>I left my visit to the Howard museum feeling about like the critter in the lower left of this image must have been feeling shortly before collapsing:
I have a pretty stout constitution and don’t get really sick very often, but something ambushed me in Texas, because I began to endure one hell of a fever. The four-hour drive from Cross Plains back to Bonham, TX, was one of the longest drives I’ve ever taken. Alternating sweats, then uncontrollable shivering, the works. It was a nightmare. I got in about 10 PM and crashed, and spent a pretty sleepless night tossing and turning in the throes of whatever was having its way with me. I tried to get up for work the following morning and just flatout couldn’t do it — in eight years of doing this, that’s never happened. So I made a couple phone calls and went back to sleep. I got up and made it into the customer site around 1:30 PM. It was still messing with me pretty bad; at one point I was trying to move my mouse on my laptop and my hand was shivering so badly it was all I could do to make it do what I wanted it to. As a Montanan in Texas, though, I knew I needed to show these yayhoos a thing or two about “cowboyin’ up” so I friggin’ did. Luckily it was an easy project, and I knew I’d still have time to pull it off.
Soon as work was over, I was back to the hotel to collapse again. What a hovel to have to spend so many hours in:
Luckily the weather was still nice out — real nice. I sat in my doorway and read a while. I would have liked to have gotten out and done some sightseeing, but just wasn’t feeling it. The view out my front door may not have been much, but the sun and breeze were nice.
By Wednesday the weather had changed and it was getting dark and dreary. Here is a shot of the place I was working for the week:
There was a good-sized jail a couple miles down the road, with big fences topped by razor wire, grim looking buildings, etc. I could see the inmates in bright white clothes out in the yard. It made me shiver all over again. I can’t think of a worse place to be incarcerated than friggin’ Texas. I imagine they must have a lottery system for executing people in there, you know? It’s hard to imagine a death row long enough to keep up with their bloodthirsty executioners.
By afternoon I was feeling decent, finally eating, etc. I went driving around just to take a few pictures. This was nice:
People and their friggin’ garbage, man, let me tell you. I can’t believe just how much garbage one sees along country roads, whether it’s Texas or Montana or Ohio. Hell, my car that was stolen back over Christmas is probably down some embankment around here. I hope those fuckers are at least preparing for a summer of enjoying the excellent camping gear that was in the trunk. I think the owner of this property sums it up best:
When I wrapped things up Thursday afternoon I drove back to Dallas (Irving, to be specific) to stay in a hotel closer to the airport. For the second time in one week I hit the jackpot on luxury accommodations.
I just hunkered down with my book, called out for dinner, and waited for my chance to get out of town. My 3:30 AM alarm to get up and head for the airport was due to go off all too soon. Thankfully I made it home without any further difficulties, and as I write this Sunday afternoon, I seem to have weathered the storm. Even if I’d been delirious, I would have known I was home when Julia and I were at breakfast Saturday morning and I looked around at all the North Face and Patagonia and realized I was, once again, the fattest guy in the room. That wasn’t the case in Texas, believe me. I looked positively svelte compared to most of the people I was around.
Texas tried to take me out, but it’ll take more than anything it can bring to the table to get that job done, let me tell ya. . . .