First of all, I'm writing this while watching my first episode ever of "Jersey Shores", so if you notice I'm dumber, no explanation needed.
Let's talk signs. Days before I leave Mobile, "Signs" pops on TV. One of my old roomates (WALA-TV photographer Riccardo Montgomery) has never seen it and we end up all watching homegirl leave cups of water all over the house - much like my other former roommate (Studio Ten's The Joe Emer).
On the Friday before heading out of town, I start to hear a whistling sound come into my car. Considering I'm about to drive across the entire country, and in snow, I figured I'd take it to the shop. Let me preface - I don't know jack about cars. JACK!!! The service department tells me that my windshield isn't completely sealed and it's a minor issue that's not really worth fixing. Sweet!
Apparently my flux capacitor is leaking major flux and if I don't fix it immediately my car will not only blow up, but it will prevent the McFlys from meeting and ultimately stop Marty from ever existing. Faced with these alternatives, I had to fix the mysterious automotive ailment. The repair dropped me $200, which isn't that much in the long run, but when you're about to embark on a travel expedition while unemployed, anything helps. Add to that, whatever part I need (plutonium?) isn't available, so I'm given a Camry as a loaner. Day-and-a-half before I drive cross country, and my car's in the shop for the night? Signs yo.
When I get back home Friday night, I'm exhausted and take a quick a nap before a bunch of friends head off to Biloxi for an innocent evening of clubbing, gambling, and the occasional Capri Sun. It's around 7pm, I'm unsuccessfully trying to sleep, when out-of-nowhere this tall black guy who looks like a supermodel breaks into my room. Thanks to Studio Ten's Joe Emer, my old friend Q McCray (WFTV reporter), the guy responsible for bringing me to Mobile in the first place, has driven from Orlando for the g'bye festivities. Insane surprise.
They didn't end there. In Biloxi, MS, my boy Mike Rockwood and his wife Jene' pop up - making the 7+ hour drive from Houston for the celebration, despite me heading to their house anyway in the next couple days. My old Wyoming roommate Stu McCann came down from Montgomery. Come to think of it, with all the dudes that ended up staying at my townhouse that night, it kind of looked like the Jersey Shores house, minus the tans, roids, and Snooki (sp?).
The weekend was better than anything since Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman ran into some crazy antics with a mustached corpse formally named Bernard. I can only sum up the festivities by saying my friends are incredible, and for those who happen to be reading this - a sincere thank you. Typical of farewell celebrations, there was just as much sadness as joy.
Leaving Mobile was more emotional than I expected it. I’ve truly grown to love the Gulf Coast, and so many of the people around me. Like my time in Wyoming, I’ve met people here that I will remain friends with for a long time. I was fortunate enough to work at a station where the newsroom crew was tighter than Brian Fontana, Brick Tamland, Champ Kind, and Ron Burgundy (before Veronica Corningstone was hired).
When closing one chapter of your life, I find it impossible not to look back and wonder what if. What if I did this, or did that? Wonder especially about relationships and what could've been? And that's where I once again realize that's not what this trip is all about. This trip is about fulfilling that what if. To avoid saying, 'man, I wish I did that.' For as much as I love Mobile and the people, the city is a homonym. And a non-proper noun definition of "mobile" relates to being on the move. Maybe it was inevitable.