Juliet Escoria & Scott McClanahan’s Honeymoon Tour Diary (Part 1)
SUNDAY, JULY 6
SAN DIEGO TO LAS VEGAS
SONG OF THE DAY: ELVIS PRESLEY “I CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE”
JULIET: We packed up my stuff in the car, said goodbye to my family, and were on the road by 2pm. We stopped for food and gas in Elsinore. I decided that it would be a good idea to buy a pack of cigarettes (I quit smoking in November and haven’t had a cigarette since) and smoke one for every state we went through, in order to “celebrate our honeymoon.” As we drove, we listened to the mixes we made for our wedding. Most of the drive involved us discussing funny moments from the wedding. EXAMPLE: My dad apologized to Kendra Grant Malone for being so drunk. Kendra told him not to worry about it. My dad responded, “Power to the people.”
At some point, things took a turn for the worse. We passed the word “Calico” all big on the side of a mountain, which I’m not sure is a town or a street or a gang, but the conversation shifted to all the calico kitties pushing those rocks together with their paws. New characters were invented, such as Man Who Thinks It’s Still 1989 Politically and Woman Who Becomes Belligerent When She Sees Red Honda Accords.
We arrived in Vegas around 8pm. Our hotel room featured two bathrooms, a Jacuzzi bathtub, a shower with three showerheads, a fireplace, a dishwasher, etc. Everything was modern and sleek looking, to the point that the room felt vaguely terrifying and everything was difficult to use. I went on the computer to find a good buffet for Scott and me to eat at, because we had decided we wanted to eat until we felt sick. I found two ones that looked really good but that would have required us to walk so we ended up deciding to eat at the buffet at our hotel even though it had bad reviews on Yelp. The buffet was, as expected, mediocre. I ate one oyster anyway, even though I was afraid it would give me food poisoning (it didn’t). Scott drank five Diet Cokes.
We took a short walk afterward in order to feel slightly less fat, but didn’t get very far because it looked like it might start pouring rain (it didn’t). On the way back, we saw a very tall but handsome foreign guy walking arm-in-arm with two prostitutes. We discussed the nature of prostitution, and how it differed from stripping. It was concluded that prostitution was more honest and therefore in some ways more honorable. Scott seemed to know a lot about prostitutes, which troubled me.
At the hotel, I took a bath in the Jacuzzi bathtub. The tub was very large and oddly shaped and it made me feel like a lobster. I enjoyed the bath, and my lobsterness.
MONDAY, JULY 7
LAS VEGAS TO GREEN RIVER, UTAH
SONG OF THE DAY: THIN LIZZY “COWBOY SONG”
SCOTT: We got a speeding ticket going through Arizona. I was driving Juliet’s car through a construction area and didn’t realize the speed limit changed to 35. I was going 50. The cop followed me for a long time and then finally pulled me over. I tried to good ole boy the cop and tell him we just got married but it obviously wasn’t working on him. Juliet seemed pissed that he gave us a ticket and so I tried to calm her down by telling her it was good luck. Finally the police officer came back to the car and gave me the ticket. He only cited me for going ten miles an hour over the speed limit. I asked him if the speed limit was posted and then Juliet started telling the cop it was unfair and giving him lip. He didn’t seem happy with her criticism. I smiled at the cop and thanked him. Then Juliet and I got into a fight.
I snapped and yelled like a crazy person: Don’t you ever fucking do that to me again. This isn’t Del Mar, California. You don’t smart mouth cops.
Then I made some comments about how only white people smart mouth cops or something that didn’t make sense and then I rambled on about how if you have an accent like mine you go to jail. Then I think I said something about how Arizona cops “will fuck you up” even though this was my first time in Arizona and had never met an Arizona cop before. Then I think I made some more disparaging comments about white people. Juliet pointed out to me that I was a white.
[NOTE: I worked on the above paragraph for almost an hour and that’s all I could come up with. So I’m just going to write a list of notes of what happened during the rest of the day.]
So here goes:
- 1. I was listening to Merle Haggard’s “Going Where the Lonely Go” and for some reason I started crying. Juliet started laughing and then she started filming me crying.
- 2. I kept doing this weird thing where I would see a mountain and say, “There’s a mountain.” Or I would look out on the desert and say, “Yep, that’s the desert.” It was like I’d reached pure enlightenment.
- 3. Juliet and I played this game where we asked one another questions about the past. I found out she threw up on her desk when she moved to California in the third grade because she was nervous. I told her about a fight I got in with my ex-girlfriend Kim where she started walking away from me. She was like 50 yards away, but I decided to throw my keys at her. I have no idea why. I missed Kim completely with my keys and then I couldn’t find them. I probably spent three hours looking for them.
- 4. I kept thinking about Lawrence of Arabia where someone asked Lawrence why he liked the desert. He said this.
- Lawrence: I like the desert because it’s clean.
