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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Texas Cleanup Part 5: Coming Home

I changed by not changing at all.
Small town predicts my fate.
Perhaps that's what no one wants to see

 

So it was sad to leave.  I remember taking a slow jaunt back to my rental van just because I didn't think I would ever come back to Galveston again.  At least not in the same way that I saw it in my 12 days of being there.  I knew it was the end for my trip and that stupid dumbass reality was going to start back up in a couple days. 

So despite not having Sara Evans come and take a look at our shelter and me "hitting things off" with her at registration and thus taking a walk in the moonlit beach and then making violent love on the beach with our Halloween costumes (her: slutty country singer, me:  Charlie Brown) being half ripped open, the trip was an absolute blast.  There was never one time where I wanted to go back home.

After out-processing with the Red Cross, which is a complete bitch of a time because they give you all these stupid interviews to make sure you're mentally stable, I was linked up with three other guys from the Red Cross.  After being used to the people in Galveston and my own team these three guys seemed like aliens to me.  I think they might have been aliens too because they seemed kinda nuts.  All four of us were leaving out of Bush international airport (which is a really crappy airport) and we all were staying at the Paradise Motel the night before we left.

We were wondering about the Paradise Motel before we got there because it was located right next to the freeway and next to the airport.  It was also located in Humble, Texas which is indeed very, very humble.  Inside my room I had a black light and somewhat strong smells of weed.  The door had its lock nearly pulled off the hinge and the sheets on the bed were very questionable.  I flipped through the channels and sure enough the Xtasy channel was already ordered (compliments of Paradise Motel) and there was even a copy of Blazin' Hardcore 4 in the DVD player.  Clearly, all I needed was a hooker with a smorgus board of STD's and I then I would be living the life of a politician. 

Coming home was probably the weirdest part of the whole trip.  Going from a place that was ravaged by a hurricane with 90 degree heat and junk everywhere to 55 degree weather, autumn colored leaves, and what seems like perfect neighborhoods was truly a bizarre sight.  The night I came back I was still fired up and ready to do something but I didn't have anything to do.  I remember driving on through my neighborhood the day after my trip and thinking how truly bizarre it was.  I was completely dazed by the fact that there was no trash anywhere and no generators being run.  Sleeping that night was startling because it was the first night where there were no fans or generators humming in the distance.  It was just silence which I guess I had been without for 3 weeks.  I woke up at least a couple times thinking that I got clients waiting for me and it took me a couple minutes to adjust to my own room. 

Observations

  • It seems like at least half of all Red Cross workers smoke.
  • Everyone seems to get a Texas accent when they come home.  I don't know if Oregonians or Washingtonians(?) have accents but they all seem to have strong accents after 3 weeks in Texas.  Not me though, I don't have an accent :)
  • Galveston radio stations have an extreme love affair with John Melloncamp because there was a time where I flipped on three radio stations that all had the Cougar himself
  • Everyone seems very polite down south.  It makes "Minnesota Nice" seem like a passive aggressive snobfest which it probably is.
  • Air conditioners cranked up to 11... I already covered this.
  • The ramps in Texas seem to all be built up and over the highways which makes for an interesting exit when you're 200 ft above the freeway on a single lane exit going to another freeway.  It's like they have spaghetti in the sky
  • Also in Texas they don't warn you about exits until they are RIGHT THERE.  It's like "Exit 45...NOW"
  • Those cockroaches are god damn huge in Texas.  I had one in my hotel bathroom and we had a lengthy conversation about the buyout. 
  • Texas likes football

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