my road trip

Eight weeks ago I decided to drive 3,000 miles to Breckenridge, CO. Four weeks ago (October 11th, 2016 a.k.a. my sister’s 16th birthday) I left South Florida en route for Tallahassee as the first leg of my road trip. I was front row for Chance the Rapper, Lil’ Wayne, and FSU vs. Clemson. I took my GRE. I dressed up as Where’s Waldo for Halloween. Then on November 3rd I drove from Tallahassee to Charleston, SC to visit my cousin & meet up with my mom and my sister.

We biked through the historic district of Charleston. We played football on the beach as the sun was setting in the distance. Shuffleboard got competitive…so did darts. I slept outside. We took the paddle boards out on the lake and left our phones at home. I dropped them off at the airport, and then left for Asheville, NC.

Brooke ~ Matt ~ Mom

A water-tower decorated in graffiti caught my eye. I explored the Art District. I drank beer and ate pizza. I missed the sunset. I went brewery hopping. I made friends. We played Cards Against Humanity. I freestyled with some street performers (buskers). I played darts. I fell asleep and woke up, then left for Nashville, TN.

(Asheville, NC)

I would have never guessed that the Great Smokey Mountains actually smell like smoke. I saw the most beautiful shades of autumn scattered across acres of canopies. I stopped at a rest stop and tried to help a family of seven jumpstart their car. Their battery was fried so I drove with one of the mothers to get them a new one. She told me their story. Their pain. They were the struggle bus. I taught the kids a card game. I had to drive away while they were still stuck there in the cold. I did all that I could.

(somewhere in the Smokey Mountains)

My friend and I followed the presidential election on our phones while taking shots of Tennessee Honey. I spotted a Karaoke Bar and insisted that was where we were going to end our night. The bouncers were assholes. Broadway was dead, but there were middle-aged women as far as the eye could see. I wasn’t having fun. We walked to the Karaoke Bar. I performed Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” as Donald Trump became president of the United States.

I drove from Tennessee to St. Louis. I scarfed down half-a-rack of dry-rub BBQ ribs. A car was stolen right in front of mine. My livelihood was in my car. Good thing I have tinted windows. I ran around the Gateway Arch. I found a casino near my hotel room. The next day I left for Kansas City. A couple were fucking in the hotel room next to mine. It sounded like she was having fun.

(St. Louis, MO)

A cop pulled me over in Kansas on my way to Denver. I stopped for sliders in Salina. Every burger was cooked with onions and they didn’t have any cheese. Kansas never ends. I saw amber waves of grain. Kansas NEVER ends. The longest eight hours of my life. I made it to Denver. I met up with friends at a brewery downtown. A friend’s brother let me crash on an air-mattress. He smoked me out. He made a journey similar to mine a few years prior. We bonded over our hatred of Kansas.

(The Cozy Inn ~ Salina, KS)

I ate Mexican food. I went to a dispensary. I played poker. I went to the Red Rock Amphitheater. I smoked in the mountains. I drove into Breckenridge without a place to live or a job. A blessing disguised as a young married couple expecting a baby in January agreed to house me for 30 days. Thank you Brad and Hi-D. I would be on my way back home if it weren’t for you. They have two dogs (Hula & Piper) and two cats (Rex & Rio). They have three fish too (Larry, Latisha, & Sigfried). I landed a few jobs. I’m still looking for permanent housing. It snowed yesterday. I picked up my ski pass today. I’m going to get skis tomorrow. Life is great. I’m happy. I’m really happy.