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Sourceless and toxic fumes are starting to wipe out brain cells and blacken the insides of our noses. Great way to start out the trip. The smell is awful. It kind of resembles the damp, residual odor which flies around some trash bins along with bees and flies. We get all the windows down, but it doesn’t help. The fumes just sit there, motionless. The fumes are thick, and you can begin to feel the air pressing hard on your temples causing an aching headache. I can’t get the air up my nose or in my mouth and because of this my brain gets light because nothing is getting to it. We have all this free time to decide what we are going to do in Chicago, but all of our conversations through the trip consist of whining and complaining and wondering how we are possibly going to live without clean air. We were just having too much fun to turn around, I guess, or maybe the fumes had already begun to take their toll.
The openness and blandness of the Indiana interstate begins to sprout more and more limbs as we enter Illinois. I’ve only driven myself to Chicago once, and that was with somebody who knew exactly where they were going. This time, though, a pleasant arrival has already left along with that last breath of fresh air. Suddenly high up in the air, white on green are dozens of numbers with arrows painting every direction but straight back at me. My eyes and mind weren’t quick enough to take in it all but I am sure they all said either "next right" or "1 mile".
One number (I think it was 84) rang a bell, but as soon as confidence started to set back in, 84 rushed the opposite direction before I could grab it. 90 was next, and somebody in back said that that road should be fine. It ended up being the best and easiest road although it was heavily tolled. I love this town. We are in the city, but probably fifty miles from the middle of it.
It's nice out. Not too sunny but enough sun to convince us that it’s not going to rain anymore. The roads are typically packed with cars on their way home to begin the weekend. It’s all unimportant, though. Not much of my environment is really soaking in too well anyway. My brain is inconsiderately sponging these fumes. We all need to puke. Several times I’m tempted to just pull over and rest. Wash most of the crap out of my head. But we keep going. Both Rick and Amy are fast asleep and involuntarily breathing in this toxic waste dump to the fullest. Gym’s right behind me drinking up his jug of apple cider that he hands to me every now and then.
I’m riding shotgun now, and Tony’s driving. He’s a good driver, but I’m nervous as hell now because it’s raining. The rain’s coming down in sheets and bricks. Red vicious eyes tempting my car, blinking on and off from bright red to just red, judging Tony’s reaction time constantly. Two blurry headlights following so close, like how baby ducks shadow their mother.