October 14, 2005

Creative, Featured, Personal Faves, Travel

The persons responsible for the previous post have now been sacked.

I had a frappuccino earlier. And then a Coke. What was I thinking? I should know better. I’ve had problems with this before…

It’s 1 AM and I should be asleep. Oh well. Here’s another frappuccino story to entertain those few of you who (a) actually read my posts, and (b) haven’t already read this story elsewhere.


The Solo Roadtrip

The Solo Roadtrip. The roadtrip you take after you’ve procrastinated as long as humanly possible because you’re not actually sure that you want to spend 5 hours in a small car with, well, yourself.

On this particular roadtrip, I’m worried about boring myself to sleep, and so I fortify myself before leaving with three (yes, three) bottled Mocha Frappuccinos.

(An aside here about bottled Mocha Frappuccinos. Legal crack-cocaine! I can get through one in two long and satisfying creamy gulps. Friends from out East have told me of a similar phenomenon with Yoohoos. But how could chocolate milk possibly compete with the caffeine and bracing sugary goodness of a Frappuccino, I ask you?)

Three Frappuccinos and some hastily packed clothes later I’m on my way — my hair pragmatically yet attractively clipped up and away from my face. (It’s requisite to look good while on a Solo Roadtrip. Heaven forbid total strangers see you and know by your appearance that you couldn’t find anyone to go on this trip with you and have no-one to impress.) I’m prepared with my iPod, my digital camera, and my cell phone which won’t work for long periods of time as I drive through god-forsaken Central California.

I leave The City behind and find myself in a strangely good mood. I’m on 280 heading south and am struck (as I often am) by the true beauty of rolling foothills covered in grasses and studded here and there with copses of oak trees that from far away look like green giants huddled over in abdominal pain. The brown hills aren’t brown — this morning they are gold and amber every other attractive variant of brown that my mind can grasp. The rare green patches of grasses put me in mind of a Disney movie — Bambi perhaps (before the forest fire, of course).

I am at peace with the world and the world is at peace with me as I and my fellow travelers on the road drive the wide lanes of 280 at 80-90 mph — the amber grasses and huddled green giants flying past. Flashback: I am in my 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle Hardtop. I am screaming down 280, having entered the freeway at Sand Hill Road, and having used the subsequent downhill grade to reach speeds in my Bug that it could never have otherwise attained. I am a teenager, I am free, I am flouting authority as my car rattles and shakes at a whopping 75 mph. The memories  assault me bodily as I pass up Sand Hill Road in my 2001 New Beetle. I am an adult, I have someplace to be, and flouting authority just isn’t as fun as it used to be.

But I’m feeling GREAT. I mean really, really good. The ipod is shuffling through my music collection, and instead of Name That Tune it’s Name That Memory. Each song triggers stunningly clear visions and emotions of times past. There’s “What’s Going On” (3 Non-Blondes) that reminds me of the roadtrip with best friends made in the summer before I went away to college. We sang that song over and over at the top of our lungs and other drivers thought we were insane. “A Thousand Years” (Sting) reminds me of a relationship that should have never been with a man that lived in Vermont whom I visited many times during a cold, snowy winter. The poignant memories pile on as the iPod serves up music and I am delighted at this unexpected treasure trove of my past selves.

The bout of nostalgia gives way to a driving need to be productive. Even though I’m trapped in a car for 5 hours, I am desperately searching for a way to Get Things Done. And oh! There’s so much to do. I mentally clean my house… I despair over the lack of Internet connectivity in my car because it means I can’t shop online as I’m hurtling down the freeway. A song comes on, “Teardrop” (Massive Attack), to which I can’t figure out the exact lyrics, and now I’m getting close to being pissed off about not having Internet connectivity. Why shouldn’t I be able to look up song lyrics while I’m weaving through traffic?

And geez… I’m feeling very creative. And I should be getting studio time and recording music… and if I only had a tape recorder I could write songs in the car… and

I realize that three Mocha Frappaccinos was an unwise move. Let me tell you, DUIF (driving under the influence of Frappuccinos) is just plain stupid. Friends don’t let friends drive Frappaccinoed. And of course, I’m by myself in the car, so I have no-one with which to share this very important revelation. I pick up the cell phone to call someone and impart my epiphany, and of course I have no signal. So I speak to myself.

I’m speaking to myself, and my hair has become disheveled, my eyes maniacal. I am no longer I-Am-Hip-And-Attractive-And-Just-Heading-A-Couple-Of-Exits-Down-To-Meet-My-Hunky-Boyfriend-For-Drinks-Girl. I am now Clearly-Insane-Talking-To-Herself-And-Couldn’t-Find-Anyone-To-Go-On-A-Roadtrip-With-Her-Girl.

Ah well. 🙂


Update:  A re-worked version of this piece, done for a Write On Edge writing prompt is here.


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