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Author Topic: Midwestern Misadventures in Madness and Compassion, Part 1  (Read 2361 times)

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Offline Strayboy74

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  • Posts: 1,054
  • tastes like chicken

I sat at the Ashby BART Station for the first fifteen minutes thinking they were just late.  It was 7:15 p.m., and we were supposed to drive to Davenport together, the three of us, sharing gas costs.  Forty Minutes later, I conceded to the reality that I had just been stood up.

Though, before starting my car I looked toward my inner light for forgiveness.  In the time I had been waiting, I sat, carefully selecting the words I would invoke to adequately express my disappointment in their tardiness.  Then I considered their ages, 18 and 19, female and male respectively.  I guess I wasn't all that responsible at either age, either.  Though an email to tell me I was on my own would have been nice.

This is the staccato message and resounding truth I had always known.  Though, like a loving puppy being teased and kicked by his boy owner, I ran to the comfort of the torture, forgetting, again, the inevitable outcome.  I cannot count on others.

My stomach was uneasy, and I'd been having problems digesting for the two weeks prior to beginning my journey, and even went to the hospital with severe cramps four days before finding myself here at this Bart Station. I pulled out from the parking area, driving briefly toward the sun, as it fared to me its final California goodbye.  It was three hours later that I lost cell-phone reception, and I suddenly found myself alone.  Scared, uneasy and alone.

I had said goodbye to everyone deserving or desiring such.  I had given away and sold my every possession possible.  Earlier that day I had even mailed three boxes to arrive before me in Florida, my ultimate destination, all to make room for the two passengers who now didn't sit in the car with me - sharing with me their stories of reckless and impetuous youth, drinking sodas, and helping to select the music along our shared journey.  I began to try to look forward to the solitude in my journey.

I stopped at K-mart for a map and some sun glasses.  The map was bought so that I could find comfort in knowing at my fingertips was some semblance of certainty I could count on, should everything go horribly wrong, and the sunglasses to keep the sun from knowing my tears the next morning, should I become conquered by my fears in the full night of driving ahead.  I also withdrew enough toll money, mentally pulling reign on my monies in my attempts at expecting the unexpected.

Somehow, I knew they would never show.

It was 11 p.m. when I hit Donner Pass, as my radio kept going in and out.  I figured this was as good a spot as any to stop, briefly, since my stomach had not relented me of its continuing war on me.  I expected my bathroom stop to be like all of the others, however, I was surprised upon finishing.  It appeared that my stools had somehow become ALBINO soft-serve.

I chalked it up to my nervous stomach, and my poor eating patterns to this point, resolving to purchase Maalox and Immodium when I stopped at a gas station in Reno.  Indeed, after doing this I felt better.

I continued driving through Nevada, changing radio stations whenever I began to lose reception, only to find myself left with one Hispanic and two Christian Stations.  Deep into the night, Tito Puente left me, and I turned off the radio grounded to rational thought processes by the sounds of my car engine and the white noise created by my window which was open an inch from the top.

At about 4 or 5 a.m. I stopped, again for gas and a soda to keep me awake until I could find a truck rest-stop for a brief nap.  Traveling an extra 40 miles or so, in darkness, I found one where I only slept for an hour or two, when dawn came and the sun had come to see if I had survived my own relentless torment.

I'd like to speak to the beauty of which I had marveled in the geography escorting me to my destination, but much of it was a blur.  Of noteworthy mention and clarity were few things: the Great Salt Flats filled me full of awe; the mountainous terrain of I-80 on the Eastern side of Utah brought me to feelings of smallness for the world around me; and at each stop, despite what I had eaten, I continued to have white poop.  It wasn't until Wyoming, right before Laramie, that I realized the magnitude of where I was.  Closeted America.

