Good morning! Hello there. Sorry I am late. Greetings from Beacon Hill, where we are holed up in our friend’s pied-à-terre for eight hours or so because our Airbnb in Salem got booked for the night before because Emma and I had nuptial miscommunication and failed to book it the night before. But it is fine now that we have this very nice place to chill.
We left North Carolina at 7 PM and arrived in downtown Boston at 7:30 AM. Overnight driving rules. Except for the rain. And all the trucks. But the complete missing of rush hours in Richmond, DC, Baltimore, Trenton and New York is quite nice. I drove till about 10:30, got us to about 20 miles outside of DC. Emma took over, I went to sleep, and she powered through to Connecticut before I woke up for a bit, fell back asleep and we were on the Mass Pike. I drove us into the city. Bookends.
Jane was a champ and slept most of the time. At Connecticut she said she didn’t feel well, so we got her out of the car and walked around for a bit, but that seemed to have done the trick. Then she woke up and colored for an hour in the middle of the night but passed out again. I mean. This is a miracle. This whole trip could have gotten off to such a horrible start if our assumption that Jane would sleep in the car proved to be incorrect. We were operating on two year-old information! It may well have been wrong! But it all worked. Amazing.
As I was driving through North Carolina and Virginia I was thinking about all of those trees, so many trees, and just how far apart every town was, and how people just live everywhere, just everywhere there are people in small towns and there has been forever. And I was thinking about what it must have been like in colonial days. How these people barely ever saw each other, had to travel for days to see anyone, to do anything. And I was thinking of how abstract and distant the government must have seemed. I mean, even the state governments but especially the federal government. How time and news and progress and war and laws and everything just moved so slowly. Sometimes when people ask me how Fairbanks is, I say “it’s a lot better now that it has the internet and air freight.” But man back when they wrote the constitution? Things were slow. They had no idea what things were going to be like in the future. No idea how close everyone was going to be to each other. How tied to one another. Things are so different.
This all seemed a lot more profound on the road. I’m not making sense. There is a lot of empty space in America. It’s spooky.
Jane is very excited about Boston. She is very excited about all the different windows. One of my first memories of Boston when I first moved here was all the crazy architecture. Especially friezes, which I pointed out to her. I’m pleased that this runs in the family.
She really does seem excited, even in her exhaustion. Man. We are all very tired. But it was definitely the right move to drive. It’s nice having all of our stuff with us.
Jane and I got breakfast at a greasy spoon next to the state house called Fill-a-Buster. It’s not a place I frequented in my days in Boston, but it is so exactly like every other Boston greasy spoon take out joint that it filled me with much comfort and joy. I think I even saw a bike courier. But mostly just those smarmy young State House legislative aide types in their creepy smooth-but-cheap suits and weird-ass trench coats no one wears except in David E Kelly shows. Still, even they filled me with a sense of comfort.
I want to go walk around but I’m so tired, and the doorman has to buzz me in every time and I’m convinced he hates me. And it’s raining. Maybe in an hour or so. When we do get back to Boston, in a week, we won’t be downtown like this. I have such a nostalgia for downtown Boston. I swear we drove by like six different buildings in which I worked. We shall see.
Anyway, that’s it. Really this post is just an exercise in seeing I could pull off a GMHHAY today. I’m writing it entirely on my phone. It is hard. Image editing is wonky and the double-space-to-make-a-period functionality in iOS is broken in the Substack editor for some reason. Ugh this thing probably has a million run-on sentences.
And look! I even figured out how to post a playlist. I did not figure out how to edit the order, though, so, who knows if it actually flows. But it’s the thought that counts.
By tomorrow we should be settled in the Airbnb, I’ll have my computer set up, and I’ll have had some sleep. I promise this will be commensurately better.
Love empty gas stations/rest stops at night