So terribly sorry if this story has gotten so long that it’s getting annoying to some of you. I’ve gone back through and shrunk them with Live Journal cuts, and will do so for the rest of this.
Of course, nobody is twisting your arm to read them, either.
Having survived the trials and tribulations of being two stupid Southern boys in the big city, Spud and I finally got on the highway at the right point and made our way towards Lancaster.
Our first goal in Lancaster was to hook up with Ed Noll. I used to live with Ed and his brother, Dave (the aforementioned person whom I owed money to) in this nifty little trailer community up on Seminole. That whole affair ended kind of oddly, and is yet ANOTHER story I could tell (I know, I’m such a fucking tease).
Ed is probably about six foot four, maybe taller. Rail thin. Very long black hair. Kind of gaunt. Perfect Goth boi. He introduced me to “The Crow,” if that tells you anything. Ed had moved up to Lancaster to be with his girlfriend, Robin. That ended up falling apart, so he got his own place in “downtown” area of Lancaster (ironically, Dave was still living with Robin. Not as a boyfriend. He was renting a room. Ok. The utter eeriness of what I just wrote has now become clear to me). The plan was that we were going to crash at Ed’s place during our visit. We picked up Ed where he worked, got to his place, and finally managed to get sleep.
The next day was the Fourth of July! The day of the big party! What we had driven over one thousand miles to see!
There’s nothing else to write about it. No reason why it was a particularly horrible experience. It was just lame. We knew one person at the party (not Ed..in fact, I cannot for the life of me remember who exactly it was that thought we would enjoy this event), and everyone else was poor white trash who sat around drinking beer from a keg and listening to, I kid you not, Lynrd Skynrd. There was no good food. No good looking women. No good drugs. Nothing. It was a complete and utter failure of a party.
At this point, things started to really suck.
The next day, reality hit us. We had no money to get home, no clean clothes, and no food. We still had cigarettes, though. Not quite sure how we managed that. Priorities and all. While trying to figure out what to do, Ed offered that we could continue to stay with him.
Move to Lancaster.
Why the hell not?
We got cleaned up as best as we could, and went out job hunting. During the course of this day, I called my Mother to inform her of my next path in life. She listened to me very matter-of-factly. I told her I was going to save up money to send for my things, to which she very calmly replied that she would be happy to do so whenever I was ready.
I felt good when I got off the phone. Did I realize how badly I had hurt my mother? No way. All I cared about was myself. My satisfaction. I was going to lead my life the way I wanted to, and people could either come along for the ride or get the fuck out of my way. Yeah, I’ve said several times throughout this that it was a long time ago and that I’m different now, and I am, but I’m still embarrassed by my behavior during those years.
There’s a side story I should mention here, even if just in passing. I can’t remember exactly when this happened in the course of events over this little adventure, but at some point these people that Ed knew, whom we had just met, took us into their house and went through their cupboards and gave us all sorts of food. They didn’t know us. All they knew is that we were two guys who, through their own stupidity, didn’t have any food to eat. That was all they needed to know.
It’s people like that who can really touch your life in a positive way. Give you faith in humanity. I met a few of them on this trip.
After our morning of extensive job searching, we got back to Ed’s house to be greeted with a warm and friendly “You guys can’t stay here.”
I’m really not sure today exactly what the scenario was that prompted Ed to give us the boot. I believe it had something to do with the fact that his Mother paid all of his bills, and she was coming in to town for an inspection. I guess it wouldn’t be good for us to be leeching off of her as well. In any case, we had to leave.
Right then and there.
We didn’t even get to take our food.
The only other people we knew in Lancaster were Robin and Dave. We went to Robin’s house, but nobody was there during the day (it was a weekday, and everyone was working). We figured we could wait around Lancaster during the day and go to Robin’s that night. Problem was, we were almost out of gas. The amount of driving we could do was very limited.
This led us to park the car at a city park. We figured that would be a safe place to squat until we could get in touch with Robin. We hadn’t eaten at all that day, and things were looking pretty bleak. I was trying to convince Spud to try to play his sax for money, but he was afraid that the laws in Lancaster might forbid that. In the middle of this conversation, a black man came up and asked if he could bum a cigarette. He explained that he had left his at home. I laughed and said that we had left ours in Florida. He asked for clarification on that, and we gave him a brief run down of what had happened.
He looked us over for a second, and asked “Do you guys have any ID?”
We told him we did, and asked why.
“Well, if I’m going to help you out, I need to know that you’re telling me the truth.”
This guy was in the park with his family. They were obviously not well off. Ratty clothes. Shitty car. Yet these people drove to McDonald’s and got Spud and I Big Mac Value Meals.
And yet again we were smacked in the face with how amazing people could be.
In the middle of wolfing down our food, I stopped and looked up at Spud.
“Spud. We are, for all intents and purposes, homeless. We are in a park. And we are eating food that we, essentially, just begged for. This has gone too far. We need to get home.”
There was only one way we could figure out to do that.
We had to call our Mothers.