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Tia’s at the wheel, and I’m stretched out in the backseat. Tia picked me up after work. It’s nine o’clock now, and I want to sleep. I don’t mind much; it’s a nice feeling back here. The motion of the car makes me feel like I’m floating, until a bump jars me. Tia has informed me that we will stop once for “gas and a piss” and we’ll eat when we get there. She wants a smoked meat sandwich. I asked her what kind of meat, and she just looked at me.
My nerves have calmed considerably, since I rashly told Tia I would come on this trip two weeks ago. Once she found out when Phil could watch the Lair, Tia told me to arrange a day of absence from work. I didn’t want to; I hate talking to my boss. But I have a bunch of unused sick days, and Tia insisted I take one. “We have to leave Friday, so that we have a full day Saturday.” She was a bit exasperated with me. I left a message my boss’s phone, and then he left one on mine. To my surprise, he had no problem with me taking a day off. Sick days are one of the beautiful things about union regulations.
I drift off to sleep. Tia wakes me up when she stops for gas, so I get out of the car and stretch. I find the bathroom. There’s toilet paper strewn about, and there are more crumpled paper towels beside the trash than in it. There are wet spots on the floor around the toilet, and I place my feet between them, crouching with my right foot turned inwards and the left beside the toilet. It’s usable, at any rate. Then I buy a root beer, and go back to the car. I take a sip of the cold, sugary drink to ease my dry mouth.
“All set?” Tia asks.
“Sure.” I feel like a little kid, in the back seat with my soda. Are we there yet?