It was with that in mind that Kurt and I took an impromptu road trip on Monday night up the 5 to Mount Pinos to watch the tail end of the Lyriad meteor shower. We booked a last minute room at the Econolodge just off the freeway in Lebec where we had stayed nearly 4 years ago when we took the same trip to see another meteor shower. After checking in at the motel, with its ubiquitous aroma of stale cigarettes and desperation, we headed up the mountain with the moon to our right, peaking through the trees like a very high watt light bulb. The road up the mountain ends in a large, round parking lot which feeds into a few foot trails into the woods. We parked, hopped out of Kurt's truck and I zipped the giant down jacket he brought for me all the way up, jamming my hands into the pockets. It was much colder than we had anticipated. We stood at the back of the truck, shuffling our feet and hunching our shoulders against the blustery wind. After about five minutes we saw one shooting star. We waited another five minutes.
"Hey, Kurt?" I said.
"Yeah?" He replied from behind his scarf.
And we got back in the truck, blasted the heat and headed back down the mountain.
About halfway down, just as I was imagining a Yeti lumbering out into the road ahead of us, Kurt said, "I keep imagining Sasquatch walking out into the road."
For those of you without Animal Planet, this is a Yeti:
And this is Sasquatch:
This is why we're having a kid.
Back at the Econolodge, as I futilely tried to locate the source of a great and steady hum that filled the room, I pulled back the curtain, which resembled the bedspread not only in color and pattern but in fabric as well, and looked out at the meager pool just off our tiny "patio". The freeway was a stone's throw away and I wondered who, if anyone, ever actually used the pool. Lebec, with its 6,000 liquor stores, doesn't exactly seem like a destination city and certainly this dingy, dank Econolodge was nothing more than a convenient place to sleep on the way to more exotic locations like, I don't know, Sacramento. Truly anywhere is more welcoming than Lebec, CA. The only person I could imagine using the pool at the Econolodge was perhaps a crack whore, trying to squeeze in an hour of down time before heading back out for her next fix. Though broad daylight is not something one usually associates with crack whores.
The king sized mattress (complete with three limp pillows) was cleverly designed to allow one to feel every little movement of the person with whom one was sharing it. This is a particularly awesome feature when the person with whom you are sharing it is 9 months pregnant and has to get up to pee every half hour. Moreover, I was having early labor cramping all night that made it impossible for me to get comfortable. The window curtain on our bed wafted the odor of stale cigarettes every time either one of us moved.
And then I had this dream:
I was in labor in our room at the Econolodge. Our midwife was with me (though she wasn't our actual midwife). I was standing up and she got down on the floor with her face right under my business. I warned her that that was a really bad location given what all was about to come out of me. I then gave birth to a tiny baby. Not as tiny as the pocket protector baby I had in a dream 6 months ago, but tiny. Under a foot long. I put it in a star shaped onesie, like this:
Except it zipped all the way shut. So, I zipped the baby into it, umbilical cord and all. My actual midwife arrived and asked to see the baby. I gingerly unzipped the onesie and carefully took the baby out, passing it really slowly over to my midwife who took it like it was a doll, flopping it all around. I was like, "Uh, aren't we supposed to be kind of careful with it?" She scoffed and said, "Oh, no. These are tough little things." I looked down at my baby in her hands and it was now a roasted Cornish Game Hen. "You need to learn how to pick better hens at the market. I'll take you and show you." I was really offended. I know how to pick a good Cornish Game Hen. I'm pretty sure.
Between the extremely well built mattress, my tossing and turning and frequent bladder emptying I think we got an hour of sleep between the two of us.
We headed back home just before 6 a.m. and stopped at the gas station/food mart across from the Econolodge so I could find something halfway acceptable to put in my face. On the way out I noticed along the wall two shelves devoted to plastic hooker shoes. All some variation of this:
and I will never forgive myself for not taking a picture of them.
So, the meteor shower was a bust, the motel room was a shit hole and I didn't get a picture of the gas station hooker shoes, but damn it, we got off the couch. Besides, now I have one more thing in my arsenal when my kid starts throwing tantrums. "Oh, boohoohoo, you can't get a Playstation 500. You wanna hear about how I spent my last days as a free woman???? I DIDN'T EVEN GET TO SEE A YETI!"
I love this damned roasted Cornish Game Hen.