Cars, Crushes, and Connections

I want to start by bragging about my car. Most people glaze over when you start talking about something like a Ford Focus ST. They just think it’s a Focus with a slightly bigger engine. Which is true, but is also like saying the difference between a movie and a TV show depends only on the size of the screen, it really misses the point. This car is put together to destroy road trips. It is very fast and quick in small spaces, which makes navigating through traffic a bit less harried. The stereo system I put in is loud and clear and can be enjoyed even at 120 MPH with the windows down, which is also a good way to almost loose a hat. I am getting like 28.5 MPG, which is not AMAZING until you remember I am basically driving an absurdly overpowered Go-Kart. Still, this car has been the star of my trip so far. In those moments bombing down open mountain roads every part of the car is in harmony. The engine making the climbs seem superfluous and the suspension and steering make those wonderful turns something that makes you smile from ear to ear and not really know its happening…until you realize that you are actually giggling aloud.

I blew out of Chattanooga by 8:30 in the morning and was on my way to Kansas City and what appeared to be the growing likelihood that I would have a date when I got there. The internet is such a strange wonderful thing. Even though it is quite possibly the undoing of human progression, it also makes meeting people from anywhere in the world much more manageable. I don’t know a ton about her other than she has a spectacular smile and did not give off the possibility of working for an organ harvester, both high on my list of qualifications when I am thinking of meeting someone.

Still there are more important things to think about in the moment, like where do I get the best shot at St. Louis style ribs for lunch…

Turns out that the name of the place is Pappy’s Smokehouse. Thanks Yelp! (Yelp! is not a sponsor of this blog, but they should be…) This place was amazing. The ribs were smoked through to the bone with a savory pepper style sauce baked onto it as a thin crust. The meat was firm enough to be pulled off the bone easily, but oh so perfectly tender otherwise, if you are ever in St. Louis, as far as I am concerned, this is the only place to eat.

Back on the road. Sated, stretched, and refreshed I set the controls to take me to Kansas City and my now very firm date with Suzann. She is quite beautiful and also very tall, that smile even brighter in real life. As I walk into the bar where she had agreed to meet me my mind drifted back to a woman at home who has my interest…

I imagine the moments she and I have shared and the incredible person I know her to be and wish for an instant I were going to emerge from the doorway of the bar and find her sitting there. I know she won’t be, but in every moment of life everything that is possible will happen, so the irrational hope has rationalized itself and undone the logical conundrum of thinking about a woman a thousand miles away instead of the one I was walking in there to meet.

Meet Suzann and I did. And she was totally captivating. The bar itself was wedged into a narrow space in Downtown Kansas City, but had a really pretty patio and since I was no longer in Florida, sitting outside at the end of June is not exactly the same as sitting in an oven. While we are sipping our first drinks and chatting as people who have just met do, a photographer sidles over to us and breaks into the conversation.

Would we mind siting for pictures for Midwestern Living magazine? I quickly let him know that my modeling contract has a set rate of $400.00 an hour, plus catering. He counters by offering to buy us a round, I think that is pretty good value for 10 minutes of our time and agree to his terms. If you want to meet Suzann and see what she looks like…keep a lookout, I am sure the Midwestern Living Magazine is part of your monthly subscription list, right?

From there we move to dinner at a place called the BLVD Tavern, which also has a nice little terrace area where we ask to be seated. Dinner is just a continuation of the easy conversation and loose expectations that has made our time together so enjoyable. It is getting late though and I am really beat from the drive. I ask if she would be okay if I set up my air mattress in her apartment. She looks deeply at me in a way that lets me know this would be disappointing to her. I am exhausted and conflicted, I thought making short term connections and moving on would be easy to do, turns out I am just as angsty amongst strangers. The night went how it went and you shouldn’t make assumptions dear reader…

I will post some KC pictures later today…

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