I woke up to a horrible, horrible country song and knew I had to get out of Indiana. It was foggy and cold as we got on the road. Somewhere in central Indiana, I pulled out my notebook and occupied myself with making a list of the top ten places I’d ever had sex (which, in Illinois, Heather followed up with facial hair, gay bar, or sex position?). In Indianapolis, Heather called a Starbucks for directions and the girl hung up on her. We found one anyway.
Outside Chicago, we gained an hour, and got into town around 11am. I was moaning about the huge distance we still had to go, and told Heather to expect I’d be crying by the time we got to Wisconsin. She launched into an elaborate word problem involving highway-distance math, something like (A – B) < (C – D) where A = Chicago, B = Frankfort, Indiana, C = Minneapolis, and D = Madison. It still seemed like a lot to me.
We did the usual thing, which was to stop at IKEA for lunch. We shopped a little, then went to the cafe. As always, I had the vegetarian plate (pytt i panna), which has been on catalog special since the beginning of time for $2.49. You can’t go wrong.
I drove out of Chicagoland, through the newly-altered state of Illinois, and got us safely to Starbucks in Madison. I promised Heather again that I would cry before the day was through, so she took over driving; she almost always gets the Madison – Minneapolis shift, because it’s the most painful.
I spent the rest of the afternoon sewing in the passenger seat (it’s a long story, but will someday be a creamedpeas episode). Because I wasn’t paying attention, she ended up listening to entire CDs over and over. Wisconsin was all about road construction, as always. A couple times, we blew past state troopers sitting in the median. Heather would slam on the brakes, slow down to less than the speed limit, and pull into the right lane. Once, she and the trooper even smiled at each other. I told her she couldn’t possibly be less subtle, but we’re lucky. We entertained ourselves once again with cicada jokes, and eventually made it home. And I didn’t cry once.