- 5. Juliet said something about the singer from Thin Lizzy being from England. I told her he wasn’t from England. He was from Ireland. She said, “Same thing… English, Irelish, Scottlish.”
So we drove through the red rocks of Utah and it felt like long ago. It felt like we were bandits or outlaws and we had just robbed a bank. I gave Juliet a Wild West nickname “The California Dental Work Kid.” She didn’t laugh at this. I think she thought it was stupid. The country felt lonely and empty and like everyone was going somewhere else. We were going somewhere too. We were on our way to the future and that was a scary and wonderful place.
JULIET: When Scott told me the story about the keys and Kim, he said he hit her smack in the head. I’m not sure if he revised the story for the purposes of this diary because he is ashamed of hitting a woman with keys, or if he never hit Kim in the head and simply changed the truth because he wanted to make me laugh. I prefer the former, except I don’t think he should be ashamed about that.
Also we stayed at a motel called the Robber’s Roost in Green River, Utah. I wanted it to be creepy and haunted and rundown in a cool way, but it wasn’t. It was the boring kind of spartan. They only gave us one set of towels. Scott went to go ask for another set after we’d been in the room for about thirty minutes but he accidentally said sheets instead of towels. The dude was weirded out. We had dinner at Arby’s because everything else was closed. Scott only ate a chicken strip and a half because he was having one of his “I’m so fucking fat” and “I am such a fat fuck” hissies.
TUESDAY, JULY 8
GREEN RIVER, UTAH TO DENVER
SONG OF THE DAY: SAM COOKE “BRING IT ON HOME TO ME”
JULIET: Scott and I both woke up cranky because we didn’t get enough sleep. We’re on the same antipsychotic – Seroquel – and it’s a very nice medicine but man do you wake up in a shitty mood if you wake up before the drowsiness has worn off. So we decided to deem Tuesday as the Day of Hate. Colorado is an annoying state full of people who are basically like Californians but not Californian and therefore shittier (e.g. Heidi Montag’s family), so it was easy to find things to feel hatred toward. We decided to look at Doc Holliday’s grave because we both have a thing for graveyards. It was a half mile up the side of a mountain. There was a couple in front of us wearing hiking gear, because apparently you need that to walk half a mile. There were signs on the side of the trail saying you would get a year in jail if you threw rocks. There was a man riding a motorized bicycle and wearing a helmet. I liked Doc Holliday’s grave, but fuck Colorado.
While we were driving, Scott read the Wikipedia page for Doc Holliday aloud. I also asked him a bunch of theoretical questions about what kind of serial killer he would be if he was a serial killer. At first he wouldn’t play along, but I kept pestering him about it and finally he concluded that he would go after attractive people of all ages and genders, he would kill them by both strangling and stabbing them, and that he would eat parts of their thigh while they were still alive. This creeped me out, and I felt sorry for asking him all of those questions.
In Denver, we stayed at a nice chain hotel and I got mad because the parking was $27 but I pretended to not care too much so Scott wouldn’t get mad at me for being cheap (I’m cheap). We went to dinner at Mike W. Archibald’s place. The dinner he made us was really fucking good. He has a really cute dog named Beatrice. We told lots of jokes and had a good time. A lot of the jokes had to do with eating human thigh meat. If Mike had a Yelp page, I would give him a five star review.
I turned into a T. Rex before we fell asleep. I could not stop making T. Rex sounds! It was terrible!!!!!
SCOTT: I think I need to clear up this whole serial killer thing. ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG: When someone asks you what type of serial killer you would be—PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER THEM. It will only come back to haunt you. For instance, the next night after an argument with Juliet she said without a hint of irony, “Well at least I wouldn’t eat a chunk out of someone’s thigh.”
Also: I think it’s important to say that HTML GIANT and the current edition of this tour diary in no way condones the act of throwing your keys at someone or other physical acts of rage in order to solve problems. Using your “inside voice” and talking through your anger in an adult manner is the best way to work through problems.
Of course, I wasn’t thinking about any of this then.
Driving through Colorado, I could only think about Doc Holliday and the grave of Doc Holliday. He was educated as a dentist, but had to eventually quit his practice because people didn’t like a dentist who had tuberculosis coughing in their faces. He was a wild drunk who recited Shakespeare and liked to shoot people in the hand so they would drop their weapon and he wouldn’t have to kill them (not for any moral reason but so that he wouldn’t have to face charges of first degree murder and a possible penalty of death). He lived with a whore named Big Nose Kate. He was a real deal killer who supposedly felt no remorse and when he died in Colorado his last words were, “It’s all so damn funny.”
When I think of him now though, I like to think of him after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The world only sees him as a cold blooded killer today because we are only allowed to be our most horrible acts. But supposedly after the gunfight and the dead bodies in the street, Big Nose Kate reported Holliday broke down in her arms and wept and wouldn’t stop weeping. He kept repeating like a crying child, “It was all so horrible. It’s all so horrible.” And you know what? He’s right.