Flew to Durham (with an all too brief stop in Newark where I watched the sun set and reflect off of Manhattan) and arrived in NC ten minutes before my brother’s flight got in. As I watched him walk towards me, and the baggage claim carousel I was standing by, I thought he looked hung over. When he spoke his voice was slurred and I knew the night wasn’t going to end well.
He mumbled something about a bunch of Xanax and followed me to the car rental shuttle while complaining about everything. He was so clearly high and I just didn’t understand why he’d do that before a flight to another state for a family wedding.
More complaining when he saw the car I rented, more slurred speech and I wondered what my mom would say when we got to her hotel. He thought he was acting sober, didn’t believe my contradiction. It was almost 1am when we got settled in.
The air quality in the hotel wasn’t great but I was so tired I thought I could bear it. I fell asleep for about 20 min. In my sleep I thought I heard my brother say he was heading out. I woke up to see my mom sitting on the couch in the dark, alone. I groggily asked where brother was and mom said he’d gone out to get a drink. Even in my exhaustion I felt panic well up. If he drank on top of that many Xanax, who knows if he’d survive.
I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed my phone and the room key and hurried out to look for him. I forgot my wallet so I couldn’t enter any nearby bars to look. There were a lot of drunk duke students wandering the sidewalks. No sign of brother. I called, no answer. I walked one way, than the other. I called again. I was getting pissed. Finally brother answered and I tried to get him to tell me what street he was on. He told me and I pulled up the map and started walking his way.
Unfortunately he wasn’t staying still. As I passed by the police station I seriously contemplated sending them out to find him. I didn’t want to cause a scene on the wedding weekend so I didn’t and after waking an additional mile I finally found brother. I think he was blacked out. He wasn’t making any sense and walked so slowly and unsteady. I was equally worried, exhausted and pissed off. I convinced him to walk back to the hotel but he was pretty belligerent the whole way there. He kept hitting signs and spitting at people walking past. Finally we got back up to the room. Brother eventually calmed down and fell asleep.
As I lay back down I noticed right away I wasn’t going to be able to breath in there all night. For some reason I felt better in the bathroom and since it was after 3am I ended up throwing some cushions on the floor and sleeping in there till 7, although I woke up several times and couldn’t get comfortable. Went down to breakfast and after realized there was no way to stay there with my mom.
Spent the morning going to multiple other hotels trying to find a non-moldy place. One hotel I tried also had a museum in it. I checked out the exhibits and stopped to use their transgender single toilet bathrooms (the sign was half male/half female with the words “we don’t care” underneath) that had glass walls/doors that would go from transparent to opaque when you locked them. Except as I was finishing up I looked over at the door and noticed the opaqueness was disappearing and there was a maintenance man peering in at me mid-pee. He looked startled and backed away so I could stand up and pull my pants back up. Washed my hands and went back out and he apologized mumbling something about the doors not working properly. I immediately left and tried another hotel.
5 more hotels later I found one I could stay at and M was nice enough to foot the bill for me since I hadn’t budgeted for it. Now all I want to do is sleep but all the coffee I slammed this morning is keeping me in limbo. Ugh, I just wanted an easy weekend away. I wonder what the rest of this trip has in store.