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The Nissan Cube, a Big Fat Sky, and Trapped in a Tunnel – Recap from Kansas City and Topeka



Nissan Cube - Tremble in wonder

I will be getting a longer post up about this trip later on in the week. A few of you on Facebook have specifically wanted to hear more about my experience with the indomitable Nissan Cube I rented on impulse.

Here are are a few of the highlights:

  • Everyone told me that people in Kansas have big hearts. I saw nothing to contradict this. Everyone I met was extremely kind to me
  • Driving the Cube feels kind of like driving around in a hot tub with no water in it
  • Even if you roll down the window and blast Slayer out of it, the Cube fails to intimidate
  • I learned the word “chthonic” (not pronounced the way you’re probably thinking, if you’re like me)
  • I missed the mountains. Kansas is really, really flat
  • The flatness means the sky felt absolutely enormous. It felt so big it actually felt like I was being squashed underneath something, kind of how I imagine a skin diver must feel when the water starts getting dark on the wy down
  • In that enormous sky I saw the most beautiful sunset, the only one I’ve ever seen that I’d compare to evenings in Moab. It was because of the endless horizons. I’d never seen a sunset that stretched in every direction as far as I could see. Well, it didn’t stretch behind me, because I was driving into it, but you get the idea
  • After my talk a very nice woman told me that she would spend some time “jumping and praying” for me. I would pray more if I could jump during it
  • As always, speaking was a lot of fun, although this was my first experience with technical difficulties, which might have thrown a mortal off of his game. But not this Cube-wrangler
  • I paid $30 for a tiny, fancy piece of chicken that had lots of red swirls on the plate. Those were spendy swirls. I’m told that with food, it’s “all in the presentation.” This is a grotesque falsehood. When it comes to food it’s all in how much of it there is to stuff my face with
  • I hate airplanes
  • There was literally a circus going on next to my hotel in Topeka–I kept startling awake thinking that elephants were raging in the corridors, tearing up the bizarrely-printed carpet
  • When I realize how much I love being in a hotel room, sitting in my underwear, mouth-breathing, all alone, I am reminded of how little time I have for myself–just an observation, not a complaint
  • I can’t get a good night’s sleep in a hotel to save my life, circus or no
  • I had a sandwich called the Z Man, at a BBQ place. It might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me
  • I now know I talk with my hands a lot. When the cordless mic cut out for a few minutes, I felt very awkward with the handheld, because if I started waving it around per the usual, nobody could hear me
  • I didn’t like the roads in Kansas City. I got trapped in a maze of one-way streets and train yards until I was literally forced to drive through a dark train tunnel on my way back to the freeway. I sat at the mouth of that tunnel for a while, wondering if a locomotive would hurtle through and demolish me and my Cube. But I lived

If you came to hear me talk, thank you. It was an honor.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Spencer February 28, 2012, 10:34 am

    The Cube was dope. I will not rest until I have a purposeless circle of carpet attached to my dashboard.

  • Jennifer February 28, 2012, 7:34 pm

    I REALLY enjoyed your presentation Saturday. You are an amazing storyteller, you handled the technical difficulties like a rock star and you inspired me. Thanks for sharing your story!