Friday, July 19, 2013

Georgia, Pt. II

As we slowly made our way through East Texas, the music being piped in through the car's satellite radio got to Alyssa and her sister.

(East) Texas... cont'd

I fell asleep some 15 miles into Kaufman County.

I awoke an hour later, around 9 AM, to the car slowing down and coming to a stop. I heard Gloria talking, and checking on the kids in the back. When it came my turn to be visually-analyzed, she called out my name.

"Eddie-wedy... Eddie-wedy..."

First Stop

It's hard to ignore that while you feign sleep. When I "came to", we were sitting outside a Chevron station. A few minutes after I woke up, Micah followed. Between small talk, I noticed the name "Linsdale" on the exterior of a building. 

"I wonder where we are?"

As we sat in the car waiting for Gloria to come back to the pump, we started talking about the people going into the store. At some point, a police car drove up to the store, with "LINDALE POLICE" painted on the side, in Impact. Gross. We watched as the cops go out of the car; both were white. One cop was a large man, his partner smaller than he was. 

Gloria came out of the Chevron and began to fill-up the Honda behemoth. 

Much to my delight, we decided to stop at a Subway that someone had spotted. I hadn't eaten anything, and I wasn't expecting us to stop too many times, but I'm thankful we did. 

The Subway looked modern-enough. It was a stand-alone brick building with large front windows. The place wasn't bustling at 9 AM. There was probably three or four people inside, eating some kind of breakfast item. The four of us made our way to the counter, with Gloria ordering first. 

The sandwich artist behind the glass was a well-built guy. His name tag read "Cas". He wore the standard uniform, along with glasses. I noticed he had a tattoo on his right arm, but I couldn't tell what it was. He reminded me a little of my friend Bill, a staunch atheist who does martial arts. 

I could imagine this guy doing martial arts. He appeared to have the prowess for it.

While the guy took our orders, another employee was walking around. He probably was doing something, but nothing too obtrusive to notice. A woman, probably their manager, was sitting at a desk, doing paperwork.

We promptly grabbed our sandwiches, and added a dozen cookies to the mix. Total: $~30.

Straight outta Lindale

Back on the interstate, we drove through what probably was a heavily-wooded forest. Tall trees were on both sides of the highway, and you could notice the small country roads running parallel to I-20. I thought about all the people living here, and that to me, they were smears of color, going by at 65 MPH. 

Some distance from Lindale, we began to flag down eighteen-wheelers. Alyssa, sitting up front, would make a fist and then pulling down. We wanted to hear a horn, goddamnit. 

A guy driving an eighteen-wheeler started to wave at Alyssa, and this got all her all giddy. The truck was driving a little slower than us, and because of that, the driver couldn't see her action. Gloria, caught up in all the action, waited for the driver to pull up beside her. Micah was a little more adventurous and asked for the sunroof to be opened. 

Gloria opened the sunroof, and Micah climbed out of her seat onto the centre console of the car. She stuck the upper half of her body out the roof window and probably motioned the truck driver to pull his air horn. She did the action a few times before we finally heard a loud honk come from the truck. Micah stuck her head back inside, and we all began to laugh. She got it done, and and quickly at that. 

She tried doing it again to another truck, but it wasn't as successful. After some personal things were discussed, I dropped like a fly.


When I came to, there was nothing but a straight highway with flat plains. I couldn't imagine that all the trees had disappeared. I went back to sleep.

Coming to for the second time, we were stopping at a small town alongside I-20.

I asked where we were at, and someone answered me that we had made it well into Louisiana. We had stopped at a Raceway station. I groggily got out of the car and walked inside with the others. My first instinct was to go to the bathroom. The cold service station was a reprieve from the muggy Louisiana air.

The bathroom was towards the back. As I headed towards it, someone came out. The door didn't close all the way, so I opened it with my shoe, not wanting to touch some nasty-ass handle. Once inside, I closed the door with my butt and went on to do my business.

This place had no paper-towels, so I ended up touching that nasty-ass door handle.

