Well, we got back safe and sound despite the melting freeway catastrophe in San Francisco. Apparently we barely escaped with our lives because we had just passed by that area that night and thought we smelled smoke. I was so drunk that I barely noticed. Somehow or another we managed to make it back to the hotel. We were hopelessly lost for about 1 1/2 hrs. Had I been coherent in the least I would have directed us home no problem. Poor Rigid.
But back to why I was drunk, I failed my exam miserably...okay, not miserably in fact I'm rather proud of myself. I managed to raise over $2000.00 in pledges and donations, 2oo of which was raised by my sister's friends in 3 DAYS!. It was so incredible that I was inspired to create little t-shirts for the team. It didn't take me long to create the template and I made one for everyone. My heart was bursting with pride. I've never done anything remotely like this before. In fact when I had to sell chocolates to my neighbors I could barely raise $20 out of sheer fear. All I did was send out an email and the response was unreal. Even without that $1000 dollar pledge we raised over $1000 on our own. So like I said, I did the T-shirts and they actually came out great. I gave everything to my sister so she could iron on the design and then decided to relax on the couch. It wasn't until around 10pm that I got off my ass to print out my map.
Of course I blubbered, boogered and shit my pants all over the place, but I eventually calmed the fuck down. Okay, so I had to take a Clonopin because the panic attack just wouldn't subside but hell. At least I didn't smash my computer to shards. Eventually my sister and husband calmed me down enough to make me see the light. It wouldn't be the end of the world if I didn't walk with everyone. I did more than enough helping raise all that money and my sister promised she'd take loads of pictures for me. I finally fell asleep with bee stings for eyes and jelly for muscles. It was a restful sleep thanks to the Clonopin. My biggest fear was that in having to take the Clonopin I'd kill so many more of my brain cells that the next day I'd end up stupider than I already started off with.
We set off at 6:33 am half asleep, excited and nervous. I knew the drive up would be beautiful and I also knew that even if I picked up my notes to recap there would be no way I could concentrate. We made a few stops a long the way, but the ride was just fine and we made good time. We got there at around 12pm and checked in to the hotel we reserved the night before. The room was huge. For $100 bucks I ended up in this shitty dive of a hotel, but it wasn't actually all that bad. I had a balcony, small kitchen and good sized living room. I even had two tv's! Had I paid $30 more I would have had a view of the lake with easy access to a pool area. So, If I ever decide to go back, I think I may stay there again. I mean, who cares if I got there and there was no toilette paper, only one set of towels and no coffee maker. I had a fucking IRON dude! Yeah...
Soon as I changed I ran off to my test site which was just a few blocks away. I was an hour early and they didn't let me sign in, but assured me that everything was in order. Rigid and I tried to get something to eat, but I was quickly running out of time so I just grabbed a hot dog, chips and soda while he parked the car somewhere. Finally it was time for the exam.
I got myself all checked in, they give you a locker to put your personal things in and don't let you bring a single thing into the room with you. All I had on me was the gum in my mouth, a hair clip and my glasses. They wouldn't even give me a pen! And the calculator they gave me was so fucking small that I kept pressing the wrong numbers on it! I was so fucking pissed off. Among the first few of the questions was an options question. It was the 3rd or 4th question. I read it, skimmed the possible answers and began to work on it. Everything was going smoothly. I was feeling confident. The first few questions were okay and I knew it would gradually get a little more difficult but...whatever. I wrote my problem down and checked the question again to see exactly what it was asking. All of a sudden my fucking brain fell out of my skull. I looked around the computer to see if I could find it but the fucker ran away. I looked at the question, looked at my problem, looked at the question, looked at my problem, tried to solve it...just when I thought I had it I checked the choices and my answer wasn't there...WTF? I read it again, tried to redo it and my hand shook. Holy shit, I was going to lose it.
I took a deep breath and re-did the question. I finally came up with "an" answer. I don't know if it was the right answer, but I came up with one. The rest of it was fine. I figured, what I didn't know I wouldn't freak out about and just give it my best. I finished and took my break with Rigid. I wasn't hungry and wouldn't have been able eat to even if I was so we decided we'd have a late dinner after the second exam. It was a bad call. I was hopped up on caffeine from the iced mocha and the handful of almonds I had sustained me for a while, but all the nervous gum chewing eventually got to my jaw. You wouldn't believe how long I can chew on a single piece of gum when I want to. Eventually my head started to ache pretty bad and my cramps were killing me. I wanted to spit out my gum, but I didn't dare. It's an emotional crutch. I've been smoking like hell. I smoke at least 3-4 cigs during my timed practice exams and if I can't smoke I can't seem to concentrate so when I can't smoke I chew.
Thank god they didn't make me spit out my gum. I would have died. I think they saw how nervous I was and thought it would be okay. Well, half way through the second exam I got a blazing headache. The last remnants of my brain must have been making it's way out through my eyeballs because they started to cross on me and I couldn't concentrate anymore. I regretted not having taken another Adderall, but I was afraid of looking like a crackhead in the exam room. I'm exaggerating I know, but still...
Despite all of this I felt that the second exam was a bit easier on me. I failed it's true. The national average score is 73% and I got 62%. The passing score is 70%. So my score dropped 8%. See...I knew this was going to happen. My score only just got to a solid 70%. And this is with sporadic study patterns. One month yes, one month not so much, two weeks straight, one week not at all etc. This was the only month where I actually studied consistently for at least 4 weeks. So I was fully prepared to fail...What I wasn't fully prepared for was having to drive almost 4oo miles to San Francisco, spend over $80 in gas each way, pay for ONE NIGHT at a fucking hotel plus our meals only to have to fucking fail!!! But in the end I did one thing right. I got fucking tanked!
I figured pass or fail I was getting drunk in San Francisco and I did! After the horrible exam we got all dressed up and made our way to Fisherman's Wharf. We had a nice dinner (way to expensive but after all I went through fuck it right?) and then ran off to a bar. We had a blast. Played pool with this really drunk couple and kicked their ass. I didn't really do anything at all. I've never seen anyone beat Rigid at pool yet and given the fact that he was completely sober they didn't stand a chance. It was hysterical.
Eventually we headed back. We didn't even finish our last game of pool. We made a quick stop at another gas station and headed over the bridge. We smelled smoke at some point and I think we passed through some of it, but I was so drunk I barely noticed. The next day we got ready to go back to Chinatown, but the car started acting up and it gave me the willies. It's been turning off on us for some reason. We thought we fixed the problem already, but apparently we haven't. There goes another $500 bucks. I know Rigid was looking forward to DimSum in Chinatown, but I really didn't want to go back over that bridge. We were just about to jump onto the freeway to go there, but I convinced Rigid that I wanted to go home and to grab something quick to eat nearby. He relented and we stopped at a Popeye's.
I was so happy to be on the road again all I wanted to do was go home. The ride was so beautiful and we promised one another that we'd be back again real soon but this time without the stress of an exam. At one point I was so bored I started messing with my cell phone and found a Reuters News headline. It was the story of the melted freeway in San Francisco. When I read the story I started to remember the smoke we smelled. There wasn't much smoke and it smelled horrible. I actually had to hold my breath a few seconds. I figure that the accident must have just happened before we got there and we passed just over it. I don't know how long it took for the fucker to melt, but I'm glad we didn't go to another bar or even have another drink.
After that my spirits were higher than before. I escaped San Franscisco with my dignity in tact, my sanity and my life. Things are looking up my friends...things are looking up.