Memoir #5 Manic in Missouri

I am on the road.  Feeling good. Better than I have felt in a long time.  I felt FREE, so free. No job to go to. Traveling Alone. Endless possibilities. Driving, driving and more driving.  On the way to Kansas City (KC), I made a few pit stops and got lost along the way.  A day’s journey took me a week to get there. The morning I left Alabama, after the first night I slept in my car during the thunderstorm I called my best friend.  She lived in Mississippi and I called her and told her that I was on my way to KC and could I come by and visit.  She said I could so I drove to her house and stayed with her for a night or two. She lived at her father’s house with him and was taking care of him because he had a liver disease and was not in good health. I made it to her house and stayed with her overnight. Sunday morning I woke up to it snowing outside. We enjoyed playing in the snow that day.  We build little snowman and had a snowball fight. I may have spent one more night and maybe I left later that evening. I can’t remember. I impulsively told her that I had to go, now, and I could not stay any longer and she tried to talk me into staying another night because the weather was bad but I would not listen and drove away as it was getting dark.  At the time, she did not think I was mental, out of my mind, and I thought I knew what I was doing too and that I was in control but I was not. I had lost control and was acting on impulse and urges inside of me that were so strong I could not be held back or contained to one place.  I had to GO. I drove through Memphis that night and instead of going towards Missouri I ended up in Jackson, MS around midnight with no where to go. I looked for a place that was open 24 hrs. like a laundry mat or something since I did have dirty clothes to wash.  I went to downtown Jackson in the middle of the night and it was like a ghost town. There was nothing open, it was mostly office buildings so I found a Whataburger restaurant and went inside and tried to use my old computer.  It did not work. I had nothing to do but sit and eat.  I ordered a salad I think and I got a couples attention that came inside because I looked down to them. The man came over and asked me if I was alright and I don’t remember what I said. He asked me if I wanted to follow them to where they were staying in a hotel and told me that there was a bar nearby in walking distance from the hotel.  I followed them there in my car and went to the bar with the guy. The girl stayed in the hotel playing computer games, she did not want to go. So I took my dinner and he brought his over the bar and as we walked inside some people were coming out that were fighting and I was a little scared.  I went in and ate. He ate too and I did not drink that night, but I played some pool with strangers. It was fun I guess, I didn’t expect to be there and after we left he said I was welcome to stay there but there was no bed and I would have to sleep in the chair so I did. I also washed some of my dirty clothes at the laundry room there at the motel.  I got up early the next morning and left for my destination.  He tried to talk me into staying longer but I told him I had to go. I drove some more and made it all the way to St. Louis as the sun was going down. I thought Oh no, I am losing daylight and I don’t know where to go in this city. I parked in a lot and walked the street by a Catholic Church and Monastery but it did not look like anyone was there so I got back in my car and found a Panera Bread.   I went to Panera Bread and hung out for a while, resting.  This was before I had an Iphone, just had a regular flip phone at the time so I could not use a GPS on my phone to get to KC but was using Mapquest on the internet. Again, I could not get my computer to work so I talk to someone about how to get there…I think that’s what I asked him but my memory is kindof cloudy.  I think at that point I was a bit sleep deprived.  I decided I was going to drive the rest of the way to KC but I didn’t make it very far. I parked in downtown St. Louis close to the Riverwalk and found a restaurant/bar that I knew would be open late. I went in and sat by myself and ordered something to eat. A couple came in, strangers, and I asked if they wanted to join me so they did. They ordered some food and we ate together and had a casual conversation. Both of them had just got off work, they worked together and were on a date.  After dinner, they asked if I wanted to go to a bar that was right down the street so I went along.  I started drinking beer. Then another. And another…and after a while I was not ready to leave but they were leaving. I thought oh great! I can’t stay here by myself so I went back to my car and drove.  BAD JUDGMENT! I had been drinking and was not driving on the interstate. The entire time I was driving I knew I should not be but just kept going.  I ended up pulling over at a Travelodge just outside of KC early early in the a.m.  I did not get any sleep but I think I took a shower.  I was not sure if I was going to stay for one or two nights so I paid for two but only stayed one.  I was so close to my destination that I even called the one person, Rachel, that I had meet in KC from my previous trip and told her that I was “on my way, I was moving there and needed somewhere to live.” She did not tell me that I could stay with her right away but had to talk to her roomates and I thought O great, now I have nowhere to stay and I was thinking I could stay with her again until I found a more permanent place.  