NOTHING CAN TOUCH ME TODAY
Day 58 Into Santa Rosa
Today: 26 cum: 1116
In the half wake early hour when my eyes first open then close to sleep again I see the painted flames of my cart over me and I am sure they are the colors of the sky and there is no time to think about it because the colors are already in my dream, and the next time my eyes open I am totally disoriented. Where am I?
It is a freezing morning, I can see my breath, I am hiding from the wind and freezing breath air, next to a barbed wire fence 20 feet from screaming semis. It's always harder to get up and harder when it is this cold. But it is easier to start walking because walking makes me warm again. My fingers are numb. A semi drives right next to me in the grass and the driver shouts, "You're one hell of a walker", and throws me an apple and an orange and drives away. "Keep on truckin" he shouts. And there are some good truckers but when I pass the no pedestrians sign on I-40, there are no good truckers. Two in a row swerve toward me and lay on their horns and I don't have the energy to be worried or upset anymore, all my energy is for this walk, for the motion forward, FURTHERRRR. I don't look back anymore, now there is something like faith that they can't touch me. Still moving at incredible speeds, still a peaceful mind. I do expect a police car to pull me over any minute, I am ready, but it never comes. Nothing can touch me today. Faith.
Ahead an oasis on the desert highway, a gas station that I have been to before, the one that had an amazing mother Mary velvet painting for $50 but now it is gone, replaced by Jesus walking on the water, and so many paintings of eagles and wolves and Indians in war paint on velvet and one on horseback watching the sunset over the soda fountain. And because I want to hide from the wind and the cold that still freezes my breath I make an inventory of things on walls and shelves and stands.
And this is what they sell here: pecan rolls, peanut brittle, goo goo clusters, gobstoppers, frosted jellies, butterscotch buttons, peach gummy rings, strawberry twists, orange slices, ju-ju fish, sour cherries, sour crawlers, candy almonds, salt water taffy, pixy stix, lemon drops, candy necklaces, candy cigarettes, circus peanuts, gummi bears, peppermint sticks, spice drops, malt balls, red hots, Boston baked beans, maple goodies, coconut haystacks, and bubble gum by the roll. On the racks 3 t-shirts for $100, cheap Indian dolls, plastic cowboy hats, fake arrowheads, ceramic jaguars covered in blue glitter, velvet covered unicorns and jackalopes, coon skin caps, sling shots, rubber band guns, mugs with your name on them, $5 blankets, dream catchers, polished rocks, shot glasses, spoons with state emblems, and hand tooled leather wallets and belts with your choice of eagle, horse, or "your name here." And if I stay any longer they will probably call the police so the layers go back on and I walk east again. I have been thinking on all of these highways, that eventually if I look hard enough, I will see a sack full of $100 bills.
Today I am thinking about that sack of $100 bills because I have already found a good knife and a good flashlight on the side of the road,
and then a womans wallet is laying in front of me and $20 bills in the weeds and credit cards blown down the road by the wind. Maybe she will let me keep the money. I could buy a lot of food with that money. I would like to keep all of it, but if she asks I will tell her. At the first phone in town I call her, she asks about the cash, I tell her. She needs the money too, I negotiate a deal for half of the money. I guess honesty pays half, but I will not complain, thats a lot of bacon double green chili cheese burgers with fries and a Dr. Pepper. Lucky day, lucky day, I will not complain.
Stop at a place to eat but the waitress has a mean face so I walk out, a man carrying an oxygen bottle tells me of another place to eat on the other side of Santa Rosa, 2 miles down. A truck stop minister told me to use his name to get a free shower and a meal in the big truck stops in Arizona and New Mexico, and that I didnt have to get no sermon with em, so I reckon Ill try to bum a meal and a shower at a truck stop chapel, but the truck stop doesnt have one, and I'm kind of relieved because I didnt want to talk about why I dont believe in Jesus tonight. Josephs restaurant on old 66 has a secret locals menu with lower prices, and the waiter sees that I have been out in the elements from my wind burned face. My ticket for dinner is $4. I am not running into people who talk though, and I have no energy to stop more of them to find one that does. A drought. A man whos wife and dad died this year, on a road trip to play golf. Likes what Im doing, hopes his kids dont do the same though. Like all of America, dream big, yes children you should, but act on those dreams, hell no. We didnt really mean you could do anything you wanted to.
Walking in the dark in the headlights of. I am happy to be the highway man tonight. I dont want to be anywhere but here in the cold, watching my moon shadow merging with the cart and as we make a turn the resulting flaming mass with a human torso looks like some great mechanical dragon and the thick smoke, locomotive breath from my mouth, stranger in black. I am that stranger walking in the cold people running to their cars, its too cold to be outside, my god did you see that man in black pulling that thing through town, my god where does he sleep? My god its crazy, I'm glad I'm not homeless. Stranger smiles happy to be in the cold doing what no one else will do laughing at the people in warm cars.
I will be sleeping in a truck stop parking lot tonight, by an old motel sign that lays broken where the asphalt meets the grass. I want to be near town in the morning to eat and loiter and drink coffee when I should be drinking water. Wind blow the tent and cold fingers as always, I am used to it, Cosmo, come on inside, she always lays down on my sleeping bag and I have to push her off to get in and then she lays her head back on my lap. I watch her sleep. I am writing. I am behind. I want to lay down by my dog and not write. I want to not worry about being behind. I once said that my mother wants to be a cat. Tonight I want to be a dog, with no writing to do, nothing to be behind on. I am always behind. Sleeping with a pen in my hand, I gave in, dark blanket that I didnt see coming.