Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Ruthie On The Road, Update

Yeah, there I was, back in Hood River, Oregon and a so-called "friend" of mine offered to put me up at the motel that she manages in Kansas.

I said that I would pay a monthly rent, starting in April, and the agreement was made. Then I went back on the road.

Now I'm here in Colorado and this morning the bitch told me a lie and expected me to believe it. I don't. And I won't be going to Kansas on a bus, after all. I won't be going to Kansas, at all.

I mean, that woman just straight-out lied to me on the phone. I sincerely hope that she chokes on something, some day soon. And Blogger (unlike YouTube) won't make me recant that statement, either.

I want to tell you a tale about two cities: Boulder and Longmont, Colorado. They are located about fourteen miles apart. But they are poles apart with respect (or lack of it) to homeless people.

The sun had just set and a chill was already blowing in the air when I reached Boulder. I went looking for a warm place to spend the night.

I never found one.

THIS is what happened, instead:

The mythical "Warming Center" (translation: Church) that is usually open during the winter months was closed. The daytime temperature had risen to an unusually balmy level and so the people who live in houses decided that the night would be bearable, too.

It wasn't.

Yeah, all of those pious people drove home, locked their doors, ate dinner and then snuggled down in their nice, warm beds.

I didn't.

Instead, I ended up on a bench, underneath a light pole on the campus of the local university. Two cops came by, shortly after I sat down and checked my ID. I asked them for a blanket, some food or a possibility of somewhere to go.

They said "goodbye", drove away and never returned.

Nobody did.

I hadn't eaten a thing that day and I had just finished hitchhiking from Green River, Utah. I had spent the night before in the driver lounge of a truck stop in Green River.

I needed food and a shower and clean clothes and eight hours sleep. I didn't get any of those things in Boulder, Colorado the other night.

Instead, I got ignored.

I sat on that cold, metal bench and shivered. I accidentally left my nice, Thinsulate gloves in a vehicle and wound up putting dirty socks over my cold hands. As the night wore on, I took other clothes out of my pack and put them over me in a feeble attempt to get warm.

I never got a drink of anything. I never ate. And I never talked to anyone.

Both the campus and the Boulder cops just left me there. They claimed that there was nothing that they could do.

I totally disagree.

At five a.m., I got up and decided that I was too cold to remain sitting. I had to start moving and warm myself up that way. And, of course, there were no open rest rooms for me to use. So I followed a walking path until I found a bridge with no lights on underneath it. I walked into the shadows, assumed the position and smiled as I pissed on Boulder.

Yeah, that sure made me feel better and improved my mood.

After I walked away from that muddy, gang-tagged corner in the dark, I switched on my flashlight. And I seriously started to walk. And walk. And walk some more.

By the time that the sun reached the dawn-point in the sky, I was all the way up to a main highway.

It took two people, both heading in the same direction, to finally get me into Longmont, Colorado. And that is where I am, right now.

I was dirty, dehydrated, hungry, walking in pain and totally exhausted. I had no idea who to go to. So I trudged up the main street of town and found a door.

And God said, "Go in there."

So I did.

I ate, rested and later on that night, I was munching on raspberries in a big, fancy hotel. And when I stretched back in the steaming water of a much-needed bath, I thought about that cold bench in Boulder.

I will find out where to go, tonight as I am sure that a warming center will be open here in Longmont. And I know just where to go to get the information about it. The cops in this city won't abandon me.

Not like the ones in Boulder did.

The most telling thing about Boulder is the amount of nice houses and healthy businesses that exist there. Well-heeled people drive late-model cars. The smell of money, in a firmly-entrenched middle class, is everywhere.

And I had to pee underneath a bridge.

In Boulder, Colorado...United States Of America.

But then, I guess I do leave my mark wherever I go.

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