I never realized before how good I am at sales. Wait, what am I saying – yes I did. But I guess my point here is that I can’t believe I was able to talk myself into a second move across the country, and to the same Godforsaken place I had just been a year earlier. When you dislike a job enough though, you can coerce yourself into just about anything that resembles a viable escape. Taking a job in the opposite corner of the country seemed more than viable to me, and it was just drastic enough to assure people that I was still in fact losing my mind. But from a planning aspect, I was worlds ahead of where I was at last time. I mean, hey, I had a job. And that was the single, mind-blowing piece of our strategy that set everything else into motion. A place to live? Oh, please. We’d figure that out when we got there. We were like Leonardo DiCaprio and his little buddy who won tickets to board the Titanic – little gypsy souls running around together just making life up as we went. Probably just as poor too. I don’t know too many people who make six figures a year and are still poor, but you can take an educated guess as to why my career as a financial adviser didn’t pan out. In hindsight, quitting that job to move into an old RV was probably the most ethical thing to do for any future clients. You’re welcome.
After Anthony got home from his season, we had only a week to wrap up our lives in Maine. We took care of the most important things first – eating as much Amato’s as we could – and we even made time to visit with our family and friends. Before we could even absorb what was happening in our life, it was moving day. We didn’t rent a U-Haul because it was way outside of our budget and neither of us cared to drive across the whole country in separate vehicles. That meant we were heading to Yuma with whatever we could cram into the BMW. We had already packed up some of our clothes the night before so we started filling in the crevasses with essential odds and ends. One big ticket item that I refused to leave behind was my Shark vacuum. I spent $300 on that thing and it was coming with us or the whole deal was off. After that, space had obviously depleted quite a bit and the remaining packing turned into the world’s most annoying game of Tetris. With barely enough room for breathing air, we got in the car with our dog Martini and took off for our first leg of the trip.
As luck would have it, the first thirteen hours of driving would bring us to Cleveland, Ohio. My best friend Lauren had just moved there for her boyfriend of two years and a new job opportunity – just like my situation except for the fact that it made sense. Her company paid for her furniture to be delivered from Maine, her boyfriend had a full-time job who owned a house that she would be moving into, and she got to drive to her new home without her seat straight up and her knees jammed into the dashboard for three days. Either way, we were going to be reunited for two days and it was nice to know that Anthony and I would spend at least one leg of our trip outside of a Motel 6. The trek to Cleveland got a little rough towards the end though. Despite my unparalleled driving skills, Anthony started to feel car sick just as we got into a backed-up traffic jam a couple of hours away from Lauren’s. Sitting in the passenger seat with the dog, he felt that rolling the window down for some “fresh air” on a ninety degree day with one million percent humidity would alleviate some of his sickness. Personally I was confused about how that was going to work out for him while we were at a stand-still in the middle of a construction zone, but I left my comments to myself while my dog and I sweltered to death. When he finally rolled the window back up, an ungodly stench overwhelmed the six cubic feet of air we shared. I looked at him in disgust, not unaccustomed to his mindless release of flatulents, but quickly realized he was looking at me in the same accusatory way. Since I don’t fart, and with only one other culprit to blame, we looked down at Martini sitting innocently on Anthony’s lap. If he had only passed some gas, we would have had a good laugh about it, but unfortunately that was not the case. On Anthony’s white dry-fit there was a fresh puddle of excrement from Martini’s leaky anal glands just soaking into his shirt. I tried so hard not to laugh that I burst into a compulsive fit of sucking wind and crying my eyes out. If it weren’t a class A felony, I swear in that moment that Anthony would have killed me with his bare hands. Instead, he grabbed a pillow from out back, set it on top of the “mess,” and rode in misery for the last hour to Lauren’s house. Martini settled nicely on top of the pillow for a quick snooze, clearly feeling better from his release.
The remaining bit of our road trip was less eventful. We took our respective turns driving and diligently made our way across the country to Arizona. Since we didn’t have a house lined up yet, and I’m not kidding when I say this, we made our way back to the RV park in Yuma. Apparently there was some mobile home that was offered to us as asylum from Grandma, so at least we couldn’t feel the place move when the wind blew. Regardless, I made it my life’s mission to get us the hell out of Southern Mesa RV Park. That night, I settled into some old couple’s bed with my laptop and scoured Craigslist for our future home.