Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ruthie On The Road, Update

It's been an amazing Summer:

I met the man who bought me the motel room and provided me with a good
meal in Nebraska. He was so happy to help that the smile stayed on his
face from the time that we met to the moment that we said goodbye.

I wasn’t always that lucky. One night I fell fast asleep in a gazebo
in the middle of a park with a hotshot of 100% DEET spray in my right
hand.

I was also left to spend the night, at one point, in my sleeping bag,
on a concrete sidewalk in the village of Brady, Nebraska. The walkway,
which was lit up, wound up and around a train track. I scrunched down
in my sleeping bag and rested my head on my backpack. Every time the
train chugged by the whistle and the vibrations interrupted my dreams
about “The Children Of The Corn.”

A cat finally joined me at about three a.m. That was the only friend
that I ever found in that town.

But down the line, a preacher and his wife rescued me. I ate dinner
with them in a fog and then closed my eyes in yet another motel bed.
The next day, a young couple picked me up and drove me to their home.
They made arrangements and put me in a room at a Best Western that
featured a king-sized bed, fat towels and a flat screen TV.

The next day they took me to a small town where I had to wait until
one o’clock the next morning before I boarded an Amtrak train. I was
left on my own and opted to stay in the waiting room at the local
police station. Late that night, an officer drove me over to the
depot.

When I watched the train pulling in, I thought, “This time I get to
RIDE the train instead of just watching it go by.”

The seats were big and I got two to myself. I sat by the window and
put my backpack on the seat beside me. The vibrations rocked me to
sleep, but the whistle intermittently interrupted my dreams about
“More Children In The Corn.”

The train was filthy and it stunk. When I went downstairs to use the
restroom, a creepy guy stood by the door. I glared at him. When I glared at him he decided to leave me
alone.

The bathroom was gross. I’ve seen a cleaner one on a Greyhound bus.

In the morning, I walked back to the dining car and was seated by a
waitress. The coffee tasted like instant, the omelet was thin and the
grits were congealed and cold. The biscuits and the orange juice were
the only saving grace. But their comfort was quickly lost when the
server brought me a bill for twelve-dollars.

I had just enough money left to buy a bed in a mom-and-pop motel that night. So
I left the train and the rest of the ticket to Indiana in a pit stop
town in Iowa. I walked out of the depot and went looking for food, a
bathtub and a bed.

I finally found it and left the next morning. I was still tired. But I
figured that I had miles to go before I would sleep again. To my
surprise, that isn’t what happened.

I ended up on an on ramp outside of yet another small city and stuck
out my thumb.

About twenty-minutes later, two cops pulled up in two separate
cruisers. All for me.

They got me two bottles of water and drove me back to their station. A
big, tall preacher man eventually strode in and offered me a choice.
He said that I could either get a motel room for the rest of the day
and that night or get a meal.

I took the room. I took it not only because I was still tired but also
out of spite. The guy was cranky and made me walk back to the west
side of town to the motel.

When I got there, the manager of the motel bought me dinner. After I
ate, I fell asleep…for hours.

The next day, I walked and walked and walked back across town again. I
was still about a mile from the on ramp when I heard a voice behind me.
I turned around and a lady with a big grin asked me if I needed a ride
somewhere.

I got in her rig and we talked for awhile. And as we shared conversation, she drove and drove and drove.

Finally, the woman bought me a Trailways bus ticket to Indiana. (Her
husband produces infomercials that are broadcast everywhere.) She gave
me $100 and a hug. I got on the bus and she disappeared.

When I got to the bus station in Indianapolis, I found out that I
would have to stay there all night.

I also found out that there is no branch of my bank in either
Indianapolis or the city that I was planning to finally end up at.

(Update will continue soon...)

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