Monday, December 1:
Slept late, procrastinated, goofed off, and wasn't ready to go until about 3:00 PM, at which point I called Clueless and told him I was not going to go until the next day; I felt a cold coming on, and REALLY didn't want to start on a trip that was likely to be unpleasant when a good night's sleep night make the difference.
Tuesday, December 2:
Clueless's furnace stopped working, so we didn't leave his place until about 3:00 PM. Got into Indianapolis at about 8:00 PM (after the time change), and went looking for Clueless's ex-wife. Found her house, no one home, left a note and had dinner at Wendy's. A woman in Wendy's heard Clueless and I doing shtick, thought we were actors, and asked us where our show was playing. The conversation went from there into substance abuse, during which Clueless was adamant about his ability to drive drunk if he had enough coffee or cocaine to keep him wide awake. I was NOT happy with this information. We got back on the road and were more or less immediately contacted by Debbie, Clueless's ex. We turned around and spent about an hour with Deb and her new SO, who is young, sharp-tongued, and generally charming. (Clueless and Deb split in 1992; Deb underwent a crisis in sexual orientation, and stopped exhibiting bi-polar symptoms; Deb's current relationship is her second major one since deciding she liked girls...). Eventually we go back on the road and eventually spent the night in Richmond, Indiana, on the Ohio state line.
Wednesday, December 3:
Crossed Ohio, with Clueless actually expressing concern about an encounter with the Columbus Sniper. I didn't hit him, but I thought about it. The Sniper is firing one round every three days into cars on a road that sees at least a half million cars a day, and Clueless is worried about this. I thought about hitting him A LOT. The rest of the day went pretty well, allowing for a couple of disturbing examples of Clueless's inability to read a map scale. We arrived in Marbury around midnight, spent some time saying hello to Bob and getting re-acquainted with his sons, and finally crashed around 3:00 AM.
Thursday, December 4:
We managed to talk Clueless out of going to downtown Washington to attend a Pink Pistols rally. Bob and I spent some time, out of Clueless's earshot, discussing whether this was an intervention or a wake. Bob was undecided; I had already pretty much decided that Clueless was not interested in being helped, and therefore we should just have the best time we could. Of course, Clueless's idea of a good time is DOING things, while Bob and I would rather just sit and catch up on conversation; as Dementia puts it, when Bob and I are together, we ARE the show. Clueless, naturally, doesn't get it.
Friday, December 5:
Finessed Clueless out of a trip to DC by taking him to Border's Books, and by admitting that touring downtown DC was behind dental surgery on my personal to-do list. He was baffled. In the evening, there was a spaghetti dinner, with guests. Clueless made a major nuisance of himself by insisting on being "helpful", in spite of being told something like two dozen times to get out of the kitchen and stop causing trouble. Bob's wife, Shannon, took an anti-anxiety pill and hid in her room as much as possible; Clueless later expressed pride at how helpful he had been, and how much he had displayed a "servant's heart". Once again, I failed to beat him into grease...
Saturday, December 6:
Clueless was shipped off to DC to find the Mormon Temple, and Bob and I stayed home to talk and rifle Clueless's luggage. A missing handgun did not show up, which was good, but we did find his paintball gun (?!?), a seven inch Kabar Bowie (actually a Kabar Tanto, but how many of you can picture that?), and a 14 inch Kukri. Also two empty one pint flasks that smelled of recent occupation by vodka. This in addition to the six to ten three or four inch lockback folding knives that Clueless routinely carries on his person... It occurred to us later that he was likely to run into someone who would invoke the Patriot act against him, in which case he would probably be at the Guantanamo Bay center before we heard from him again. ("Um, Karmann? We seem to have... um... misplaced your husband...") Oddly, this potential release from responsibility made me quite light hearted... We ended up retrieving Clueless from the Metro station at about 11:00 PM, and then The Conversation started up again until about 3:00 AM. We managed to actually get the topic around to Clueless himself on a number of occasions, which only served to illustrate how out of touch he is. ::sigh::
Sunday, December 7:
The children in Bob's church do their annual Christmas play; Tom comes late, and enters through the church's front door, disrupting services in the process. I come still later, queitly and VERY uncomfortably through the back (this was the first actual Christian SERVICE I have attempted to attend since I have embraced my own paganism, and it felt... strange). There were greetings from friendly people, and a chance to help tear down the set to make ready for choir practice (in which process I was partnered by a luscious young woman who turned out to be in high school...) Later, went to lunch with Bob, then had a talk with Clueless and took a nap. Went to a quarterly pot luck supper at the church under more than a little duress, and FINALLY got onto the road for West Virginia shortly before 8:00 PM. Clueless refused to stay in DC past the 10th, but agreed to stay that long and take the train home (you may recall the original plan was to keep him in DC, and more or less supervised, until 12/21 or so...). I arrived in Fort Ashby, WV, at about midnight, and once again stayed up until 3:00 AM talking to the Dreamweaver (whom I had not seen in person in nearly four years...).
Monday, December 8:
Slept late, visited a bit, slept some more, went out to a Chinese smorgasbord with Dreamweaver's parents, stayed up talking until whenever, went to bed.
Tuesday, December 9:
Slept late, visited a bit, slept some more, finally hit the road at about 2:30 PM, and managed to cover 400 miles to Richmond, Indiana (again) by midnight. Managed to leave my credit card at the desk, and didn't sleep well at all; the bed was comfortable enough, but the ROOM remembered too many hostile people, and wouldn't let me alone.
Wednesday, December 10:
Up at nine, on the road by 10:30, had to stop and nap at least once because I was getting punchy, still managed to get Castle Clueless to check in on Karmann by about 3:30 PM. Still one handgun unaccounted for; Karmann said the Gnome in the Basement (who had added the thing to the mix in the first place) had reclaimed it, but I wasn't able to check. It bothers me that Karmann might be helping Clueless to hide guns from me, when the reason I took the guns in the first place was to protect her from Clueless. Grrr. Got to the chiropractor just before they closed at 6:00 PM, said hello to Dementia, and finally got to be a little after 7:00 PM; I had to be up and at work at midnight.
I CAN still do longish roadtrips on my own; I wasn't sure, and this is good to know. Clueless is still very much WORTH salvaging, but probably unsalvageable; he is just not willing to admit that he is in anything like the trouble he is really in. And Bob's kids, in spite of my pessimism of eight years ago, have turned out to be pretty amazing, if not exactly fully functional socially.