My alarm went off at around 2:30 in the morning on Wednesday. The Lyft driver pulled up at 3:30, and his car smelled like Willie Nelson.
Driver: Do you think my car smells like pot?
Me: The first thing I noticed when I opened the door was how the car smelled like pot.
Driver: The guy who rode with me a few hours ago asked if he could vape in the car. I had no idea he was going to vape marijuana. Are you cool?
Me: I’m cool.
During the 25 minute drive from my house to the airport, the driver and I talked about Warped Tour, his dream of buying an old church and turning it into a creative community and homeless outreach center, BROCKHAMPTON, Chuck E. Cheese, sobriety, Korn, parenthood, and Latino culture.
Watching people move in slow motion through the airport at 4:00 in the morning is something I could do all day—if the entire day could hold that 4:00am vibe. And it can’t. Don’t listen to what they tell you. Some dreams really can’t come true.
Tempe and I landed in Denver at 7:00 in the morning THEIR TIME and about an hour later we were sitting in our shitty rental Chevy Malibu. (I won’t bore you with details about wiper fluid, alignment, or the peeing sound that happened every time we slowed to a stop.) Eventually, we met up with one of my favorite people in this ridiculous and wonderful world, and together the three of us broke bread and listened to Tito Puente.
And then Tempe and I were off to Kansas City to see Nadia Bolz-Weber.
Confession: When we purchased our flight tickets, I was under the impression that the drive from Denver to Kansas City is five hours. $50 for a flight to Denver to have breakfast with a friend before a quick drive to Kansas City to hear NBW discussing her brand new book? Perfect!
Sadly, time doesn’t work the way I wish it would. (See the above paragraph that begins with “Watching people move in slow motion through the airport…”) The drive is actually NINE hours long, and the NBW event was to begin at 7:00pm. There was no way to extend biscuits and Oye Cómo Va while shortening Highway 70, so off we went—driving reasonably fast through Kansas.
During the long drive we listened to stories of murder. We stopped for salty subs at a gas station Quiznos. I ate too many peanut M&Ms. We drove and drove and drove. Because: KANSAS.
Tempe and I arrived at the church for the Nadia Bolz-Weber event less than fifteen minutes before it was over. You would think I would be full of damnits and shits about our timing, BUT what I wanted most of all was for NBW to sign my book, and for THAT we arrived right on time. In fact: I WAS FIRST IN LINE FOR THE SIGNING. Sometimes time is on my side. (Yes, it is.)
This is what happened next.
Nadia Bolz-Weber entered the room and sat at the signing table and I was all star struck and “Wheee!”
I handed her my book for the signing.
Me: Do you mind if I get a photo with you?
NBW: You can, but I don’t smile or pose.
I stepped behind the table, and with my salt-retaining, up-for-18-hours big puffy face that had been driving (reasonably fast) for a LONG time in a shitty Chevy Malibu, I smiled my exhausted but EXCITED smile. And keeping to her word, NBW didn’t smile or pose. And here we are.
This photo makes me laugh every time I look at it because it is just so perfect. (Most importantly: I still love Nadia Bolz-Weber. Yet another gem for this ridiculously wonderful world.)
Worth all the minutes. Every one of them.