Rob McRay’s understory from “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”

Tonight, Nashville, we travelled.

Our burning desire to fall from the sky led to Groupons and initialing all the small print and pleas not to jump. We were strapped to our hot master…intimately…and reached terminal velocity with tremendous views. And we hope for a future as a tandem master!

One drunk night on Manhattan subways, we passed out in Chinatown and tried to speak Budweiser. In a VW in the snow, we found a drunk and a lost  boy who saved each other. And now we believe in trains and guardian angels.

We set off driving through the world’s largest prison, photographing boats and border guards—until we were interrogated over mint tea and Turkish coffee. The “This-is-normal” guy reassured us it was “no problem”…but our wives were less reassured! We were late, but we got our 2 bucks back.

Our father was a Captain Kirk, charlatan, adrenaline junkie with well-laid plans for medical school in Mexico. A year of fast food and border crossings and all-night drives led to smuggling x-ray machines and dollars and devil’s food cake. But now we’re not illegal.

We travelled to a creative writing conference with fund-raising and frugality and fears of flying…and going Greyhound. We enjoyed an Airbnb with a free friend and Amtrak to Coronado and a comedy act city bus. The support of friends and followers finally brought us home.

We provided coffee and cleaning and personal care to a small, blind, homophobic, alcoholic with a tragic past. We boiled neckbones and purchased condiments. And we may be a “Sissy on a Bike,” but we cook like we’re dark!

We traveled to a once obscure Soviet bloc country and remembered crawling under desks and watching suspenseful spy shows. When the money disappeared and the KGB was obsessed with videotape, we took over the search and resolved the crisis. But now they call us “Commandant!”

We had a sacred ritual of Thanksgiving travel. We wanted a peaceful brunch-to-go at the yacht harbor, till 2 paraplegics and a blind man needed a 4th sailor. We had lunch in the doldrums and entered a scene in a Disney movie. It was the last time we sailed—but for that day, we were BAD!

Our car goes nowhere really well, despite the defecating aphids and leprechauns. In our mobile clubhouse for sneaky teens, we have remarkable memories of debt and English degrees and dull birthdays. And in the luxury lounge with smoke and food smudges, we somehow feel closer to home.Those were our travels, Nashville.

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