Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Grand Adventure or What It Really Comes Down to is Every Good Campus Has a Market of Choice Near By. . .

It started off as the worst day of this summer. I awoke next to my cat for the last time in my own home. She was all tucked under the blankets with her head poking out and her paws outstretched, lightly grazing my fingers. We cuddled and then Nichole told me she would rather spend the day in Ashland so I depressingly put Bitsey (my cat) in the box and carried her out to the car. You see she is almost 14 years old and I have moved her around every year for the last four (often multiple times each year) and she just could not handle this last move. It ultimately lead to her pissing on my bed every day, once while I was in it, as well as a continued attitude of hissing and growling around the apartment. I decided she would be happier in Portland with my family (a place she is more familiar with) so my brother agreed to meet me in Eugene Wednesday afternoon to do the switch off. I check the fluids and soon we are off. I almost immediately opened the box so she could breathe and I could pet her. This seemed to calm her down. The next two hours consisted of CD skipping and cat petting. Someone with a beautiful voice called but his voice was coming in and out amidst the wind and then I lost him in the pass. By now Bitsey was attempting to get in my lap and I feared for a moment she might get by my feet but I got her to turn around and she headed for the back seats. There was more loud singing and some remembering/appreciation for mountains and lips.

The engine than began to click and switch to lower gears. Trotting Horse had never moved this slowly up hills so I begin saying "uhhh fuck." I pulled over and check all the regular things. Leaking, heating and so forth. The car appeared normal except that it would not start. There was some calling of AAA and running down the interstate to give them the last mile marker. They get ready to send a tow truck and I'm sweating in the car trying to get Bitsey to drink some water and pretend like I am not scared she will die from all the stress. The same beautiful voice calls again and we discuss what could have gone wrong until the tow truck appears. So now I am attempting to put Bitsey in a secure space and the tower, we will call him Wallace, explains to me that he can tow me into Eugene rather than Roseburg with no extra charge (we heart AAA.) So Wallace and I take off on a 1 and 1/2 hour trip together where I learn all about his wife who finished nursing school in 2001 and how he did not give a fuck if she had a great job lined up for herself afterwards, they were going to AZ but she stayed in Oregon and he moved to Phoenix for a little over 2 years. There he lived next to some crazies with guns and one day while he was chilling in his boxers (Wallace by the way, is a very large, hairy man who is probably in his 20's but looks a good 30 years older) drinking a beer, the cops storm in and tell him to get to safety because his neighbors are going crazy and he opens up a cabinet and shows the fuzz ALL OF HIS GUNS (by now he is listing off gun names and I have no fucking clue what he talking about) and how he is a swat team on his own. Some time after all of this he moves back to Myrtle Creek and one day realized he does not want to be married, leaves for a construction job for a month, comes home and finds another man staying in his house. Somewhere between kicking his wife out and a story about threatening to shoot his neighbors sons for stealing fuel from him, I start to let the wind overpower his voice. We finally make it to Eugene where I quickly get Bitsey to my brother, wish them a safe ride home and head to the shop on Agate St (right by campus) with Wallace. He drops me and Trotting Horse off informing me that he hopes this is the place I want to leave the car because I have one mile left before he starts charging me for the tow. Luckily the mechanic, let's call him J, he's a nice fella and tells me to expect a call in two hours with more information. So I take off through campus and call my friend Shaggy to meet me at the Market of Choice. Here we greet each other after it being a year since we last hung out and then hop in the car where he starts up the Aladdin soundtrack because it is adventure music. There is some beer involved, some talk of "being" with people and who all still lives in Eugene. We head back to his place where there is a stolen Turkey sign and a laser he plans to use to spy on people. Soon we are on a mad hunt to find our other friends, a forest and some nuns but failed. A friend I have not seen in four years comes over and there is talk of his marriage and computer games. I fell of a cliff multiple times and died instantly. The night ended in Shaggy showing me Anchor Man. He left at 4:30am to go to work so around 8am I sneak out so as not to awake his roommates who did not know I was there. I do the whole food stamps breakfast thing at the grocery and am heading to the bus station when I get a call from J saying my car will indeed cost $1,700 to fix. I tell him to go for it, give him my payment information and hop on the bus heading downtown thinking I will catch a greyhound home and Nichole's mom can pick up my car and I'll get it the next time I am that way. So I am walking down 10th st towards Pearl when I suddenly remember that my brother left his journal at the McDonald's where I met up with him and I was supposed to go pick it up. I turn around, find the bus to the Gateway Mall and head straight there. By now my phone is saying it is about to die and people are texting me saying "get a second opinion" so I call my beloved mechanic in Ashland and he says "fuck the car. Sell it to J and get yourself a new car with the money you would spend to fix that one." My phone is beeping loudly now with a dying battery. I call J, he makes some more calls and gets back to me with saying I currently owe him $320 for the car and he has a friend who will cover all of that. I figure I am not losing anything, not making anything either but there's not a whole lot I can do with a van that needs almost 2G's of work done on it so I agree. There is more bus hopping out to the campus where I unload all the maps/rocks/trip good luck charms that are still in Trotting Horse, as well as take as many bumper stickers off as possible and place them in a box the guy at the desk duck taped together for me. There is some talk of road trips and Ashland. The desk guy, let's call him E, was born in Ashland and has always wanted to go to Burning Man so we passed the time until J got back from lunch and I signed Trotting Horse over to him. I then picked up my box and was heading out the door when they offered to give me a lift to the greyhound station. E and I talked more of growing up in Eugene and how he was too young to remember Ashland at all. I purchase a ticket to Medford and then wander downtown Eugene for the next two hours. I begin by smoking a little cigar that was left in the van from Burning Man and then find myself in a "things from around the world" type store where I ask the owner how his day is going and he "it's getting better" and I inquire more so we chat a bit about things and he asks how I am doing and I say "it's been an interesting few days" so we discuss what happened to me and agree that things happen for a reason and that life is beautiful. There is more bumping into strangers, asking of the time, seeing of bright colors, quest for poets not belonging to the canon and so forth until I am back at the station. A womon talks to two girls about the foster care program and she really listens to people when they talk. I board the bus and a bald man tells me to take my feet off the seat. Another guy warns me to watch out for the bald guy, he's a creep who wants to lick my feet. I go to the bathroom and pretend to be asleep. Soon I am in Medford where a dear friend picks me up and we do dinner and then I am home!

Somewhere in here I lost a sense of tenses. . .


judith said...

Wow. That was an adventure grande. Trotting Horse served you well, and got you and your cat almost home. Hat's off to Trotting and to your calm, ingenuity regarding solving all the challenges during this adventure, including letting the wind take over for Wallace's incredible story of guns and AZ. And I love that you noticed that the woman was really listening to people when they talk. An observant young woman with problem solving skills. Not bad, Ms. L.

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