So there I was – at the Perryville Travel Plaza on the side of the Exxon shop in a semi-lite area near the air machine and vacuum with like 87 bags and boxes, which TTG has lined up in a row on the sidewalk. It was about 6pm and MJ is on her way to pick me and my stuff up to take me to Baltimore where SC would get me and my stuff and take me home.
And so I wait. It was about 6pm when got to the Perryville Travel Plaza. Because of traffic and because she was farther away than she thought, MJ is delayed.
So I wait. Crazy things go through your head when you are waiting, alone, at night, in a semi-lite rest stop, near the air and vacuum machines. (It is remarkable the number of people who stop by the air machine and vacuum on a Saturday night. At least four cars came through there in the hour I was there. Seems so odd.) Thoughts of being robbed were pretty high. I mean, come on – I had “Easy Target” written all over me. I was alone with tons of boxes and bags of stuff.
I should explain that I don’t scare that easily. I mean, a spider or a ladybug could do me in. But I generally know how to keep myself safe on the street. I pay attention to my surroundings, I make eye contact, I don’t go down alleys alone or with others. You know, typical city-dwelling stuff. But I was so NOT in the city. This was a gas station in the burbs near the highway. It was weird. And everyone seemed potentially shady. Plus, there was a truck stop around back. No good came come of being this close to a truck stop.
So the dark and the cold and the many bags I needed to protect got to me a little.
To ensure that, should I go missing, someone would be able to help the police investigation, I had the follow text communication with SC:
SC: How are you doing?
Me: Wasn’t doing great before and now worrying about being robbed. This is punishment for not going to DK’s b-day party.
SC: You’re alone! How far away is MJ?
Me: Yes. Don’t know-maybe 20 min.
Me: In case you don’t hear from me, I’m at the Perryville Travel Plaza.
Me: And I’m wearing jeans, gray v-neck sweater, and slinky (the toy, not the adjective) t-shirt.
SC: No coat?
Me: Long black coat. Was wearing scarf but got tomato sauce from lasagna on it.
Every 10 minutes, I made the following call to MJ:
Me: Just checking in, you know, to let you know I haven’t been robbed and murdered.
MJ: Oh, good.
Me: Where are you?
MJ: Exit [fill in blank]. I’m getting close.
Me: Okay, will talk to you in 10 minutes.
But, alas, all was fine. MJ found me around 7pm. We got to our rendezvous spot in Baltimore – the Holiday Inn Express near the Ravens stadium – by right around 8pm. We transferred all my stuff from MJ’s car to SC’s car and SC and I were on our way. Then SC helped me bring all my 87 bags into my apartment. By around 9pm I opened a much-needed bottle of prosecco for us. It was over. You know, until I need to go back to get my car from the TTG.
So for anyone who’s keeping track – it took me approximately 8 hours to get from NJ to DC. This is a record worse for me, to be sure.