Somewhere, probably from Kerouac, I acquired an image or fantasy of a stunning, tanned blonde in a flimsy summer dress, slightly drunk or high, driving a red convertible that skids to a stop in the gravel, waiting for me trot on down and jump in.
Nothing even close to this ever happend but everyone that picked me up was beautiful in some way and a few of the many that stopped stayed in my memories for a lifetime.
A man was camping out in the woods with his wife and daughter. He drove into town for some reason and on the way back picked me up. It was getting late and soon it would have been too dark for me to get a ride. He took me back to the campsite, fed me, and let me sleep in the back of his station wagon. In the morning I walked in the woods with his daughter. She was no more than eight or nine. Then they gave me breakfast and the man drove me back out to the highway so I could continue my journey.
A man was a social worker in a town out west. His client was in trouble, needed to get back home to Toronto, but had no money. The social worker drove him all the way there. But a couple of hundred miles West of their destination he picked me up. I was heading for New York. When he deposited his client, after having driven non-stop from where they started in the west, though he was completely exhausted and worn down, he thought he may as well get me across the border and drove me all the way to Buffalo, an additional 90 miles or so.
I had been waiting a particularly long time in this one spot. There was barely any traffic at all. The country was so vast and empty I could hear a single car engine from probably ten miles away. Minutes would pass and a lone car, or two at a time – which struck me as possessing some important meaning I could not quite fathom (magnetism?) – would drone into view, whip past me in a flash, and then drone out of view again. Behind me, a solitary house stood up a ways on a slight rise of land. After an hour or more a young girl, again no more than eight or nine, walked down towards me with a bag in her hand. “My mother thought you might be hungry. She made you a sandwich.” She handed over the paper bag, turned, and was gone again.
A stunning, tanned blonde in a flimsy summer dress . . . no, I’m kidding.
To be cont’d…