Writing Challenges

Almost Home

Ambassador bridge night

Image from wikipedia

“We’re lost.”
“No we’re not”, I said, looking at the map. “There’s a beltway around Toledo. We take that.”
“I think we missed it.”
“We didn’t miss it.”
“I think we did. We should turn around.”
“Shut up, Alex.”
“Yeah, shut up Alex.”
I looked up from the map: “You know what, Dave, you can shut the fuck up too.”

Silence. Really uncomfortable silence.

It was hell. Hell in a car. Hell on wheels. Hell since before Memphis. Did it start with the Grand Canyon fiasco? What about the “pool incident” at that 2 slot casino outside Death Valley? How close were we from ending up dead and buried under a cactus? I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure that when it comes to winning the table, the rule is “always, always, always let the locals win”. Always.

Or was that Lubbock?

The whole trip had been a test of nerves and now we were cruising past Toledo on the beltway (I was right) and making our way to Detroit where we’d cut over the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor.

“Don’t say anything stupid at the border this time.”
“Shut up.”
“Pretty good odds that you will.”
“Coming from a guy who lost $500 on slots, I wouldn’t talk about odds.”
“Fuck you.”
“And you.”

The border was uneventful aside from some dirty looks. By the time we got to Niagara Falls, that bitter blanket of anger and hate that had settled on us had become so thick that none of us could appreciate one of nature’s greatest wonders. Our attitude had reduced it to just a bunch of stupid water falling over a cliff. Bah.

In 9 hours we’d be home. At last.


Day 18 of 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing. Go see what everyone else wrote today.

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  • Damn, that Dave! Can’t take him anywhere.

    You know I don’t know if it was my imagination or not but when I was younger and we travelled with the kids, arriving at the border with a car full of dirty, smelly laundry always seemed to result in us being whisked right through customs.

  • Hah, I can only imagine how sick you guys were of each other at that point. (esp. since they made you miss seeing the Grand Canyon and set the carpet on fire near Memphis. Hope you all regrouped and are pals again.

  • I absolutely love these stories from your road trip from hell! Can we have some more? Pretty please?

  • Terrible trips make getting home such a joy! I do not like really long car trips. Not a bit. 4 or 5 hours in the car and I start feeling like car slime is stuck on me. (And we have very clean cars so it’s not that.)

  • “bitter blanket of anger and hate” – ha! I can feel it now!

  • I feel the tension and hostility, and the anticipation of finally getting home. Did any of the friendships survive the journey?

  • Hey Mike, I love the diminishing of Niagara Yes Sir, must been a long trip. Indigo

  • You could have given one of them a barrel and bet them about the odds of going over the falls.

  • Road trips compound emotions. Tin can traps on wheels with no where to go. From yelling to laughing in an hour.

  • Ha ha I WANT to see a bunch of water falling off a cliff!

    I laughed at ““Fuck you.” “And you.”” because (don’t tell anyone) it reminded me of church… “peace be with you.” LOL!

  • mikewjattoomanymornings

    I’ve only been that angry with a companion on a trip once in my life. Had something to do with alcohol and sex and blues music. Remind me to tell you all about it next time we get together for a beer.

    Another great story, Mike!

  • KZ

    For some reason, I found the hostility in this piece really funny. Strong work, Mike. Your writing is very lively.

  • Well, that sucks!! I’ve taken a few major road trips in my life, but none of them ended as badly as this!


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