A Scattershot Series Of Thoughts, Observations, And Happenings From A Weekend In Ohio

ohiocorn.jpg• Dried vomit in a bathtub is surprisingly resistant to attempts to rinse it away. It was the third morning of the trip, and the second one on which I contemplated the short- and long-term effects of pumping copious amounts of alcohol into my system to deal with a surprisingly varied array of personal problems, but the vomit wasn't mine. It belonged to my roommate for the weekend, who was currently still passed out in his bed, having admirably executed the first half of the "puke and rally" battle-cry before bailing on the second part. I stood in the tub, naked, staring down at the hardened remnants of the last few swigs of a bottle of sweet Maker's, and then I turned on the water and began to prod the stains with my big toe, gently scrubbing at them the way you'd use your foot and a towel to blot orange juice from the kitchen floor. The vomit eventually gave in to the hot water, after which I was able to shower relatively waste-free. The next day I excoriated my friend for his aim: "You're not supposed to lose it in the tub. Barf in the toilet." He replied, "I was on the toilet." I guess I can't fault him for not wanting to attempt some terrible feat of flexibility in order to keep everything in the john, but I also know he spent some of the evening sitting on the floor to vomit, as one should, since when he finally got out of the bathroom that evening, one of his legs was asleep, causing him to awkwardly limp toward the bed before curling up and drifting off. I guess he moved from one spot to the other at one point. • Seeing a hitching post at Wal-Mart full of Amish buggies is almost too surreal to understand. • Before my trip, I'd visited AT&T's site to get an idea of their coverage of the area I'd be visiting approximately two hours NE of Columbus. I don't quite know why I decided to do this, but I'm glad I did, since I discovered that the entire county where I'd be residing for 4 days was out of coverage. Completely. One county south, the color-based density map starts to get a little weak, like it's having second thoughts about providing wireless service to people this far out in the sticks, but the county I needed was just out of luck. True, I didn't need the phone that often, since I was usually with or near someone I would need, but it's still unsettling to feel so completely disconnected. However, in another of the weekend's bizarre twists, the hotel had free wi-fi. Go figure. • Someone actually began a conversation by saying, "Now, I'm a conservative, and I support the war." I had no idea these people were real. Or rather, I knew they had once been real, but was unaware that they still discussed their ideological failures in public. It's kind of amazing. • The final morning of the trip — the morning after my roommate had expelled the sadness from his system and passed out in one of the surprisingly comfortable beds — I awoke around 6:15. It was the frantic kind of awakening where you're pulled from sweaty unconsciousness without really realizing it, and I rolled over and addressed my roommate before I was completely aware of doing it. "What are you doing?" I asked him in a hoarse whisper borne of fatigue, wine, whisky, and depression. I think he gave me a quizzical look, but I couldn't tell. It made sense for him to be awake, since he'd passed out the night before by like 11 at the latest, whereas I'd been awake until 3:30 in the morning, which factored heavily into my reaction. "It's early," I told him. "It's early-pearly." I rolled back over, repeating, "It's early-pearly. That's not a phrase, but it should be." And then I was gone again. • Ends of trips are always depressing, but not (just) because you're leaving to go back to home, work, and the debris of your wrecked life. It's because the break was never long enough, and while you're happy to have survived it, you always need a vacation after your vacation just to recoup and get your head back on. Vacations are always great, and they always kick my ass. Photos are here.