Tuesday, January 3
We whizzed along like a herd of turtles
Making a two-day trip as a small military family in a moving truck isn’t as Norman Rockwellian as it has the potential to sound. No wood-sided station wagon and Route 66 license-plate games for us! In fact, the truck smelled vaguely toxic, had virtually no sound insulation, and bumped along even the smoothest road like a cantering elephant with a limp. And the kid’s favorite game is pretending to hose other cars as they sped past. So less Norman Rockwell, more John Steinbeck: Reloaded.
We waylaid in Atlanta, where even the Sheraton Club Level (thanks, Richard!) features drapes lined in leopard print. I swear to you, the commercial promoting the local news team featured a muscular dude in a tight tank top and tattoo-sleeved arms, and a few other people gesturing sassily, I can’t really remember because I was too busy trying to figure out what the tattoo guy does. Anchorman with an edge? World’s most hardcore weatherman?
When we finally arrived at our apartment, approximately 400 hours after our departure from North Carolina, I was pleased with the place but in a dissatisfying, empty way. Like maybe when one goes on a date with someone really attractive but who has no personality.
“What am I doing here?” I thought as I watched Ethan relax in front of the computer playing one of his DVDs in our empty living room. I don’t know anybody, I don’t know this place, I’m 400 miles from our home of nearly five years.
But then later, as Noah and I put the legs on the dining room table, cracking stupid jokes and laughing contentedly, I remembered: He’s why we’re here. Also, the beach.