t have to wait for me to start a conversation. I also pointed out that if she wasn’t talking to her friend she was asleep. She accused me of exaggerating and I explained she talked to him from Junction City to Solomon, Limon to Flagler and Burlington to Brewster and that she was asleep from Solomon to WaKeeney and now Brewster to Salina. I said that roughly 470 of the 1,120 miles the trip takes she has either been talking to him or has been asleep.

She went to the place she usually does and said I was jealous. I argued that I wasn’t jealous but since I was here and not more than halfway across the country she should stop neglecting me and focus her attention on me sometimes. She had the last say as she yelled that the fact he is more than halfway across the country she shouldn’t be rude to her best friend, then she turned away and didn’t say anything until we left Topeka, 111 miles later.

I spent the rest of the drive wishing we weren’t on an interstate so that someone could T-bone my car thus possibly ending this relationship that has seemingly deteriorated so much over I-70.


I should've loved that trip. I attempted to salvage it by going up to a cemetery but couldn't find the road under what little snow remained. Thing is, it wasn't even this road trip that ended the relationship. It was the trip to St. Louis. And that's the story I decided not to tell.

Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

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