You Will Need:
1 Jeep Wrangler in mediocre condition
1 2 AM Emergency phone call
2 Bottles of Strawberry Hill Boone’s Farm
¼ Bag of weed
1 Extra Large gas station coffee
2 Packs of Djarum Blacks
1 Pack of Camel Turkish Silvers
1 Full Tank of Gas
a dash of willpower
a pinch of rebellion
add inside jokes to taste
* Make sure you are wearing your most juvenile pajama pants and don’t remember to grab the map on the way out the door.
1. Panic at a cry for help. Cool down while pondering a solution. Grab a buddy. Jump in the Wrangler and hit the road for a rescue mission. Stop at gas station for supplies. Avoid eye contact with all employees. Nonchalantly check for cops. This should be repeated frequently.
2. Know where you’re going. Search the whole car for a map. Fight about who left the map at home. Keep driving. Focus on the matter at hand. One bottle of Boone’s should be nearing its end. Your coffee is getting cold.
3. Stop at the state border sign and run full speed toward it screaming about freedom. Snap a picture. Joke about being in two places at once. Argue over which movie that came from. Smoke a bowl. Smoke your fifth or sixth cigarette. Toss the first empty bottle over the deserted highway. Pick it up and throw it in the Recycling container when it doesn’t shatter as expected because you aren’t a littering asshole. Get back in the vehicle. Decide to save bottle #2 for the ride home. Your designated driver insists on stopping for another coffee.
4. Ignore texts asking where we’re at. Reply to what our ETA is.
5. Get lost in the backwoods. Crack open the second bottle. Take an extra hour and a half to arrive at your destination. Pick up the precious cargo friend in crisis who thanks you through a curtain of twig and leaf encrusted hair. Ask where their shoes are. Offer a cigarette and hit the road home. You have to work in seven hours and it’ll take five at top speed to get there.
6. Fall asleep and hear ghosts of conversations you’re not sure are real or dreams. Peek with one eye. The world is red-orange as the sun rises. Hear laughter over whatever you just mumbled in your sleep and then crawl to your grey bed in the next instant.
7. Wake up for work on time. Still ignore texts. You don’t cook so you grab drive-thru breakfast.
* For Best Taste: Take your travel partner’s Wrangler to work and fill up the tank for them. This is how to avoid disaster. Throw in a pack of Djarums for good measure.
© Jennifer Patino (2017)