Feeling weak and disheveled, desperately seeking strength and respite, two friends decided that they would try again. Their last venture left them bun-less, but true survivors never accept defeat. They stare defeat in the eye and say, “Move.” Spines stiffened with determination, they hopped in the Honda CR-V one more time. A forty five minute drive, cognizant now of operating hours, brought them to the sign promising 3 more miles until cinnamon filled, gooey, goodness. As they saw the sign, they began to drool like Pavlov’s dogs. They did not trade stories of Cinnabon this drive, both too afraid to suffer the disappointment again. Instead, they stayed focused on the destination, hopeful that their newfound knowledge of operating hours would merit success.
They joked of the consequences if Cinnabon was once again darkened. The driver mused that it would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. That everything in her life was of small, tiny, insignificant consequence compared to the blackness she would feel at a blackened storefront. As they neared the doors, their hearts quickened. The passed through the doorway, and they saw an illuminated Cinnabon. They fought back their tears of joy; they attempted to remain demure at the rest stop. Their drive had finally merited success. They realized too, that there was a Roy Rogers, and they need to be responsible and have dinner before dessert. Roast beef and cheese sandwiches were devoured with delight. The passenger indulged in macaroni and cheese and French fries as well. The driver added an Auntie Anne’s soft pretzel, because it was a long drive, and you might as well avail yourself of all the deliciousness a rest stop can offer.
Finally, after dinner was finished, they looked into each other’s eyes, and they smiled. It was time. They walked, backs straight, to Cinnabon, and they ordered their buns. The shelves were brimming with hot, gooey choices. They went back to their table, covered in Roy Rogers castoff, and they began slowly, almost sacredly eating the cinnamon infused, icing covered goodness. The driver mused that, if there is a heaven, it’s assuredly lined with Cinnabons. When they were stuffed, they decided it was time to go. As they went to exit the rest stop, the conversation turned to finding the appropriate direction to go home. They needed south, and last time, they went north. It took a mountain to inform the two that they were not going the right way. This time, focus and observation made them see a sign directing them toward Allentown.
The driver, who apparently has a better sense of direction, thought that was the way to go. The passenger insisted she was incorrect. The driver listened to the passenger, and the next sign they saw informed them that they were once again headed to the Poconos. The driver, out of curiosity now began observing how many signs they passed last time, when they only knew it was the wrong way when they saw a mountain. The answer is 12. There were 12 signs indicating that we were going north versus south. Those 12 signs did not exist last time, because they were too busy talking about Yum Yum and laughing their asses off at the failed Cinnabon attempt. This time, they were celebrating their cinnabon-ery, and laughing their asses off at the fact that we were once again headed towards a mountain. At least, this time, they learned how to look for signs. Nothing is ever wasted, if you learn something new. Nothing is truly a repeat, if you can do it with new lessons, perspective, and observation. Even the driver and passenger were not the same women as those that made the first trip. They were wiser, and they were more observant (kind of).
This time, when they went through the tunnel, they exited again, and this time, they remembered to turn right, instead of left. This time, they somehow blew right the fuck past the GIANT turnpike sign that they laughed at themselves for not noticing previously. This time, they did not, at least, continue north, but instead went East. They were (relatively) going the right direction home, via the most bizarre back road journey in history. In prior Monday night drives, they had determined that the best course is forward, always. There is nothing to be gained from going backwards, because they know what they’ve seen there. They had GPS technology abundantly available, but they prefer to rely on their own instincts to get them home. It’s funnier, even if it takes longer.
As their sides ached and throbbed from laughing, they attempted to direct each other using random clips of memory. A bridge reminded the passenger not to turn left, a roundabout caused the driver to be confused and alarmed. A sign indicating a familiar highway caused them both to get excited, and they darted off towards it. They finally got to a familiar highway, Passenger shouting we have to go south, Driver clarifying that this particular highway only runs East to West, so that’s not really an option. They relied on familiar town names to guide them directionally, because apparently North, South, East, and West are WAY too much for two chicks with ADHD to handle.
All told, what should have been a 1.5 hour round trip cinn-adventure took 4 hours. They agreed, as their sides and bellies ached from laughing, their minds cleared from talking, their hearts and souls connecting the way only friends can, that it was the best drive they’ve taken. Sometimes, when you get lost, it’s the best way to get found. Sometimes, when the world is too much, escaping into your car, grabbing cinnabon and inadvertently going to the mountains is the best way to clear your head. Always, your friends are the people that will help you when no one else can. There is no gift greater than friendship, and Cinnabon.