Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hippie Grows Old on Road

We were almost in Pennsylvania. West Virginia, to be exact, the little ear flap that stick up it's middle finger between Penn and Ohio so WV could get in on the I70 traffic fuel taxes.
"Ready, we're almost there," said Josh, a commercial const. foreman moving from New Mexico to Penn. with one too many cars to drive.
I jumped up and down.
"Let's do it. That energy drink is working like a mother fucker. I've been talking to myself for the last two hours."
Yep, I'd downed one of those "5 Hour Energy" drugs and could feel the caffeine warp my heart muscles out of true. So this is why people drink coffee! Even when those two white tail deer decided on the worst possible time to cross the 4 lanes of highway traffic and I buzzed one of their furry asses with my mustache whiskers I was unflappable. Dozens of deer carcasses lay in the breakdown lanes as the traffic on I 70 is one unbroken stream of 18 wheeled death traps running over deer and possums and bunnies for 8 hours a night. One animal ran out of the woods and straight into a 10 ft high cement barrier. He must've run down it looking for a break when the semi truck hit him and threw him against the barrier with such force that his blood and fur streaked an area about ten yards long. I knew it was Russian Roulette between deers and my car. It was like Frogger except I was driving and the frog was the size of a pro wrestler and there were dozens of frogs. Someone would hit and kill a deer tonight. Probably dozens of people. Would it be me? There was no time to stop when we were going 80MPH with lights in my dilated eyes. If there had been a third deer crossing the road I'd've hit him in the knees and kissed his asshole with my chin at 80MPH. People wonder why I didn't drive my van at night. Only chance would protect me but I was feeling lucky. There must be a special division of road kill cleanup people to go out and remove the bodies from the road. That deer would've landed in my lap and shown his disapproval of my operatic voice. But I missed him and his partner by an inch and laughed with energy drink haughtiness.
"Bring it on, Mother Nature! I'll mow you motherfuckers down one by one!"

I had just filled up the tank for $75 and was eager to move. Maybe I'd run a bobcat over! Also, if I caught the 7am bus out of Harrisburg then I'd get into Ports at night in time for Pizza slices downtown.
We left the Sheetz Bros. parking lot and Josh takes his vehicle in a weird detour toward an Applebees. I'm following in a Honda shit coupe piled so deep with clothes and Oggy debris that I have to hold one arm above my head to fit in the seat. This makes it incredibly difficult to shift gears but that doesn't matter because the clutch feels like it belongs on a go kart. I wonder, why is he going this way? Does he want to visit the Tridelphia Cabelas to look at shotguns? But it's closed...

Then I see the smoke billowing out of the hood of his truck. Doesn't look like steam. So that means a belt. It smells like burned rubber. We check it out and the serpentine belt has broken. The A/C pulley clutch has lost the will to continue and even a hatchet doesn't budge it again. It's 3am and the world is supposed to end today and it is getting cold. We attack the belt and the pulley trying to get it all out. The belt is so hot it melts a brand name into my palm. "Dayton" Backwards in my flesh.
But we do it and later I lay in the car dreaming of one day when something goes normally for me. This is the beginning of a 1300 mile trip and I have no itinerary. It's already coming unglued. I feel weighed down because of a bunch of prop pants I brought from St. Louis. too much shit to hitchhike. I decide to help him fix the truck. The bolts holding the A/C were impossible to get out with the clutch in place and we had no idea how to remove the pulley from the unit. So I use my Oggy senses and leverage a wrench under the pulley to move it enough so Josh can hammer the head of the bolt from behind and they come out.
He's got a smart phone so it's like all the information that takes hours to acquire are instantly found like where the nearest U-Pull-It is (In Penn. 5 miles east.) and the nearest Auto store, back west 3 miles in a town that time forgot called Elm Grove. But it is 4:30 am so all we can do is wait. I try to sleep but the 5 hour energy drink still has two hours left. My heart feels like a ripe grapefruit that has been hit by a canoe paddle. 27 hours without sleep as I spent all yesterday working on sealing the tile mosaic floor and packing and installing CFL light bulbs in every lamp in the house. I don't know it at the time but when the Go Juice wears off I will imagine herds of deer are leaping in front of my car and I will swerve to avoid the ghosts in my addled brain. There will be hundreds of them and I will blink and they will still be there. I don't know this yet but it will happen and so I stare at the ceiling of the car and count wolves in their arctic lair. 1.....2.....3.....4....
I also don't know it yet but this delay puts me on a collision course with a toxic Greyhound bus bathroom. Illustrations to follow...

1 comment:

sean ahearn said...

did you hijack the guy's smart phone to blog? Come to po town we'll fuck up some rich kids.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.