charlotte, north carolina and a new brain

Day 33: More fun with family in Wake Forest, NC

April 7, 2000

11:00A - i think i woke up to the sound of Melanie, 3, screaming to my mother (her grandmother).
"I want my mommy, i want mommy! I WANT MY MOMMY".

Whatever the time, i was hazy. Last night in a vain attempt to work WITH modern medicine, Dimetappe, i inadvertantly took a triple was i supposed to know that a capful was actually 2 tablespoons. So, I took three cap fulls. Needless to say, i woke up and my hands were numb. At first i envisioned the SmartBeetle contacting me from the street - "get back behind the wheel. your hands are at home on the wheel. drive. like little max rusin mows the pavementSissy Hankshaw, they get numb when not used to their potential..."

Then when Melanie lay down on the couch next to me and asked me to open the tupperware dish of marbles, i could barely get the lid off without fumbling the whole container.

Out to the backyard for a bit of horsing and brooming around

melanie rusin riding her witches broom

max rusin swinging

2:01P - A small lunch of Grandma Sue's pizza and the kids were off to bed. Myself included.

5:50P - Awaken to Bill home from work on a friday night. still i know what Andrew in college meant when he said "we're going Rowboating." he wasn't referring to a small self-propelled water craft, he meant Robotussen. Nyquil buzz. Man it is kicking the hell out of me. This must be like what Valium does...all the mental facilities working, just hazed and slowed down. Stripped of their power.

7:30P - Bill and I get the headlight on the SmartBeetle replaced. She has full nightvision again. Trevor and neighbor Michael climb inside and out and even pocket some of my toll booth change.

bill rusin and steve inspect the beetle max rusin inspects the smartbeetle

neighbor kid 'driving' max cruising the neighborhood

sue butcher driving to MichiganWe are off to the strip mall to get a movie and pick up fish dinner for everyone. My mom has loaded up her van and is heading back to Michigan tonight....her week long stay ended. The driving must be genetic.


8:00P - Seafood ordered (from a Yogurt place?). My mom returns? She should be near the state border right now. She relays how she stopped for supplies for the two day drive home and the van won't start. 

Oldsmobile Road Assistance. Customer Service is dead - once again i place myself in the operator's shoes and do her job for her. Does anyone know how to think anymore? What happens when these people call for support themselves? is it like two lobatamized patients having an emotional moment? I can hear the conversation:

Operator: um, like, um, i don't know
Operator2: um, like, ok, yeah
Operator: well, i guess so, gosh, i can't figure it out, but..
Operator2: Ok, good luck, bye.
Operator: yeah, i see. Have a nice night. thanks.

Bill returns in his truck and we proceed to sit in the parking lot next to the disabled American-made van. "Shoulda bought a VW" crosses my mind. We're going to make the best out of it - i am off to the Food Lion to buy a six IS Friday night and we ARE being forced to wait here for 2 hours in a mall parking lot. Isn't this what kids do nowadays. Troll the malls with a beer in hand.

10:40P – Tow truck shows up – man I wish I had the camera on me. Needless, mom’s van being cabled on the flatbed is a nice way to end all hopes of her making it home to Michigan this weekend.

11:20P - watching The Astronaut's Wife. I start drinking coffee to end my medicinal haze. Two large cups of the Folgers. I can't stop shaking. Bad idea.

1:20A - Out again in the backyard. I spend these late nights in North Carolina outside lying with my back on a 12 foot diameter trampoline in the dark calling on the phone. The wind whisks through the tree tops surrounding me. I wish you could see it.

It looks and sounds like late night outside the condo in Kauai, palm trees replaced by maple and oak. It kind of reminds me of 2AM somewhere in Montana on the side of the road, wind blowing and stars a blazing. I can't help but think of lying back on the hood of the car in out in the middle of the Badlands, South Dakota. Or is it closer still to the lawn furniture view out my sliding glass door in Warren, Vermont on some Friday night.
I am beginning to miss not only home, but all the places I’ve been.
Could it be that making it part way up the east coast gives me some sense of finality…cities are closer together, state borders less tall and wide, a denser grid of freeways….the short stretch home.

Either way, i wish the camera could take a decent damn picture of the sky at night. The big dipper is overhead in all of its glory. I heard three planets are nearly in line this week. The moon is waning (is that the term?). My hands are shaking - from the caffeine or the memories. My trip is far from over, but i feel like i am almost home. If i had my paints i could capture this on canvas. Blueish black sky, radiant stars set between a circular frame of tree tops, waving in the late night breeze. I can almost feel the world breathing. Or maybe it can feel me twitching. Familiar surroundings lie on the road in front. Something. With that realization - I just decided, i am turning around and heading back south. A little U-turn to revisit Atlanta. Well, I left my power cord, my sunglasses and boots there, so i have to go back anyway. But, most importantly, i have some unfinished business to attend to.

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Stationary in North Carolina

  • Sleeping on the couch comfortably with a bit of a cold
  • Phone calls to a friend before bed are expanding the possibilities
  • Kids, Golf and family = warmth and relaxation