With not much left to lose (except maybe a kidney) I managed to scrape myself together after a couple hours. I slept on the beach, because really, I couldn’t think of anywhere else to sleep.
Then the next morning, I managed to get to the road.
I know what I looked like. And I know how bad it must have looked. But I think it was a mix of exhaustion and insanity that drove me to stick my thumb out on I5.
It didn’t take much time to get picked up.
Don’t get me wrong… I don’t have a death wish or anything. I just don’t really care anymore if I live or die. I might as well live, right? And die… living? Who knows.
Fortunately for me, the car that picked me up had Idaho plates, and he was heading north. He also had a Christian Fish on the back of his car, and one of those “My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter” stickers. there was also a giant box of chocolate Donettes, and a car seat in the back. All signs pointed to ‘yes’.
I wish I could say I learned a lot, but honestly, I passed out until about Boise, which is where he dropped me. I figured I may as well go home. I got a ride on 84 headed in the same direction, but unfortunately, they were only going as far as La Grande, which is also where I was dropped again. I started heading the other direction on foot, back to Portland, back to life. Still in that shitty, fucked up Valentino dress, stringy hair, out of cigarettes and luck, Betty and James gone…
It was over.
Walking down the road with my thumb out, I looked across the freeway. The sun was baking the pavement, and I could smell the tar starting to burn in the morning heat. Through the distorted heat waves, I could make out a Honda crawling to a stop, with two girls about my age stepping out and stretching.
I figured it was worth my effort to see if I still existed, and to communicate with someone of my own generation who might, just MIGHT understand my predicament?
I hopped the highway partition and headed over to the East bound side.
The bottle-blond lit a cigarette and peeked at me over her flame.
I gave a weak smile and held my arms out in surrender.
A smirk crossed her face as she looked over at her tear stained friend.