After leaving the Jaduds' and stopping at a little bakery to pile ourselves (well, Tank's car) with 4 loaves of magnificently fragrant bread, we drove through New York and split up at the MA/NY border; Tank, Nikki, and myself would stay in the Berkshires for the night, and Chris would continue on to Boston for his job interview the next morning. So we redistributed the things in our vehicles so 3 people could fit in one and a lot of stuff could fit in the other and Chris sped off and I was left with two people who sat down on our hotel beds and looked at me and declared that they did not want to see the inside of a car again and Brain Turn Off Now.

I was pretty darn tired myself; I'd just pulled a triple shift driving (we were supposed to take 2-hour shifts so each driver got 2 hours out of every 6 to rest, but I wanted Chris to be fresh for his solo drive and Tank was starting to look a little worn around the edges, so I had them spell each other off and I kept on going myself) and my shoulders were starting to whisper "pain, pain, pain." But they weren't doing it too loudly and I had some wanderlust left in me yet and there was hunger to be dealt with so I got back in the van, cranked up a Muse CD, and hit the road in search of edibility.

Do you know how hard it is to find a place in the Berkshires that sells cheap, non-fast-food food you can take away with you? (Hint: It's hard.) It was over an hour before I stumbled back into the hotel room with a big brown bag, but the hunting had been good; we pulled apart one of the Bread Loaves of Ridiculousness and piled roast beef and turkey and sharp cheddar into sandwiches, and melted muenster atop wheat crackers and had raspberry sherbet we were unable to finish, and Orangina. So I did not do too badly in my role of provider that time.

We slept. It took some time for me to fall asleep. I spent a while just sitting and staring at the room's tiny crummy little window, leaning back against Nikki's bed with my feet scrunched up against Tank's (the room had two queen beds and cushy carpet in between them, and I had a sleeping bag).

I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking (or whether I'd call it thinking) but part of it, put in words, would go something like this: We all have lives in Boston waiting for us to pick them up again. I think we like those lives, or at least I know I'm going to love mine. And all the same, I wish it were as simple as this always; that I could drive an hour with sore shoulders to get shrink-wrapped deli food, and that would be enough to make them happy, and that would be all I had to do.

And all the same, I would not freeze time for a single moment because I want to see what lies ahead.

The next day we took a leisurely tour through western Mass which was interrupted by a very large brunch at Cracker Barrel. Then I dropped off Nikki at Mauna Loa and Tank rode with me 'till we got lost downtown and decided to take the T (Chris had parked her car at Alewife) and then I went alone to my apartment and then to New Hampshire to hop through Chandra's to Eric's and then you know the rest.

I grow more introspective, possibly melodramatic, in these posts. It's partly tiredness and partly forcing myself to take some time to think, and in large part because if I stop writing I'll have to stand up and continue to unpack (and I am tired). There are boxes; I don't want to think about them. I spent far too much on a garbage can. I don't know where I packed my towel. And I desperately need shelves for books.

We had lunch at my aunt's today. Audrey still knows Tank and Nikki; when we walked in the door she greeted us with an "I remember about the scurvy!" (Nikki had, before we left Boston, gotten Audrey to eat her vegetables by warning her about scurvy.) We got about half the stuff from her basement this trip. The rest of it belongs to me and Chris.

Tank just parked her car at Alewife and the two of them are on their way to my apartment to unpack a little more and crash the night; they move back to the dorms on Tuesday, so tonight and then tomorrow and then gone. I suppose I should unpack some more, and look for Halloween plane tickets out to Nashville. And I wonder just how short a haircut I can get away with...

Off to work.