Wyoming, July 3rd, 1997
Two weeks had past since I left.
I hadn’t called, or written.
I just left Mom and Dad the ashes.
They knew I wasn’t burned up in the fire, small towns are quick on the movement of information.
I had been planning my escape for about 6 months. But i had needed a launching pad. The fire just seemed like the moment of release. Mom would move in with Steve, and Dad would move into the one room above the bar. I didn’t need to see it. I didn’t want to make it any harder on them. Or on me.
It was a movie perfect moment to escape. We could all drift into our different worlds. We would each have our own lives, without the guilt or obligation that comes when several people have difirrent value systems and are not interested in creating a dialog between each other that is relatable.
Bye Mom, By Steve.
I would do what they secretly wanted me to do, which was leave. Then they could save face by playing the victim of my abandonment. But all three of us knew the truth. They had abandoned me a long time ago. We had abandoned in each other.
so it goes.
This was a silent acknowledgement, a release; pact to free us all from the burden of each other.
Billy’s Grandmother sure wasn’t happy to see me get out of his old Chevy without any pants on. No amount of explaining could get her to understand that I slept naked. And then my house burned down in the night. And I had the choice to either burn to death or exit the house naked. I think that her choice would have differed from my choice. She would have burned. Incinerated right there in that old, fucked up house. This made for fun conversation later.
It was a series of unplanned events, culminating in me exiting a pickup truck sans pantalones. Minus pants.
It was a miracle I made it out of the old farm house alive. Also, i was lucky to aquire a new pair of comfy pants, so comfy. Thank you Billy.
I was long gone before daybreak. Before all the questions came out, before the police report on the house fire. I slipped out and walked the 2 miles to the interstate. I saw Billy’s eyes watching me from his temporary bed on the worn spotted couch. I didn’t need to say a thing. He knew. He knew he wasn’t getting his clothes back for a long while. I was taking the flannel. And every thing in its pockets.
I was picked up within 30 minutes by an Avon saleswoman named Beth. She was only going to the next town, but she was concerned about a young girl like me, alone on the freeway at this hour.
I told her I understood her dilemma, and I fully appreciated her sacrifice and decision to carry me to the next town. I told her she was an angel, doing God’s work. She said one word to me, with a look of pain on her powdered, puckered face.
The rest of our drive was in silence.
I had never seen an erect penis. Then I met Frank. He picked me up outside Salt Lake City Utah. He was going to Tulsa. I was hitching the other way, I was headed northwest towards Wyoming.
He told me, when he saw me from the other side of the freeway, doing 70, in his crappy car, he had to turn around at the next off-ramp and take me where I needed to go.
He saw a beautiful golden glow around me. He knew he had to protect and deliver me to wherever I needed to go. Like and Angel....
His car smelled like pickles. His eyes seemed a little too bright.
Frank was an itchy man. His hair was thinning and scraggly, he drove a dark red, unwashed ford sedan. He repeated himself about once a minute. He kept saying,
“I just had to turn around.”
“Frank, you really didn’t have to. Someone would have picked me up.”
“The golden light told me you were special.”
And round and round it would go, every few minutes. Like he was pre-justifying something he was planning on doing. I looked to see if the door handles had been taken off. They were intact, thank God.
Even though honestly, i was too tired to really care what this guy was gonna do.. i just didn't feel afraid. i knew that whatever he did, i could totally punch him in the head. i was good at that. So it was an option.
He kept scratching his upper thighs. And then he would rub his hand over his face, pausing ever so slightly over his nose, sniffing, and then up into his hair, the withered hand stopping at the back of his head and then back to the steering wheel. All while he inhaled. Exhale. Then he repeated the whole weird thing again.
I needed to learn to refuse rides.
About 3 hours into the journey, he pulled into a truck stop. He drove the rattling old sedan to the back of the parking lot, where the orange light had faded from long shadows to dark night.
As we drove towards the back of the lot, the new sign said,
"Please Turn Your Engines off to Save Gas, Unless Needed."
“Well, Frank, thanks for the ride. I really appreciate you going out of your way to bring me this far.” I reached for the door handle, and then I felt his hand over mine.
“Ricci.” I hated the way he said my name. His voice was high pitched, nasily and dull.
“Ricci. You know you are a very special person. You are special to me. The energy between two people is a very powerful thing. It is extremely healing.”
I felt his scaly lips on my cheek, the slight moist of his tongue. I opened the car door. The car door light came on, showing everything. As my right foot hit the ground I looked back over my shoulder and I saw his erect cock in his left hand as his right hand tried to grasp my shirt. I hit the ground running. I could hear his whining voice crying out from the darkness,
“Ricci, Ricci, come back. Your are golden. Ricci!”