She probably thought it was strange that I called her and said I was moving there out of the blue like that and was not prepared, just like I was not prepared to move either. I got out this book, called, well I can’t remember exactly but it was about the US and had prophecies for every state that I was reading and taking very seriously and was using the book as my “guide” and for “purpose” along the way.  I opened it up and read about the state of Ohio and after reading that page changed my mind and thought that I was supposed to go to C0lumbus, Ohio which was in the opposite direction. So I leave the hotel and instead of making the short drive to Kansas City I head back in the other direction towards St. Louis, on my way to Columbus.  What was in Columbus I don’t know but I wanted to go there because it was very important that I go there because I was SPECIAL, extraordinary. I felt envinsable.  Keep in mind that I had not had a full night’s sleep in over 3 days. I do not get very far and see “a sign” for a camping ground called, Lazy Days and I had to stop there.  Along the way I had been following “signs” that were speaking directly to me so I would know where to go. I went inside the place and I didn’t see anyone inside the little store so I think I got a cup of coffee and went to the desk and asked if I could stay to the man that worked there and he said sure, you can park your car anywhere behind the building and I don’t think he made me pay him anything.  I stayed there in my car all day, having a good ole time just piddling with stuff I had brought with me, writing post cards to people and I felt quite creative that day.  It was peaceful and it was also the last dose of medication I had left to take before I was completely off the Lamictal, which is a mood stabilizer.   I planned to sleep there and when it became dark I called ‘a friend’ named Anthony. I didn’t call Anthony normally but I did because it was very important that a get a phone number from him because I thought God had revealed that that Anthony’s friend was my future husband.  I was also believing that my own thoughts, or delusional thinking were revelations from God. He gave me the number and asked where I was and I told him.  Later I found out that he was concerned about me and called my best friend to find out what was going on. After talking to him I did not call Josh, that was my future husband’s name, right then but was going to wait until I got closer to Columbus because after all he was from Ohio and surely would have some connections in Columbus.  Well, when I did call him, which was a couple of days later, he said he did not know anyone there and I just played it cool like everything was fine and did not say anything to him about my “revelation” that he was my husband because that was crazy and I did not want him to think I was crazy.  Anyway, so I am at the Lazy Days Campground and I notice that I am the only car out there and start getting worried that I am not safe.  There was a camper or two out there but it appeared that they had been there for a while. I started getting confused and then intense fear came over me and I was afraid that I was going to get hurt so I left that place as fast as I could, driving in the middle of the night, as usual, and made it all the way past St. Louis and into Illinois. My maintenance light came on in my car and I was concerned that something was wrong with my car so I looked for a place to stop.  I ended up getting off the interstate and parking in a small lot next to a Native American Store.  I was interested in Native American culture so I slept in my car, with the car off and cuddled up in my North Face jacket and tried to get some sleep. It was cold!  Even though it was the first week in March it was very very cold that year. I was relieved to see the sun rise the next day but the store would not be open for a while so I drove to get a soda, a Coca-Cola, to be exact. There was a rest stop, ha, like a mile or so up so I went inside and got a Coke out of the drink machine and then I drove a little further down to a gas station to get gas and went inside to eat some breakfast.  It was a good breakfast. I had not eaten a big meal like that in a while. I felt energized and ready for the day.  I remembered that I needed to take my car someplace to  have it inspected since the light had come on so I sat in the gas station for a little while trying to find a place in the phone book.  I was growing impatient so I left and went back to the Native American store down the highway and waited until they opened. I went inside and this store was huge and it had an upstairs. I asked the lady working there if she knew of a place that I could take my car and she recommended a place around the corner so I went, they looked at it and did not think it was anything to worry about but did not really give me a good explanation either so I thought, what the heck, they told me not to worry so I’m not going to. I went back to the store, looked around for a while, bought a little glass bird and a key chain and asked the lady working there if I was close to Columbus because that is where I was going and was not sure how much further it was. I think she told me that Columbus was not close because I remembered sighing because I was getting tired of driving.    So I drove on and went through Illinois and into Indiana. I stopped in Terre Haute, IN.


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