One Thousand Miles Exactly

It was one of those Saturday nights. My best friend Betty and I hung out at my college dorm with nothing better to do. I was still in deep mourning after the guy I loved dumped me. Betty’s ex ran off with a traveling Christian acting group a month or so ago. She heard he was in Washington, D.C., and well, why don’t we see how he was doing.

Why not indeed.

So we traded her car for her dad’s VW Bug and took off from Massachusetts to D.C. 

Let me tell you a little bit about Betty. She was one of the most interesting friends I’ve had. Some people thought she was a little off. I thought she was delightfully different. And, no, she didn’t do drugs.

She had an accident the year before, when I didn’t know her. I believe she slipped on ice and her head came down hard on pavement. She told me when people spoke to her in the hospital she saw their words come from their mouths and spin on a Ferris Wheel before they reached her. 

I spent a lot of time at her parents’ home. She was an only child who came late to their life so they were rather indulgent. In her bedroom, they allowed her to write all over the walls and ceiling. I was envious. Her mother and aunt communicated with a spirit using the kitchen table, but that’s for another post.

We drove straight through, with only one near mishap when the Bug spun in snow near a toll booth. Betty had a friend who went to college in D.C. who let us sleep on her dorm room’s floor for a few hours.

Did we find the boyfriend? No. We had a phone number but no luck reaching him.

So we spent a few hours at the Natural History Museum. It was my second time here. The first was on a road trip with my parents when I was a teenager, and during that visit, I saw two men exchange suitcases near the stuffed elephant. The men sat next to each other, placed their cases on the floor, and when each got up, they took the other man’s case and left. They didn’t speak. Spies? I’d like to think so.

So we turned around with a stop at Greenwich Village in New York City, where we bought Betty socks because her feet were cold. We got to her parent’s house that evening. We checked the speedometer in the driveway. We had traveled 1,000 miles exactly. Betty figured her Dad wouldn’t notice, and he never did.


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