12:14 PM – Leaving Arizona State. I had a nice Thanksgiving weekend with Kyle. He’s had a hard first semester but I think he’ll be fine. He’s coming to Denver for Christmas. I told him to shave his beard if he doesn’t want a speech from Mom.
12:35 PM – Arrived at Harris’ place in North Phoenix. I never met him before, but his RideShare and Facebook profiles are legit. A little girl with ponytails answered the door and she screamed for him.
12:40 PM – We’re off! Harris’ car is a piece of shit. A beat-up ’89 Toyota Camry. The stereo was missing but Harris rigged a couple speakers he bought at a Best Buy back in Phoenix. We’re listening to a Reggae band I’ve never heard of because I don’t listen to Reggae.
1:00 PM – We’re at a gas station a few miles north of Phoenix. I bought three protein bars and a pack of gum. I’m not even tempted by the cigarettes behind the counter. We’re waiting for the other passenger Jeremy to show up and then we’re off to Denver. Google Maps says we should be home by midnight.
1:33 PM – Left the gas station a while ago, but we’re stuck in traffic. Everyone’s heading to Sedona for the day. I’ve never been. Note to self – take trip to Sedona the next time I visit Kyle.
2:45 PM – I dossed of for a bit. But woke up to the smoke from Harris’ cigarette. Had a very strange dream. I was back in Kyle’s dorm and we were both staring out to the campus, which was taken over by roadrunners. I’ve never seen a roadrunner in person, yet there they were, hundreds of them. Pretty odd.
4:19 PM – Kyle messaged me to say where we were. I said somewhere still in Arizona. It turns out Jeremy is a student at CU Boulder. He’s majoring in physics. Harris lives up in the mountains where him and his wife live on a farm.
5:30 PM – Still listening to reggae. Still don’t recognize any of it. Honestly, it all sounds the same to me. I ate all three protein bars.
6:20 PM – We stopped for gas and back at the New Mexico border, and then decided to find a place for dinner. We found a Taco Bell. I bought two chicken tacos even though I’m not hungry. Google maps how says we’ll be in Denver by 1 AM.
6:30 PM – I’m in the back seat writing down my last entry for a while. It’s my turn to drive. I haven’t driven in over four years. Everyone knows about peer pressure, what about stranger pressure? It’s almost dark and Harris was behind the wheel for six hours. Jeremy pulled out his iPad and said his goal was to finish the second book of Game of Thrones tonight.
10:54 PM – I drove for the first time in four years. I drove between 80 and 90 miles for several hours across New Mexico. What the fuck was I thinking? I loved it, but what was I thinking. We’re at a gas station and still about an hour south of the Colorado border. I could tell Jeremy was itching to get behind the wheel. I pulled a couple stunts out of inexperience that I knew he didn’t appreciate.
11:34 PM – Harris is asleep in the back and Jeremy is now concentrating on the road. Him and I had a good conversation while I was driving. He’s a freshman, juts like Kyle. He sure that after undergrad he wants to go straight to grad school. I told him a bit about my brother. Kyle’s not sure what he wants to be doing and is taking intro classes this semester to get them out of the way.
Jeremy: Did you go to college?”
Me: Yup, University of Oregon. I graduated three years ago.
Jeremy: What was your major?
Me: Political Science. I never used it.
Jeremy: Why not?
Me: I came back to Denver and tried applying for jobs but never found anything. I got a job as a sales rep for a tech company but quit in the Spring.
Jeremy: Where do you work now?
Me: A warehouse. We pack camping gear. It’s been good doing something physical for a while.
I’m not sure why I wrote out that bit of conversation.
12:22 AM – Finally in Colorado. Google Maps now says we should be at Denver by 2:30 AM.
1:03 AM – Jeremy moved to the back seat and Harris is behind the wheel again. He’s offered me a cigarette three times and Jeremy at least seven or eight. He’s a cool guy though. He spends holidays down in Phoenix because that’s where he grew up and he’s the only one in his family to live in Colorado.
Harris: It’s good to see my folks, but it’s more important to spend time with my daughter
Me: How old is she.
Harris: Almost four. Her birthday is January 2nd.
Me: Is she the girl that answered the door?
Harris: That’s her.
2:00 AM – Almost there! I just sent a message to Kyle to let him know where close to Denver. He’s at a party on campus and they’re about to head off for some pizza. I told him he’s in Arizona, and that nachos would be better. He asked how the fuck I’d know that. I guess I don’t.
2:37 AM – Back home and in my room upstairs. I was as quiet as I could be without waking Mom and Dad. Jeremy was passed out in the back seat and I didn’t want to wake him. Harris offered his place if I ever wanted to get out of Denver for a weekend.
2:46 AM – I messaged Kyle to let him know I’m home. He said good, and that they were on their way to get nachos.