When I stopped at a Truck Stop, I went to the bathroom, where I found myself being flirted with by a handsome gay man who stood, washing his hands at the sink next to me.  He started with polite conversation.  Uncomfortable, yet strangely flattered, I finished washing my hands exchanging pleasantries, though secretly wondering why my poop continued to come out white.  After drying my hands, I went out into the convenience store area, and began to consider my eating options.  Fortunately, with exception to rice, they had all the makings of a BRAT diet.  I gathered my items and walked to the counter to pay, standing behind a fat woman with a mullet circa Billy Ray Cyrus/Achy Breaky Heart.

As she approached the counter, having waited her turn, the handsome gay man from the bathroom came up and stood next to her holding a semi-truck children's toy, asking her if she would buy it.  She then said, "you have to pay for half of it, he's your son too."

I felt disappointed, and somehow saddened, Almost as though the advances in the bathroom made had been discovered to be only a cheap cubic zirconia in a ring passed on to me as an heirloom from my grandfather.  He smiled at me as they left the counter and headed for the door.  What a waste.

I made it to Iowa the next day, having stopped many times along the way for unexpected bathroom breaks, periodic gas fiills (5 times the tank was filled,  in total) and a bout of severe stomach cramps that had me buckled over and moaning in my seat.

The grass at the boarder of Iowa seemed an electric green, vibrant and hopeful.  Almost Welcoming.

(More to follow tomorrow)


"Many miles, many roads I have traveled
Fallen down on the way
Many hearts, many years have unraveled
Leading up to today"                 - I Deserve It, MADONNA
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 02:31:13 PM by Strayboy74 »

Offline Longislander

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  • Posts: 2,489
Re: Midwestern Misadventures in Madness and Compassion, Part 1
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2007, 02:28:13 PM »
You logged off just after I logged on~

Glad to see you made it safely.

Damn boy, there's a great book inside of you dying to come out...........

infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline JohnOso

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  • Posts: 817
Re: Midwestern Misadventures in Madness and Compassion, Part 1
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2007, 02:46:14 PM »

Glad to see you made it safely on your journey.

Anticipating reading your updates.


Offline megasept

  • Member
  • Posts: 478
  • Steven here...
Re: Midwestern Misadventures in Madness and Compassion, Part 1
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2007, 02:47:29 PM »
You logged off just after I logged on~

Glad to see you made it safely.

Damn boy, there's a great book inside of you dying to come out...........


DITTO! Paul is so right! I started reading because I still have trouble at 50 with fickle people (both sexes) who stand me up. I sold a lot of my possessions too, at the Asby BART Station Flea Market 30 years ago. I continued reading because I know what it's like to drive and drive alone through the night across our big country. Unfortunately, the illness as copilot was also not foreign to me. Yeah, don't crash (ever), and keep writing! You have talent.
 8) -megasept
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 02:49:01 PM by megasept »

Offline mudman8

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  • Posts: 115
Re: Midwestern Misadventures in Madness and Compassion, Part 1
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2007, 05:01:32 PM »
I really enjoyed your little diary of the event, I"ve traveled long distances too with people and without. I love driving across this country tho it's been quite a few years since the last time.  Hope all turns out well in FLA.
Life is analog

Offline allanq

  • Member
  • Posts: 705
  • still life with pills
Re: Midwestern Misadventures in Madness and Compassion, Part 1
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2007, 06:24:28 PM »

Thanks for telling us about your journey. Your writing made me feel as if I were there with you. (But please don't ask me for gas money!)

It's interesting that you and Bucko are both such good writers. You both have a wonderful talent for bringing your personal experiences to life.

Good luck to you as you continue on.

Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
Bottom right (Dinner): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress
Bottom left (Bedtime): Sustiva, Trazodone (2), Lipitor, Septra (no longer taking this)
Center: Alprazolam (Xanax)
Not shown: various vitamins & supplements

Offline fearless

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  • Posts: 2,191
Re: Midwestern Misadventures in Madness and Compassion, Part 1
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2007, 10:44:24 PM »
Great words Joseph.

Now, about those white stools. You should get yourself checked out. They are a classic sympton for Hepatitis and also celiacs, amongst other things.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 10:47:04 PM by fearless »
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic


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