I browsed the store, and again, we were bought something. Although the sandwich from Texas hadn't filled me up, I just got a large Dasani bottle. As I was leaving the store, I decided I wanted Cheetos, so I went back and bought myself a bag.

With Alyssa, I've indulged in smoking. While I waited eternally in line, I checked out the selection of cigarettes they had. I've gotten used to menthol, so when it was my turn to pay, I asked the cashier how much their Camel Crush were. 

"$3.59 + tax"

That's shit-cheaper than in Texas, where they can run from $4.50 to $5.95, depending where you buy them. I just bought the Cheetos and went on. There'd be more opportunities to buy cigarettes along the way. I would regret saying that later, much to my chagrin.

Alyssa's mom decided that it would be great practice for the trip back if Alyssa drove, so she let her drive, and I joined her up front. After a rough start, we pulled out of Rayville and back onto the interstate.


We drove for maybe an hour or so before I asked how close we were to Mississippi. From the back seat, Gloria answered that we wouldn't be in the state until we crossed the river. So I waited intently before I pulled out my camera to document the passing.

Soon, a bridge came into view.

As we began to drive over the bridge, I was in awe of the river. "It must be at least a mile wide!" I exclaimed. Pulling my camera out half-way over the bridge, the river looked different during the day. I had driven over it with my family back in April of 2012 while driving to Chicago for a relative's wedding.

As we reached the other side, we saw signs pointing out Vicksburg.

Once I saw that, I knew there was no turning back.

We drove through Vicksburg without much of an incident. Making our way to Jackson, the state's capital, we drove through a major construction project. It was probably 1PM by now, and the road crews were hard at work. They were pouring asphalt over the road surface, so traffic was down to one lane. 

The smell of the asphalt permeated a little into the car. 

As with Vicksburg, the drive through Jackson was rather uneventful. We drove through another heavily-forested section of I-20, through the Bienville National Forest.

If you're going to build a highway, why not through a forest?!

As we drove through the forest, construction workers were clearing some trees from the side of the road. I saw one operator at a Catepillar machine that grabbed a trunk and literally pulled it out of the ground. 

With Alyssa still driving, the attitude was upbeat in the car. As we neared Meridian, we saw lots of trucks. It was the weekend, and people were going out in droves to relax. 

As we neared the small town of Newton, a truck ahead of us in the next lane with a hitched trailer suddenly blew a tire, causing the entire back-end to swerve suddenly. The noise from the exploding tire caught everyone by surprise. I jumped in my seat, while Gloria let out a yelp when it happened.

Gloria loudly said, "Alyssa!"
Alyssa, self-assuredly, said, "It didn't even scare me. Scared you guys."

She's right. She didn't flinch.

We reached Newton, and stopped at a service station that modelled itself as a railway station. Everyone got out to stretch, and I headed for the shop.

Newton Junction, Newton, Mississippi

I browsed around, and went to the counter to gage the cigarette prices. I asked the cashier, a young Black woman, the prices for various brands. The prices, I found, were higher here than they were in Louisiana. It's here I discovered that I should have bought them back in Rayville.

My shock to finding higher cig. prices
Fuck me. Fuuuuuuhk me. 

Alyssa joined me inside, and she browsed, too, before she told me that she was looking for motion sickness pills. She found them in a corner of the shop, and asked me if I'd buy them for her.

"How much are they?" I asked.
"*internal screaming for a little fucking packet of MS pills*
"I guess, go ahead and get 'em."

$2.99 for two motherfucking tablets? Fuck me over the table and hit me with a riding crop, Archenemy. Just do it. Fucking fold my ass over your kitchen table, pull out a riding crop, and while you're fucking me right there, slap my ass with a crop. 

Once I got over my initial shock, I paid for it.

With everyone having done their duty, we got back in the Honda. Gloria took over the driving, making our way to Meridian, the last major city before we arrived in Alabama.

I don't remember driving through Meridian, and there's a good chance I fell asleep. 

It was now 3:30PM, and Alabama was in our sights. 
The question is, "Are we going to have problems after sundown?"

Coming up in Georgia, Part III, our drive through Alabama and entering into Georgia proper.