I promised myself I'd stop along the way if I made good time, reward myself with a Diet Coke, a Coke Zero, at the next shining fast food sign along the highway. The fog banks, murky purple and dusty blue made way for a gleaming yellow rounded m off in the distance. The adrenaline got me to the exit just as the first light of dawn poured over the sad Home Depot next door.
Pulling into the drive thru[sic], I was surrounded by towering ferns and birds of paradise flowers sprinkled with shining morning dew. A smiling case told me that "Adventure Time toys are here!" prompting me to utter, "Mathematical!" instinctively to the fuzzed voice of Morning Edition. A pleasant, tired teenager handed me a bag filled with a plain biscuit, a giant Coke Zero, a strawberry smoothie and a "boy happy meal toy" - no extra .10 for the bag, even.
As I pulled back onto the Highway, Finn triumphantly ruling the rental car's dash, the sun rose dramatically, smeared with searing orange and tropical pinks lighting the air force jet trails like an '80s neon art piece, the local music station fading in, the caffeine kicking in, all of San Diego sprawled out before me like a California cliche train board, and more than an hour left to get to my first meeting of the day. This. This is what's worth living for.