Sunday, September 12, 2010

On The Highway To My Birthday, Part Three

It had been a cold, lonely and miserable night complete with drunks, female truckers and one woman who dragged in two huge "service" dogs.

One of the dogs stuck his head under the stall door and growled at me. I grabbed my cane and waved it at him. Then I stared him down. No animal that's lower than a human will ever be more Alpha than me. He finally looked away and retreated.

In between the rumbles of semi's rolling down the highway, I tried to sleep. But I didn't do much more than doze while gazing at the stainless steel toilet seat.

In the morning, I got up, stretched, washed my face and hands, combed my hair, brushed my teeth and then grabbed my backpack.

I stepped outside and felt the crisp cold air open my eyeballs. I could see my breath and frost was everywhere. I looked at the flat, frozen fields around me and said, "Happy Birthday, Ruthie."

I walked up the highway to the Cafe and tried to get a ride. And didn't. So I turned around and walked back to the rest area. I sat down at a picnic table and sighed.

That was when two women asked me if I wanted a ride to Burns.

Yes, I went backwards about 125 miles. And
after a cup of hot coffee, a bag of pretzels and a Power Bar, I fell asleep in the back seat of their rig.

I snored all the way back to Burns.

The ladies gave me ten bucks and wished me good luck and a Happy Birthday.

I went into a Safeway store and started to get concerned when the Western Union clerk told me that the money from Lisa Weber was not available yet. After the two nights that I had just had, I really needed to get myself a motel room.

So I walked over to the Community Action building and they gave me a bag of munchies and a bus ticket to Bend. Yes, Bend. When the lady handed it to me I started to laugh.

I slept on the bus all the way back...past the rest area and the Cafe...125 miles into Bend, Oregon.

I finally made it.

Then I picked-up a local bus to another Safeway store and walked up to yet another black-and-yellow Western Union counter. And THAT is when I first heard the name Luis Ibarra.

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