Thursday after work I filled up the car with gas, drove home, and finished throwing stuff in a bag. Jason was already there. My roommate bagged us some arby's and we ate and were out the door by seven (she was staying behind because her family was coming into town, but wished us safe and happy travels).
We stopped at fire_hazzard's place in KC to spend the night because I know he has ample couches and loves me enough to let me stay there... yay! I didn't sleep very well. I was nervous. I'd felt sick all night with these doubts about whether what I was doing was a good idea, and how marc would feel when he saw me. Sure, it'd be a surprise, but not all surprises are good, you know? As andrea said... what if you meet his *SURPRISE* atlanta girlfriend? Oh well. I figured if it went badly, I've got a laptop and can enjoy atlanta by myself, chatting in coffee shops in between investigating tourist stops. Even when a vacation is bad, it's good.
When the alarm went off in the morning I was ready to go, so we were out the door by six. Everything went great... Jason drove, and we made it all the way to St. Louis without getting lost. Oh yeah, that one was unfortunate... I saw a sign for a highway split that actually occurs like five times in the city, so even though our GPS was telling us to go north I thought I'd found our location on the paper map and insisted that we go south, so we did for a while until it became apparent that this was not the right idea. Way to trust technology, huh?
We ran into construction in like three different cities, but it was cool to see Nashville and the roads through Kentucky and Tennessee are beautiful. Finally, when we got near Atlanta, we were flat-out stuck in some non-moving traffic, so we cut to some back roads which Jason says is pretty normal.
We arrived at Alyssa's house around 8 p.m. Marc was next door at another friend's. I took a shower, then she came and told me that he was outside in the living room. I guess she'd tried to make him put on nicer clothes by telling him that she had a friend who really wanted to meet him, and it hadn't really worked... she was the only one we'd told because she's the only one who we think can keep a secret down there, and all marc's friends were just like, "A friend who wants to meet him? Have you talked to marc lately?" he insisted on not ironing because there was no one she could introduce him to that'd make him care. awe :)
Anyway I got dressed and wasn't patient enough to dry my hair, I just rushed out and said hi, and he was completely elated. It was awesome. He just kept saying, "I can't believe you're here, I'm so glad you're here, I kept wishing you were here..." and all that. we totally couldn't let go of each other... I even tried to point him towards Jason (who he's known a LOT LONGER!) and he was like, "Whatever, hi... I'm so glad you're here!"
The three of us, Marc, Jason and I, went back to Marc's place and changed clothes to go OUT. We hit 1150 - this club downtown with a huge outdoor garden and subs on the dance floor shaking the whole place, and I had a few drinks and danced like crazy. We stayed out until like 3, it was great. Friday night, not too crowded, just people dancing and fun. I finally wasn't nervous, just happy.
Saturday morning we all slept in, and then woke up and sat outside talking. Marc's roommate came home from the house party we'd originally been at last night (awesome) and we all just talked. Marc and I went to the mall, because I'd forgotten my nice shoes to wear to go out that night. Didn't find any new ones. I have this thing when I'm in new towns about refusing to enter any store that we have in Wichita, which limits my options a lot these days. Anyway, then we decided to go to the botanical gardens because they had some crazy exhibit going on about carnivorous plants, but when we got down town we seriously couldn't find a place to park. yeah! So we went to the art museum. It was cool... not as cool as the nelson in Kansas City, which will forever be my personal favorite, but still pretty awesome. The building itself is white and round with sunlight pouring through the top, and you walk through all these spiral levels, with modern art at the top and the oldest european stuff on the bottom. I love art.
We got back to Marc's and picked up jason, who'd chosen to veg out instead of going to the museum with us. We went out to dinner at this mexican restaurant... some friends of marc were having a birthday. It was a gay couple whose birthdays are a week apart, so they were having one big dinner out to celebrate. It was funny, because I was sitting there drinking margaritas with like five gay couples, thinking, "This is... pretty much what I do in Wichita on the weekends, what are the odds?"
We went back to their place for birthday cake, and their house is AMAZING, and then got dressed up to go out clubbing (they said they'd understand... we were visiting, we must experience everything the city has to offer). We went out to some huge club with two separate rooms, one with hip hop and another with house, and huge outdoor area in between with water fountains. It was cool but it was freezing. They had it pretty opened up, and had air conditioners blowing like crazy, so I was pretty cold. I was also dealing with a bad phone call from my parent's whose soul purpose was I guess to make me feel bad about myself, and it worked, I felt bad. I didn't drink, I just watched people, then finally marc got me to dance. I loved it. Marc's a great dancer and fun to watch when he's just out there by himself, and when we're together everything feels totally effortless. He got me to close my eyes and just bounce and not think about anything... dance like nobody's watching, only not in that trite hallmark bumper sticker kind of way, in my own way, in this club with the lights and music and at least a thousand people.
We went back to the first house and the party was still going on, and I was exhausted. They told me if I wanted to, I could crash in the guestroom. So I did. Marc tucked me in and said he'd check on me every so often... I was like, "Why? I'll be sleeping." And I was. Apparently he really did check on me... a few times I even woke up, but I went right back to sleep.
Sunday I woke up and a surprising number of people were still awake. I had some coffee and sat outside on the porch talking to everybody, and one of the guys asked about my parents, and I said I felt stupid being 25 and having their opinion effect me so much. He's like, "No, it'll effect you forever. Trust us." It was cool.
