Well, reader, as I write this I’m sitting in a Greyhound station in Chandler, Arizona (though as I type this, I sit at an office desk in Stillwater, Oklahoma). It’s been quite a story so far and I’ve only just started this journey. Here’s how I got to this particular bus station in this particular town and on this particular day thus far.
I guess I’ll begin with the night before I left Denver. Packing, it is always a dreaded thing when time to move. Even more difficult when all of your accumulated knick knacks and doo-dads of comfort are being condensed into a back pack (though, this does become easier with practice). For me this consisted of a few days clothing, important papers and documents, some music CDs, various keepsakes and a supreme desire to get moving. I didn’t care where so much as I knew I needed to do it NOW.
It felt at the time that a very spur of the moment spontaneity had taken me over. A couple of nights earlier I had crashed my car in some neighborhood downtown after an art show of two popular graffiti artists. There was free wine available and I had partaken heavily. According to the security on hand, I had apparently been bumping into the paintings quite a bit. I rebutted their claims in what was likely not the most polite manner after which I may or may not have been forcibly removed. The following day I took a long, introspective walk along the Platte River. I stopped at REI and window shopped for stuff I didn’t need and couldn’t afford anyway. Eventually I found myself drinking a Fat Tire at the upstairs bar in the Red Lion Inn overlooking the now corporately named football field formerly known as Mile High Stadium.
Riverside walks, expensive outdoor equipment for the enhanced enjoyment of nature, drinks at nice bars with beautiful views of the city…..Isn’t this why I moved to the city in the first place? To enjoy life, enjoy the outdoors, to work hard so I could play hard and enjoy the finer things in life? Wasn’t this my birth right? Or was I wrong? Was this all just a sham? Were my priorities and my actions in alignment? All I’d done in Denver is drink, steal, write graffiti, skateboard and smoke weed. Not any steps closer to where I had set out to go. Maybe I was preventing myself because I knew that deep down I wanted something different. I obviously had a lot more soul searching to do to find an answer.
I had an idea. Whether this idea was right or wrong or both or neither, I don’t know. I went home and started packing my necessities, getting rid of anything I felt I didn’t need. At some point during this purging process my friend Laura stopped by with her room mate. Laura was from France, working at Six Flags Elitch Gardens and she was drop dead gorgeous. We had met on the elevator one of many drunken nights when I was returning to the apartment and while I rarely have any game normally, the right amount of liquor turns me into Don Juan. In the days that followed our first meeting we started hanging out drinking together and lip wrestling. She tried to talk me out of leaving but I felt this was a necessary step in my personal development. Laura gave me tickets to Six Flags and I gave her a bunch of furniture and books. I never made it to Six Flags and I never saw Laura again. Hopefully she stopped talking to random drunken idiots on elevators.
The next morning I headed out to I-25 with four bags of stuff, most of which would never make it out of the city, and I stuck my thumb out.