Like clockwork, on day four of my road trip I hit my cranky existential crisis. It didn’t help that for this trip, day four overlapped with my birthday, which always makes me a little bit cranky. So double crankiness.
I had a wonderful visit with two parts of the family that I never get to see, and then hit the New Mexico roads. About an hour in, my crankiness descended.
I’ve never liked birthdays, but I hate telling people that, because they nod their head and say, “yep, getting older sucks.” That’s not it. I’m cool with getting older, if for no other reason than it releases some of the societal expectations that get forced on younger people.
It’s the ghosts of birthdays past. I’ve had some great ones, and whether I’m consciously remembering them or not, I think my brain tries to hold each new one to ridiculously high standards. I don’t really like that about my brain.
Last night I sat and listened to the Italian study group that was inhabiting the upstairs saloon at my historic (haunted, of course) hotel. The ghost of my last trip, to Rome and Venice, was floating about, but it wasn’t making me feel all nostalgic and wanderlusty. It just felt like I was trying to be manipulated into a good mood.
(By the way, 100% sounds really cool in italian. Cento perciento. Or something like that.)
The facilitator, who is from San Diego and has a very large family, was very cute, but this was a closed group and my Italian skills are below remedial. I moved over to the mostly empty ground-level bar for another cocktail (apparently all the kids were in the basement bar playing trivia), but I didn’t really engage with anyone and booked it upstairs pretty early, hoping to see a ghost. Because how can a too-young college kid at the bar compare with a pair of honeymooners who died in a murder/suicide in room 54? He can’t.
… Yeah, I think this bit of my brain that is fixated on ghosts may not be the most healthiest thing for my real-life relationships. Something to think about on the long desert roads scheduled for day five.
(Also, it’s just painful to listen to college kids hit on each other in halting Italian. “Can I dance? Oh, DO I dance. Yes.”)
Your video for the day: Senza Fine, the best part of the horrible 2002 film Ghost Ship, with a bizarrely creepy background image.