We went back to Marc's and watched some TV, and then I told Marc I'd like to see Olympic Park, so the two of us drove off. We didn't make it to Olympic Park. True to Atlanta form, parking and traffic were so HORRIBLE we just gave up. So Marc's like, "Whatever, we'll go see Stone Mountain!" which I'd never heard of, but it's this big huge rock that they made a major state park out of or something, and we got out and walked around and climbed up it for a while, which was tough because neither of us is really in shape or wearing the right shoes. So we took breaks on the way up... sat and breathed in pine trees in and watched the sunset over the atlanta skyline. wow. yeah. It was really magical, and I got to give marc hell about not normally being the outdoorsy type... he's native american (gorgeous++!) so I was like, "Hey, if I get attacked by a snail out here you've gotta be able to save me!" and all this crap. Tried to keep it light. I know from experience that when you're in a relationship that's logistically difficult, the really romatic stuff, like sunsets and nature, will get you in trouble. you cling to it when you can't have it anymore. I'm clinging to it now, anyway.
It feels like we went out to dinner or something but it's all kind of a blur... all I remember is that we were pretty tired that night and went to bed at like 10.
Monday we woke up, got some chicken biscuits for breakfast (don't ask about the south and chicken biscuits... they're obsessed) and I got some reading done. In the afternoon Marc and I went out to lunch at JR Cricket's, this wing place downtown with lots of signs when you walk in telling you stuff you can't do, like loiter or talk on a cell phone or take too many napkins, and nobody really looks that friendly, but the wings were AWESOME. Marc said when he lived by one of these places, he used to get a boatload of chicken wings and fries and drink a whole bottle of pinot grigio and pass out. How awesome does that sound? Anyway they just serve beer so that's what we had with it. Then we went to Ikea! I go to the Ikea website all the time but I've never actually been to a store so I was totally excited... I know it sounds stupid, but it's so true. We had a great time. Marc loves design, I love Ikea, I bought some little drawer pulls and hanging mirrors. Then we went to this place called Five Points, which is full of independent craft stores and vintage clothing and an organic market.
At night we met a friend of his and went downtown to Oz pizza... seems ironic to come all the way from Kansas for a place by that name but it was really tasty. We went out for ice cream and told silly stupid stories. Went home, put in Blazing Saddles since Jason hadn't seen it, and I crashed out asleep again.
I woke up at 6:30 for no apparent reason, which I figured was great because we needed an early start (15 hour car ride = bad!) I walked outside and my tire was flat. DAMN! Knowing that the odds of finding an open tire-fixing place at this time of morning were slim, we decided to get some breakfast (more chicken biscuits!) before tackling the tire issue.
So around 8, we got my spare out and marc set about to business while Jason and I packed up. That's when things got unfortunate... he couldn't get the wheel off. I couldn't get the wheel off. Jason couldn't get the wheel off. I called goodyear for advice and they told us to kick it or beat it or something, so we did, but that didn't do it either. Finally I broke down and called AAA. It took them two hours to get to us. The guy they sent couldn't get the wheel off, which really made me feel a lot better because hell, it means I didn't miss something obvious. He towed us to a firestone, where we waited another two hours and ended up buying two new tires... not a big deal, since my tires are about shot anyway. The time thing bothered me more than anything. We had lunch while we waited.
So my early rise did nothing for us... we didn't leave town at 7 a.m., we left at 2 in the afternoon. Damn! I said goodbye to marc. It was sad. Jason drove, and I tried to sleep but couldn't. Finally in St. Louis, just as it was getting dark, he asked me to take over, and I did, but I didn't make it far. Around 11 I got really tired. I couldn't drive. He was asleep and I knew he wouldn't be able to drive again. I pulled off the highway and suggested we just nap for a bit. I took the back seat and was asleep immediately. There was nothing at that exit but a closed gas station and an adult superstore... it was great, we're there sleeping, basking in the XXX light. whatever.
I woke up three hours later for no reason, and it was still dark. I climbed up front, started the car, and drove all the way to ottawa while Jason slept. He took over there and I slept and we showed up in Wichita around six in the morning, and I showered and went to work.
Marc texted me a few times today to say he missed me. I called him around lunch, and said I missed him too, then we got to talking and laughing over the phone and it felt good again. I don't have that empty, eating pain like I did the first time he left, I feel a little better for some reason. I think he might be hurting more. The way he was talking during the weekend sometimes, about dreading the moment when I have to go, I recognized it. I felt happy though, just happy to be there and around him and enjoying my vacation.
So today is rainy and gloomy and depressing, and I'm going on about none sleep, so it's hard to tell if I'm sad because I miss marc or just not myself for external reasons.
Marc isn't perfect, he's got some weird past issues that we got to talk about a lot this weekend. He's between jobs. But we have a lot in common... two very independent people who really want to have fun right now. and he's all the fun I could ever want. I guess in that way, he's like a party that you don't want to leave... you know you'll probably get tired of it eventually, but just to make sure you want to ride it out to the bitter end. he might visit over halloween, we're not sure, he talked about it today. I'd love to have him here right now.
I guess I'm feeling more okay, just seeing how it goes. not totally okay. just better.