Monday night April 6th AKA the Night Before
8:23pm. Impromptu photo shoot and packing party with one half-bottle of Wolf Blass Cab Sauv followed by a Moosehead for sleeping purposes.
**Special props to Love for being the only person to vote on my Castro outfit. The rest of you are dead to me.**
Tuesday morning April 7th AKA the Pilgrimage
5:30am. Feelings of death and cab ride to the train station.
5:45am. McDonald’s breakfast with two extra hash-browns, 20,000 calories, and more feelings of death.
6:15am. Conversation with US Customs Officer before boarding the train.
Officer: What is the purpose of your trip?
Rugged: Spiritual, sir. I am making a pilgrimage to Gay Mecca.
Officer: Excuse me?
Rugged: I am going to the end of the rainbow, sir, San Francisco.
Officer: Do you consider yourself a threat to the United States of America?
Rugged: Only to the sanctity of marriage, sir. I could really only hurt a 2-for-1 sale.
Officer: Welcome to the state of Washington.
6:30am. Pull out my laptop on the train car, crack my fingers, and prepare to continue writing my Pulitzer-prize winning novel.
11:15am. Wake up in Seattle with drool on the keyboard and 500 Microsoft Word pages filled with the letter “A.”
12:30pm. Arrive at Sea-Tac airport pretending like I am in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Smile when I am elected for extra-screening by the TSA Officer. This will be the most attention I get from a man the entire trip.
12:36pm to 4:03pm – Consumption of delicious 20oz. pint while reading Catching Fire, the second book of The Hunger Games. CNN plays on every TV in the airport as tornadoes toss-trucks like Lego pieces in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas. 400 flights cancelled. Flyers panic. I order another pint.
4:40pm – Line up for general boarding because my seat is so far back in the plane it is almost on the next flight. Apply Urban Ear headphones, and turn up latest download by Boots Factor to block out the sound of the screaming baby in the seat beside me. Cover nose when mother changes baby’s diaper and stuffs the soiled one in her purse under the seat.
6:36pm – Touch down at SFO, tired, dehydrated, cranky and no longer excited about the fact I have arrived in Gay Mecca.
7:02 pm – Discover I am the last person standing at the baggage carousel with no bag.
7:15 pm - Conversation with flaming United Airlines baggage attendant:
Attendant: Shut your face I love your hat!
Rugged: Shut your face! Thank you!
Attendant: How many I help you?
Rugged: I am a bag lady without a bag.
Attendant: Ohmygod, it appears for some reason it is on the next flight from Seattle. Would you like me to get delivered to you tomorrow?
Rugged: Bitch please. I have at least two-outfit changes scheduled for tonight not to mention the fact that my face is so parched, it actually might fall off if I don’t apply moisturizer by tomorrow morning. I will wait.
Attendant: Ugh, I totes understand. Here is a $10 voucher for the Subway upstairs, it is happy hour so red wine is on for $3 a glass…
I was already at Subway ordering wine before he finished speaking.
10:05pm. Sixteen hours after departing Vancouver, I arrive at my final destination drenched, smelly and half-in-the-bag.
10:10pm. Unzip suitcase to find a white piece of paper that says “your bag was elected for extra screening by the TSA.” Pour myself an extra-large glass of convenience store cab sauv to ease pain.
11:00pm. Catch a cab to meet Jacquie O. at an exquisite apartment downtown with our new friends from San Fran.
11:15pm. Instructed by our new friends from San Fran, that San Fran is not called “San Fran,” or “SF,” but only, “San Francisco.”
1:00 am. Fabulousness sets in as the vino flows. Turn to Jacquie O. on the couch and say “I think I am really going to love it here.”