Really. For some reason we (as in the universal...yes, I am now telling you your opinion) find it a truly “romantic” idea to “travel for work.” Yes – I could see it if perhaps you were sent to mingle with foreign dignitaries in Washington DC or to discover the best places to this, that, and the other in Singapore, or even studying the mating rituals of squid fish in Bali. This I could see as being a romantic ideal for “Oh yes I travel for work.” However, going to St. George for the fifth time in two months, in the winter, all alone, is not even in the remotest way appealing nor enjoyable. The first time I went to St. George was an incredibly rude awakening to just how far away St. George is from SLC. I mean I figured like an easy 4 hour drive – turns out – it’s more like over 5 hours on one of the most boring stretches of road I’ve ever encountered – and yes I’ve driven to California before. This. Is. Worse. For. Me. Worse over and over and…sigh…torture.
I’ve been listening to books on tape trying to pass the time on these drives. And though the car ride is bearable – staying in a hotel all alone for days without anyone to see or anything to do but watch cable and order out “for one” – well – not particularly awesome. It’s rather pathetic to be honest. My work trips usually take 3 full days. It’s exhausting. Last time I was in St. George it was for an entire week! AN ENTIRE WEEK! It’s your most basic form of cruel and unusual punishment. I had a friend to hang out with for a little while – so that helped the beginning bits of the trip– but mostly – it was hard and long and lonely. Very lonely. Exquisitely lonely. I think it was worse because I expected it to be more of the opposite of lonely.It's harder when I expect some hope of relief from the everyday heaviness...and it's just more heaviness. There’s no other way to make sure you are truly and utterly alone than taking a business trip…alone…utterly....exquisitely. Not only am I alone on my trip, but I have time to contemplate my “aloneness.” I’m dreading the loneliness that is going to cover me like a dark and menacing cloud which constantly settles over my head when I take these trips. These loooooong long, trips. I dread them. And after last time – I kinda feel a little like throwing up thinking of driving down there again. It’s too much. I don’t wanna! (Stomp foot, fold arms, crinkle face, pout lip).
Well, I’ve had it. I usually drive a rental because I’m scared to death of those little planes. Yes, I have the option of flying. Shudder. I get kinda “ick” on planes and I’m just scared of those little ‘uns, thus why I’ve opted to drive. Those little planes are always crashing! Doesn’t it seem like they are always crashing?!?! They are AL-WAYS crashing. I really don’t want to fly down – but even more than my not wanting to fly down is not wanting to take an entire 5 hours and drive down. I don’t want to have to drive through town after town – it makes me hurt inside just thinking about it. Some things you just don’t want to remember. So – I’ve chosen death. Or rather, I’ve chosen to cut my lonely trips to St George in half – fly strait down – and fly strait back. I’ve worked very hard to make this the shortest trip to St. George possible and I swear I am NOT going back there (alone) for a very very VERY long time. I still feel panic at the thought of having to occupy myself for an entire evening/afternoon after my presentations are done on Tuesday. I will just be thinking of what I COULD be doing if I had someone to hang out with. That makes the lonely far more acute. I’m trying to think of things I can do to make the time go by quickly and keep my mind occupied - like go running, go to a movie (alone), eat dinner (alone), watch cable (alone) lip quiver….. because singles don’t feel lonely enough. I’m so glad this is the last time…this year…of going to St. George alone. I’m sure I will feel lonely for a solid 3 years more without St George “work trips” reminding me of how utterly alone I truly am. And 3 years is being ambitious, unfortunately. Buuuuuut between being alone and being repeatedly crushed - weeeeeell - I guess I will be alone then. Are those really the only two choices I get? History says - sigh, yeeeeah, so far...