Okay, 2:00 a.m. – morning after Halloween – back home. Well, back at my hotel in Beverly at least. What a horrifying experience getting here! I never felt such relief to step into a hotel as I did tonight. If I come back to Salem (and I will), I will never stay outside of Salem again! Clearly, the shuttle service that took us to Salem earlier did not know what they were doing! After I attended the Halloween Ball festivities, I set out to meet up with the shuttle at the Salem Witch Museum at midnite – our pre-arranged time and spot. When I arrived, I called as instructed and said I was ready to be picked up. The guy on the other end was frantic, spouting out instructions and directions to me – someone who didn’t have a clue where in the hell she was – on foot, lost and from Texas for crap’s sake! I gathered that I was supposed to meet the Van at a specific intersection somewhere in Salem. Hmmmm. I began walking and found a policeman directing traffic. I said, “See, look, I’m from Texas and I’m pissed and lost and I need to get to such and such intersection.” The policeman was nice and helpfully – eagerly even – pointed the way …. down a dark, spooky street to my left. At least I walked the right direction! I look down the street and it’s all houses – old houses – on both sides with some having people lurking around the porches. I’m not scared of ghosts but I am scared of people so I am not liking the idea of walking down there for a couple of blocks. Anyway, here I go, a very perturbed, somewhat overweight witch still dressed up in all her witchy best about to walk down a street that at this moment looks like it’s probably the scariest street in Salem. Oh, I’m so far from home – a totally solitary witch at this point. So I walk …. down the very middle of the street. What a sight I must have been! I’m peering at the houses as I go making sure no ghosts or zombies come running out. I am in Salem after all and Halloween has just ended. So I walk and I finally reach the intersection. There are no street signs. Now I’m not going to go into this here but why oh why are there never street signs when your life absolutely depends on it?! I do see two groups of people standing on either side of the street. I assume these are my people and choose the group that has the nicest looking lady standing there. So we wait, and wait under this huge tree. The lady and I speak. She has about as much information as I do but at least she’s a human presence for me. We wait and then it begins to rain. Salem has great weather. It happens when you least expect it. And there goes a cold wind. I have been in Salem long enough to know that you don’t take cold breezes lightly. So me and my beautiful hat are getting soaked and it will only be a matter of time before we are freezing as well. And I have no where to go, no way to get there. I see in front of me two guys from my hotel jumping into a cab and driving away. They could have offered to share that cab …. and fare …. with some of us. I would have. I’m from Texas. We wait, we get wet, we get nervous. And then alas, two Vans show up! We are elated and run and lurch to said heaven-sent Vans …. and neither are going to our hotel. The hell you say! Our group that had gathered were in no mood to hear this and quite literally jacked up both drivers and piled our asses into the Vans whether they liked it or not. “Now ***pointing gun at driver’s head*** if you know what’s good for you, you’ll get your skinny ass moving to Beverly!” And he did! We were packed in like sardines, soaking wet and stinking but we managed a civilized conversation during our ride.
We made it! Shit, we frickin’ made it. I get out of that fucking Van (never again), walk straight to my room, very gingerly hang up my hat to dry and fall face down on the bed. See youse in the morning.