It took us a total of 13 hours driving time to get to my hometown, but we split that in two days. We spent the night in Grants Pass and made the poor choice of selecting the Motel 6 to lay our heads. Our room smelled of the worst cleaner covering up the most fowl of odors. Our TV was missing the remote control, so I went to the front desk to get another one. While I was waiting, a little girl in the lobby started talking to me. She was wearing Tweetie Bird pajama’s that said: Tweet Thang! She erupted into a diseased ridden coughing fit and told me she gets sick a lot. I wondered where her parents were. She asked me where I was from and then proceeded to share that she was here with her boyfriend who was homeless. I realized she must be older than the 12 years I first suspected, but not by much. The desk clerk gave me a key to a nearby room and told me to go in and take the remote from there. As I was leaving, I saw a bedraggled old man who was also having a diseased ridden coughing fit. When the Tweetie bird girl met up with him I realized that THIS was her homeless boyfriend and I felt totally skeezed out.
We got lucky with the weather and traffic, everything went as planned except for the police harassment. Sasha drove 98% of the time. On a scale from 1 – 10 for driving ability, he is a 12 and I am a 4.5. Among his varied careers he once drove a cab and even drove a truck across the U.S. for a year. He drove the whole first day and the beginning part of the second day while I played DJ, constructing the perfect soundtrack for our trip. We stopped in Weed, CA because you have to stop in Weed and then I took over driving. In the first 3 minutes of my driving stint, we got pulled over by the Sheriff in a giant police SUV. The cop car was so big that I could not see the flashing lights through my rear view mirror as he hugged my ass on the freeway onramp. “Does he want me to pull over”? I asked idiotically. I knew I was driving like a dork, but there is no crime in that. I finally pulled over and got scolded for not doing so earlier. He gave Sasha a ticket for not putting on his seatbelt until we were already in motion. Good lord.
I drove for about 90 minutes before Sasha took over again and took us the rest of the way to my Dad’s house. It is weird being home. There is a memory in every corner and the pit of my stomach turns to solid rock.
My Dad has had a girlfriend for the last 2 years and even though I am getting more used to the idea it is still hard for me. We were pretty tired, but acquiesced to go to a local bar with them to play shuffleboard. They beat our ass 3 times in a row. When we left, Sasha just naturally got in the drivers’ seat even though out of the 4 of us he was the only one who did not know the town. The second we pulled out from the parking spot, a cop was on our tail. After one minute of careful driving, we got pulled over for the second time that day. What is with this damned Schwarzenegger state?! Sasha was asked to step out of the car and I began to freak. Out of the 4 of us, he was also the one who had the most to drink. I knew he was not drunk or impaired, but I also knew this was a bad situation. With my Dad and his girlfriend sitting dumbstruck in the back seat, I began spewing every cuss word known to man. I should have been the one driving. This was entirely my fault. If he got a DUI, he could potentially lose his license, which could lead to losing his carpentry job, as he needs to drive his tools from location to location. Plus, the idea of me doing all the driving on our way back home was not sitting well with me. I tried to see what was happening but could only see the cop going through the sobriety test and could not see how well Sasha was performing. My heart hurt. I hated knowing he was suffering. Sasha is the nicest person on earth who would help a perfect stranger move on a rainy Saturday or offer to drive you to the airport at midnight on New Years Eve. I was shitting with fear and anger. I had a love hate relationship with this town that was all HATE at that moment. I watched as the cop got out the breathalizer test and I knew we were doomed. Suddenly the police officer asked if ANY of us were OK to drive. My Dad said he was and got out to take the breathalizer, while I continued spewing every hateful, curse-laden language I could think of.
A few minutes layer, my Dad slid into the driver’s seat and whispered: “They are letting him go”. I could not believe it. I started thanking the Lord Jesus Christ and vowing to go to church and started believing in god right then and there.
TO BE CONTINUED……