My tolerance for alcohol was probably at it’s lowest it had been for the past couple of years, so by the time we actually set off, I was pretty zonked. Before I passed out, I made sure I called my sister, our friends, Ned, Peter and Melissa drunkenly rejoicing on our successful acquisition of the prophetic yellow beast. I took the opportunity to run up and down the aisles, somersaulting and all. I was very amused at the thought of never having anyone yell at me to sit down and shut up in a school bus ever again. John and I were both in a state of euphoria.
A few hours must have gone by when John woke me up to as me whether I wanted to take over the wheel for a bit, but I told him I was still pretty drunk/hung over, so we decided to take a nap for a few hours. It was absolutely freezing without the bus running. It was at that point that my cold (which had most likely been brewing for a couple of days now) really took a swing for the worst. I woke up to the sight of Chicago at the crack of dawn. The sight was picturesque, to say the least. Unfortunately, I would not be able to appreciate much for the remainder of the journey back home because of the severe cold I had developed early on.
After making a pit stop for gas, I fell back asleep. I woke up as soon as we made our next stop in Indiana for breakfast. After our routine meal of cracklin’ oatbran, I told John that it was time. Way back when we set off, I had told John that I wanted to have a photo shoot for the front cover of my prospective album that I’m planning on releasing in my fantastic phantasy of celebrity. I think it went well. It was a beautiful day, crystal clear skies with the sun a-shining brightly.
After the shoot, it was finally my turn to take the reigns. I had been fantasizing about driving the school bus for such a long time, so I was especially giddy. After John ran me through the controls, We were off again. It was very nerve-racking at first, but I quickly got the hang of it. I drove for at least a hundred and eighty miles before I got really exhausted from staring at the sun without sunglasses on, as well as the fact that the heat would run relentlessly in the cockpit, despite it not being turned on. I pulled into a rest-stop down I-90 for some good ol’ fashion red bull and (a trucker favorite) No Doz. I also wanted to find out whether there was any good classic rock station we could tune into for the ride. As soon as the cashier rang up the red bull and No Doz, the final cost came to $6.66. Now that’s just silly. “Oh wow, you sure you didn’t want to add anything to that?” he said to me. “Nahhh, I’m not superstitious. This is going to be a fun ride back, though. Oh before I get back on the highway to hell, do you know any good rock stations?”
The next thing I can remember that really stuck to memory was driving over Cleveland on I-90. It must have been the middle of the day, around 4pm, and there wasn’t a single car in sight. Anywhere. This just strengthened our theory that Cleveland doesn’t actually exists. Fuck you Drew Carrey. You lied to all of us. Your a big fat liar. And your not funny.
The reception on the radio was pretty abysmal, so we opted to turn it off. While John was asleep in the back, I decided to be my own radio and sing to myself for the next hundred miles or so. After I had sung every single dylan song I could recall, I found myself driving through Pennsylvania. Now I consider myself to be a jolly fellow. But Pennsylvania… It never ends. By the time I got to exit 265, I was so anxious, I wanted to stab something. Our escapades in Pittsburgh station didn’t help.