Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update

After I put up the last post, I looked out the windows of the library there in Florence, Oregon. And I realized that the rain was pouring down harder than ever. With a heavy sigh and a heavier pack on my back, I trudged up the dark hill out of the city.

A strong gust of wind blew my umbrella inside-out and broke two of the rods. Suddenly my only substantial protection from the rain was destroyed.

When I got to the top of the hill, I stood in front of a low, but well-lit sign for a thrift store. But when I put my thumb out, no one stopped. Nobody.

This made me mad for several reasons. The main one being that a middle-aged woman hitchhiking in the cold rain should never be ignored.

Especially at night.

But I was.

Finally, I grabbed my backpack and ran up on the porch of the thrift store and sat on the cement underneath an overhang.

And as the hours passed, people drove by and I got soaked and colder.

Finally, I pulled out a small blanket from my pack that by a miracle was still dry. And using it as a sort of shield, I changed into a drier set of clothing. I left the sopping jacket, sweatshirt and pants in a heap beside me.

I tried to send messages via twitter and email. But my gloves got too wet and my fingers began to freeze. It was impossible to use my cell phone's keyboard after awhile.

I could and should have called 911 from that phone. But the State Police had cruised by several times and never stopped. As unbelievable as it sounds, I think that the cops thought that I was alright. In fact, I was rapidly deteriorating into trouble.

If I had contacted dispatch, I may have gotten to a better situation much faster.

I didn't and that stupidity is my fault. But just by sight and circumstance, SOMEONE should have taken one look at me and offered to help.

I suffered, Campers. I was as cold as I have ever been in my life.

By morning, I was sleepy and not thinking entirely straight. Through the haze of my frosty, functioning brain I prayed to God for guidance.

Then I walked over to the store where I had just watched a woman turn the sign on. When I got there and walked on shaking legs through the door, the woman was waiting.
I asked her, in a crushed ice voice, if I could use the restroom.

She put her hands on her hips, glared and then said," We don't have that for you here."

It was obvious that she wanted me to leave.

So I did.

I walked into a nearby stretch of woods, dropped trow, squatted and thoroughly pissed on that town.

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