I will start with the quite successful yard sale: So successful, it was extended two additional days. The climax was bittersweet...watching a beautiful girl walk out of my yard wearing perhaps the most beautiful dress I've ever worn.
The piano went the next day.
The road trip to Vermont started about four hours later than planned. But we were pumped. Until Madison. This is where we came to the dark crossroads and made the fateful decision to drive it in one sweep. No hotel. We would pull over when needed, eat when needed, etc. when needed. First stop was a cheesy Italian restaurant with a waitress we seemed to make increasingly uneasy as the night went on, but also a jukebox, impressively bad house wine and a memorably awful Amaretto sour...
The girls dropped me off at a bar on the way to get the car. I was going to take the sleeping shift for now, planning to drive a brutal 4:00 a.m. to 8:00-or-so shift. I was alone with three bartenders and I made nervous banter.
"So... I don't have very much money, and I need to fall asleep..."
"Uhm, ok... so Redbull is out?"
"Yeah, no caffeine. But something potent. And sleepy."
"Maybe just a shot of whiskey?"
I was really disappointed because I had walked into the bar intent on buying a shot of whiskey but thought--you know what--these people are professionals; I bet they've got some magical concoction they could make me. I know these were high expectations, but this was a college town.
So I sipped my whiskey and made further nervous bartender banter.
"We're driving to Vermont...I'm moving there...I just met a guy with a bulldog...have you seen that youtube video of the French bulldog?...I've never been in a bar alone...Am I really talkative?...I've never been three on one with bartenders like this....are you the manager?...oh, I asked because you watched her pour my drink like an eagle...I thought maybe she was giving me too much...so you're in training?...do I talk more than most people who are here alone?...."
I dozed, but shallowly.