Thursday, September 17, 2015

"One of Those Days"

Today keeps shaping up to be "one of those days".  You know the type I'm talking about. The ones where you have a dream that you're walking through the truck stop in your underwear only to wake up and realize you're actually in the truck stop in your underwear. 
We all have those days. Ok, maybe not exactly like that but you know you've had days where nothing goes according to plan. Like "hey, I'll leave in plenty of time to show up early" then you get lost for 2 hours. 

Like the day you put the dog outside and took the kids to school. You walked in, opened the door to let the dog in and there are the kids looking at you and asking where you took the dog. If this kind of thing has never happened to you then you've clearly led a charmed life. 
Looking back, I should've known that today was gonna be a "do over" type day but I'm infuriatingly optimistic. I attribute that to my being mentally deficient. It's not my fault I'm too stupid to see disaster before dawn. 

So what makes today such a comedy of errors? Here, I'll give you the rundown...

Molly and I were to meet up today near Lexington,KY. I was several hours ahead of her so I parked in Berea at a truck stop to wait. To try to be helpful I told her I'd go pick up her prescription, in the interest of saving time we could spend together. 
Sounds easy enough, right? Not so. It all went downhill from there quickly. She and I both had one of those days. Of course. 

I deliberately chose this truck stop because when I called them to ask, they said there was a Walgreens about a mile away. Awesome. Turns out they and I have differing concepts of distance. But I'll get to that shortly. 
In theory this was to go smoothly. Theory and reality didn't get along today. She started her day by having to pick up a load that seemingly didn't exist. No one had directions to the place, the phone number rang through to a dead line and even her two GPSes (what's the plural for GPS?) couldn't agree. Excellent start to the day. 

As a result, she ended up on back roads in Fuqal Nowhere,Indiana looking for a warehouse that had only been open a few months. It was so new even its employees couldn't remember how to get to work yet. 
When she finally found the joint she called in to the Walgreens near where I was and got them started on the complicated prescription she needed. All was on target. 

An hour later they let her know the pills she normally pays $30 a month for are $100 this time due to some weird insurance mix up. Whatever. They're necessary so price doesn't matter at the moment. We can sort that out later. 
What's that? Another hour later they call back to say they don't actually have what's needed. That's alright, they call the Rite Aid across the street. The prescription gets filled quickly. 

Now comes the fun part. The walk. It's only about a mile, no big deal. Or so I thought. Turns out it was a bigger deal than advertised.
When the order was ready Molly told me there was no rush going to get it because the place was open until 6. Well, I thought I'd be proactive and leave right away because if I didn't I'd probably fall asleep and forget. We know what my attention span is like. Good thing I left early. 

I got myself together. Clothes? Check. Shoes? Check. Phone? Check. Alright, let's get going and earn my merit badge. A little over half mile away I realize I didn't grab my wallet. It's back at the truck. Crap. So I've gotta head back. That's ok, the weather is nice. 
Back to the truck, grab the wallet and vapor mod and head back to Rite Aid. I've got this. 

I cover a mile at a brisk walk. No sign of Walgreens or Rite Aid anywhere. That's ok, maybe it's just on the other side of this residential area. So I just keep moving. As I get into what seems like stores that are from the early 1900's I see a local walking and ask him if I've missed the Walgreens. 
He has no clue so I look up the number and speak with the pharmacist. I tell him where I started from and which direction I'm headed in. Turns out I'm still 3 miles away roughly. 
You've gotta be shitting me.  I'm on the right road, so that's good. But "about a mile" isn't even close to accurate. Well, I'm committed now so I reckon I'll just keep going. 

About a mile later I hit what appears to be the old town center while I'm on the phone with Molly. You know, as it starts to rain. Of course, rain. And? And a fork in the road. Naturally.  
I spot another native and ask directions again. He tells me to stay to the right as he looks at me like I'm radioactive. "You're gonna walk the whole way?" I smile and nod but really want to say "No, I've got a pick up truck in my coat pocket. I just don't feel like using it yet."  
I don't say that because I'm on foot in a backwater town in the rain. Best not to smart off. I could get killed and stuffed. Or stuffed and killed. It's a toss up with these folks. 

"Stick to the right" he says. Okey dokey. Quarter mile later the road forks again. So I do what? Right, I stick to the right. For another half mile until I get to the cemetery. Something tells me I've screwed up so I find one of the living walking amongst the dead. He was quite helpful in letting me know I stuck to the right one too many times. 
So I backtrack to that fork and go left. Roughly half mile later I can see a virtual metropolis as I top a hill. Looks about 2 miles in the distance. Certainly the Rite Aid I'm looking for must be here somewhere. If not then there must be cabs. This walking stuff kinda sucks about now. 

Feet beginning to blister (I'd definitely worn the wrong shoes for this) from the 4, yes FOUR mile walk, I make my way into the Rite Aid. And I'm thinking "what the hell did we do before cars?! This is insane!" 
The pharmacist is a friendly guy though. He's the same one I'd called once earlier when I got lost. He and I talked about the circuitous route I took getting there. Turns out there was a better way that would've shaved off a mile. Note the lack of shock on my face here. 

So I'm paying for the prescription plus the other item I was asked to grab since I was there. That's when the pharmacist asks me, "so how'd you get roped into picking this up anyway?" He knew I was picking this up for my girlfriend. Tired, wet and sore from the cross country trek I didn't even think, I just spoke. "It's birth control pills. I have what you might call a vested interest here." He just laughed and gave me that knowing nod. 

Was my journey over? Of course not. I saw a vapor shop about a block before I got there so I figured I'd stop by on my way back. It's not like I was in a rush at this point. 
Though they didn't have anything I wanted there I did see a young couple talking in the parking lot. Why not give this a shot? So I approached them, "excuse me, how'd you guys like to earn $20?" The guy quickly says, "no. Sorry.", as he looks at me like I'm recruiting drug mules. 
I recognize the look. It's the same one we give to beggars at truck stops. So I quickly add, "I'm just looking for a ride. It's raining and my feet are killing me. I'll gladly pay you for gas. I'll buy lunch. I'll give you cash. Please. I'd call a cab if this town had one. I'm begging here." I guess I'm fortunate that he saw I was sincere. He asked where I needed to go and I told him about my journey from the truck stop. 

As the three of us piled into his girlfriend's car he asked why I'd come all this way. I told him about our predicament of being truck drivers and there's never a drug store near a truck stop. Things were going smoothly. Until..

His girlfriend, driving, casually says "I just wanted to make it known that I do have a knife. In case you try anything." And I instantly responded with, "and I've got birth control and sleeping pills. If you guys have rope it'll be a party." I was tired, sore and frustrated. Apparently my humor wasn't appreciated. 

Now, imagine you're giving a random stranger a ride in the rain and he's carrying sleeping pills and birth control pills. I thought she was gonna wreck the car. 
I'm happy to report that, although they promptly kicked me out of the car, the half mile I had left back to my truck at that point was mostly uneventful. 
That thunderstorm I'd walked through for miles? Still going on. I can handle a little more wet though. What sucked was getting back to my truck to find out I'd left my windows down. Sub perfect right there.