Sean left last night for Austin. Since we didn’t really need to be in Austin until Sunday at 2:00pm for our organizing meeting there, I opted to get a motel room in Albuquerque, hang around town Friday night, and take some much-needed down time. I don’t sleep well on the bus and we had already spent one overnight from Phoenix to Albuquerque, so this was a win-win. Or so I thought…
After checking into my motel (just $35! – probably becaue it smelled like a $35 ash tray), I checked my pockets for the receipt of my Greyhound Station locker (see photo above) where, at the suggestion of Sean, I stored my big backpack. I distinctly remember not throwing it out when Sean and I were out for sushi earlier in the evening. Not in my pant pockets, not in my sweatshirt pockets, not in my laptop bag… not anywhere to be found. Bummer. I planned to get to the Greyhound Station a little early the next morning to see what I could do. I’m sure this has happened to other people before, right? I mean… right?!
Luckily I had my toothbrush and toothpaste with me. Phew.
I woke up this morning, took a much needed shower with the single bar of soap they included in my $35 ash tray motel room, packed up my stuff, Stopped for coffee and a breakfast burrito (that’s all they eat here in Albuquerque) at a great place called Daily Grind on Central Avenue, and made my way toward the Greyhound Station. About 10 paces from the entrance of the building, a man named Chris asked me for change to call his buddy. Chris had no reservations about offering up the fact that up until yesterday, he was in prison for two years. I let him borrow my phone instead. Way more inclined to help folks out with what they need than give them money to spend on what they may or may not end up actually spending on what they say they need. Today, a phone call. Yesterday, a taco.
When I finally got inside, I explained my situation and (in short) was told that I’m out of luck… until Monday at 8:00am when Sharon, the Station Manager, gets in. Apparently Sharon is the only one in Albuquerque who can open my locker. Totally bummed with about 90 minutes until my bus to Austin is scheduled to leave, I tried calling my boss Zach and then Sean. Neither answered. So I made a gametime decision to stay in Albuquerque — with only my laptop, the shirt on my back (and jeans, flip-flops, and hat, if you want to get technical), and about 20 Odwalla bars that our new friend Faith sent to Albuquerque in response to our video tribute (thanks, Odwalla!) — until Monday morning when we could get my locker opened. Hopefully. Then it would be a 1 day, 2 hour, and 45 minute ride straight to New Orleans and missing out on Austin altogether, which I was really looking forward to visiting if only for my one of my best friends Bobby’s sake, who attend the University of Texas for his undergrad. Oh well.
So what did I do in Albuquerque today? Well, this morning, I caught a $6.75 matinee of The Visitor. Highly recommend it! Talked to my fiancee Jody about City Heroes Graduation in Boston… with my friend Ethan about our upcoming trip to Bonnaroo Music Festival… and to my mentor Alex about Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. I checked into a $45/night, smoke-free motel. Walked up to the University of New Mexico and picked up some deodorant clothes to get me through Louisiana. A sucker for Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffees in the hot summer sun, I found a local store (in which employees apparently don’t need to wear their uniforms) and had a nice treat for the walk back. Now I’m catching up on email and watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which I appreciate on a different level than I did as a middle school student. I hear next week’s four installment in the tril- uh… in the quadrupoly is getting mixed reviews. We’ll see.
I’m off to grab some dinner and maybe watch Senator McCain on SNL tonight. I leave you with this, which came up when I searched for “bus” and “New Mexico” on YouTube. Cheers, friends…