Turns to make and twisters to avoid abound on the road. On the road means you’re homeless essentially; but instead of settling in one area, you’re homeless everywhere; mile after mile. You have to pay to pump, to poop, to park anywhere longer than a red-light might allow.
It’s medieval on the road. It’s boiled mop water labeled as Breakfast Blend. It’s quickie marts for food and gas and even quicker exits where you appear to be taking a photo, standing out by the open passenger door–the motor and your guts both grumbling as you place a casual hand on your hip; hoping no one sees your business while the traffic (ironically) whizzes past you.
The last all-in-one-gas-grub-and-get-going type place I hit had every stall plugged with a set of hairy, stove-pipe shins visible below the doors; squat chunks of trucker, well traveled flesh, crammed side by side; all men locked and loaded and sounding off like battleship turrets gone mad. Wads and rips of TP-shrapnel lay everywhere about their boots. Wet elbows clashing about the sinks. Knuckles slapping buttons which armed the shrill sounds of incoming hand dryers. Call me a conscientious objector, a flight risk–but I was looking for a border to cross. I needed a better option as I backed out of there.
A limping old Native American man with a mop that supported his weight more than it worked the spatters which followed me outside into the hall, read the reticence in my eyes. He knew I’d not accomplished my mission and had probably read my next move more clearly than I had at that moment. He’d just come from the SHOWERS area. I knew damn well they were for the paying customers who not only bought fuel, but paid extra for a shower and a private toilet. I didn’t have time to book a stall. I was seconds from possibly one of my darkest hours. I had to grab the apple and run, hop under the fence, swim the channel. I hit the private door, locked it behind me and tried to enjoy the fastest crap of my life. Forty five seconds later, I’m locked in fear, the door handle moving violently up, then down, and up again. “What the hell you doing in there!” It was the man with the mop. I was on his land like a red-assed Pilgrim, taking once again; a yellow thief; a white man about to walk a gauntlet of shame the second I opened the door …
“I’m sorry; I had to go,” was all I could think to say. Would that I were homeless. A homeless man has his route, his deadbeat pizza outlets; the usual bushes and doorways and alleys to make his rounds in. If only I were truly homeless at that moment, I might have been pitied. He might have said, “Dude, I’ve been there, just go out the back-way and don’t make a habit of this, ok?”