Friday, May 18, 2007

We Are Light, We Are Darkness...

Where was I...?

Oh yes, on Interstate 80 near Lovelock, Nevada...little red pick up truck...

After bailing out of a ride from SF in the back of a pick up I most certainly wasn't excited about getting into another one. However, we had been standing on the side of the highway for a couple of hours and I just wanted to get out of the middle of nowhere to a new nowhere.

So we took the ride.


The two guys in the cab of this truck were some surly looking fellows, but my dad's a biker and surly men don't necessarily scare me. I figured that, since I was with my boyfriend I was relatively safe. That is, until we pulled off the freeway to use the bathroom and put more clothes on to fend off the coming nighttime freeze.

I think we were in Utah. I headed into the bathroom, which only had a toilet, sink, and mirror--not a multi-person restroom--and began changing my clothes. I heard a knock at the door and opened it to discover Tom needing to come in and use the toilet. When he finished and left, he didn't lock the door behind him, so next thing I know, one of the guys from the truck walked in as I was pulling my shirt on. He walked over to the toilet, which didn't bother me as I'm a fairly open person and if he's gotta pee, so be it. But then he started asking me questions--really inappropriate questions regarding my love life. Then he asked me,

"Are you a man or a woman?"

My hair stil hadn't grown back from shaving my head a few months earlier, but I was shocked to hear this question. Bewildered, I turned to face him and saw that he was not urinating; he was masturbating.


Not that masturbation is a bad thing...I just don't want to be in the room with a stranger while he is doing it.

Even if he is giving my boyfriend and me a ride to Colorado.

Immediately I went out to the truck to discuss the situation with Tom. I explained the turn of events and quietly included the capper. Tom looked at me and said,

"Bullshit. You're making it up."

Try as I might, I couldn't convince him that this had really happened. And so, instead of leaving him right then and there, I chose to stay in the truck with him.

You'd think it would be easy for me to walk away. You'd think that he would believe his girlfriend (who had never lied to him before). You'd think, heading into the Rocky Mountains at night in the back of a truck was a bad idea. Speaking for myself, if I had another companion or if I had a rich daddy at home who would buy me a bus ticket, I would have left...maybe. But I didn't have either of those things. If I had left it would have been me alone on the side of the freeway trying to get back home. I was brave enough to hitchhike the 90 miles between home and the big city nearest to me, but not from the middle of Utah (?) all the way back to my little corner of the Pacific Northwest.

Speaking for Tom, there was one little reason that he wanted to stay with this ride through the freezing cold night. It wasn't that they were going all the way to Colorado Springs. It wasn't that it would have been more difficult to get a ride from where we were. It had to do with the guys who were driving the little red pick-up truck. It had to do with the shoe box they had stashed in the dashboard.

They had about two pounds of speed.

With dusk fallen and dark quickly taking over the thin winter light in Utah (?), we cuddled up in the back of the truck and tried to stay warm as we traveled into the night. A couple of hours into this leg of the trip, I awoke from a frigid nap as I overheard Tom talking to the guys in the cab. Not long after that the truck pulled over and Tom explained to me that he was going to get into the cab to warm up and that I could do the same after a while. I had very mixed feelings about this. Firstly, I was jealous that Tom would be the first one to get warm; I can't even begin to explain how cold it was in the back of that truck. There was snow falling from an angry sky and a 60-70 mph wind blowing all around me.

Let me just take a side note to try and remember what all I was wearing.

2 pairs of wool socks
combat boots
long johns
3 shirts
a wool hat
a very large trench-style poly-fill insulated coat
2 blankets wrapped around me

And I was still FREEZING. Not just uncomfortably cold. I thought I was going to die. It was really that cold.

Ultimately I decided that I would ride very briefly in the cab of the truck. Just long enough to get warm and then I would get in the back and cuddle with Tom. However, I wasn't given the opportunity to get in the cab for quite a while because, little did I know at the time, they were snorting rails of speed and I was the furthest thought from anyone's mind.

This next section is quite fuzzy for me. I can't remember the exact order of events but I will choose an order and we'll pretend that's the way it happened.

Somewhere in Wyoming I peeked out of my little blanket cave to discover that we had been caught in a blizzard. I couldn't see more than ten feet in any direction but I did notice that we were very slowly going around a road block. Upon inquiry, I discovered that the mountain pass road was closed due to weather, but the guys had decided to go around the road block because they didn't think it was that bad. Tom was again in the cab of the truck and had been the one to convince the driver to go around the road block. I was pretty afraid when I saw nothing but the ethereal whiteness of a blizzard at night so I hunkered down into the perceived safety of my blankets and prayed to goodness that I would make it out alive. It did little to boost my hope.

Especially when I felt the truck spinning round and round.

I popped my head out again to see what was going on but were it not for the feeling of going round and round, I never would have known that we were spinning out of control.

Somewhere in their speed-induced apathy for what was happening, the driver managed to get us going on the road again. Luckily much of the surrounding terrain was pastureland so, from what I could tell, we went off road onto a relatively flat, open piece of land and then found the road again. What was truly a miracle was that, although visibility was almost zero, the driver found a cafe that we could stop at and wait out the storm.

We entered the flourescent-lighted oasis of a greasy spoon, spooked and thankful to be alive. We ordered coffees and sat back, warming up, waiting for the visibility to clear up and looked on a map for an alternate route.

I blocked out most of the rest of our trip with these guys. I don't remember much of what happened after that. I know that we arrived in Fort Collins, Colorado very early the next morning. I was very tired and hungry and Tom was high on speed. An elderly couple saw us and the state we were in and bought us some breakfast, then pointed us in the direction of the nearest Salvation Army. Upon arrival there, we were forced to pray to their God before they would offer us any services. After prayer they fed us some greasy food and gave us cots to sleep on for a couple of hours. Tom didn't eat or sleep. I did both in massive quantities.

Following a rest at the SA, we hitched to the nearest bus station to bum change and ride the bus to Boulder, where we were supposedly going to meet up with some friends for a lively time of eating, drinking, and smoking pot. Little did I realize, Tom didn't have any friends. We arrived at Penny Lane, a coffee shop on Pearl Street in Boulder, right down the street from the house where Mork and Mindy was filmed in the 70s and 80s. There, we encountered some hippies that were nice enough to take us to their house and feed us. We were allowed to spend one night there, and then I had my first experience with something that would become a theme with almost everywhere I went with Tom after that...

Our hosts told me that I was welcome to come back, but Tom was not.

More later........