Traveling to Pittsburgh Alone

This past weekend I attended the Creative Nonfiction Writing Conference (more on that in the next post). It was in Pittsburgh, which is a four and half hour drive from where I live, so I decided to drive.

Well, that was mistake number one. Since it was Memorial weekend, I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. But I sucked it up for literature and rented a car. I spent an hour at the rental place because surprise, surprise, they didn’t have any cars, even though I reserved one a week in advance.

So I did what anyone in this day and age does and left a bad review on Google and tweeted about the company sucking. I got a Twitter apology immediately, from someone whose job it is to apologize to everyone who complains on Twitter about their company. How sincere.

When a car finally came in, the guy at the rental company looked at me apprehensively.

“We have a car, but I’m not sure you’ll want it. It smells like marijuana.”

I assured him that I just wanted to get the fuck out of there and on the road. So long as it was noted that I didn’t stink up the car, it was fine.

I signed the paperwork and an hour after planned I was finally on the road with a contact buzz. And that’s when I made mistake number two. I decided to fill a four and half hour drive with an audio book.

What I’ve learned from this is that if I listen to an audio book I will drive 20-30 miles above the speed limit to get to my destination faster so that I don’t have to listen to the fucking audio book anymore.

I love to read, but for some reason I just don’t have the attention span for audio books. My mind would wonder and then all of a sudden I’d catch something like, “Mom, did you sleep with your uncle Ray?”

What? What? The audio book finally gets interesting and I miss it.

When I got to Pittsburgh, parking near my AirBNB was nearly impossible as there was a hockey game that night and I was right in the heart of downtown. When I finally parked and walked to my AirBNB, I realized my third mistake.

My AirBNB was in a not so great neighborhood. There was a pitbull chained up on the porch of the house next door. I would have kidnapped the pitbull and taken it away from that awful place, but it looked like it was trained to bite me.

After the long drive, I just wanted to lay down in my room and pass out, but the AirBNB host insisted on talking at me for an hour.

Out of nowhere, she asked me if I believed in God. To which I replied, “Not really.”

“Oh, you will. I used to be an atheist, but then I met my second husband. I said that I wouldn’t get married again after my divorce. But then I met this man and he asked me to marry him. I said ‘no’, because he doesn’t have sense of humor. And I need someone with sense of humor. Then my kids said, ‘Are you crazy? Do you want to spend your late years alone?’ So I was like okay. And I said ‘yes.’ God led me here.”

How heart warming.

If there is a God, he will force you to marry someone that you don’t particularly like so that you at least have company in your late years while He slowly kills you.

So, I guess one good thing came out of that day: I found God, and boy is He an asshole.

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