Note from Jessica: Today's guest is very special. You will notice from Jeremiah's bio at the end of the post, that he just graduated high school, but look at everything he is involved in! Please do me a big favour today, and show Jeremiah your support by reading, commenting, and sharing this post through other social media platforms. It is also his birthday today. Happy birthday, Jeremiah!
[disclaimer: coarse language and sexual content]
The lamppost I was leaning against to read was uncomfortable. On The Road was stale. The Walmart lot was empty of shoppers, composed of travelers sleeping, and employees rattling carts.
“I can’t sleep. Want to go for a walk?” she said, pulling her van’s keys round her neck.
I looked up to Captain getting out of her van. Drew was sleeping, sprawled out. He had claimed my usual nesting place for the night, and I was to sleep with Screw, his cat. (Screw the Cat was his full name.)
“I’m down.” I stood up.
We set off with no particular destination, talking. Just talking. It is these nights, these moments of conversational labyrinths we all get lost in from time to time. Those moments where calamity is at bay by forces of what? Forces of Self intermingling with others in a beatific fashion, beautiful moments where we feel God, an artist lost in painting, a poet lost in his mad scribble, a serial killer pleasuring himself to remnants, a scientist and discovery, the God-moments are what I live for.
This was a God-moment. This walk.
This was a God-moment. This walk.
Miles underway, 2 or 3 a.m., I don’t know, Captain stopped in her tracks, stopping me, no cars were coming either way. “Shh.” I shh-ed. Silence. No, not silence, the gurgling choke of the Earth underwater. We were near a river we couldn’t see. Captain hopped the guard railing, and I followed suit, jumping-half-jogging down a slope littered with trees and prickles and bushes manufactured for catching shoes.
The river swung underneath a bridge, a graffiti-less bridge that was itching to be bombed.
“Goddamn, I’d love to put a spray can to this place. This is a completely blank slate.”
We used my iPod to illuminate the dark, walked our way out the other side of the bridge.
Sitting on the rocks, we talked, and kissed. She took her shirt off, pulled down my pants, kissed, hands around cock, kissed, there’s a black hole inside her that is eating at me so pleasantly, this wonderful woman beyond my sexual experiences.
I did not love her, no, not yet. We hadn’t made love. Fucking and making love are not the same. I did not love her, as a human being yet. Cared about? Yes, deeply, but loved?
No, not yet.
We finished up, clambering our way back up the slope, walking back towards the cars.
The walk there was about an hour, the walk back, maybe two. We had to dodge the sight of every car that drove by, dipping off into bushes or trees or diving to the ground, because if they saw us, we’d surely die, and lose the game.
We arrive at the cars, and Captain realizes she has left her keys back under the bridge. The cold was chilling, and we opened the trunk (the lock does not operate) to retrieve warmer layers. Drew was still sleeping. We whispered quietly to avoid waking him.
I believe that was her first mistake, and maybe my fifth or six, in interactions with Drew this trip.
We walked back and retried the keys, they were next to the rock she was kneeling on. We began trudging back up the slope, my phone rang, it was Drew.
“Where are you?”
“Walking back towards the cars right now.”
“Where are you?”
“Hand me the phone,” Captain said.
I handed it to her, leaning against a tree for support.
“We’re walking out of the woods towards the highway that goes past the Wal-Mart. We went for a walk.”
He hung up.
We got back on the road, and resumed walking back towards the cars. I should have picked up on the anger in his voice, or some sort of indicator that he was furious, because when he pulled up beside us, smashing on the brakes, stopping a couple feet away from us, exiting his car with full fury, his face hunched forward so it was level with mine, brawling towards me, “you think it’s okay to take my little sister for a walk at 4 in the fucking morning?” Captain stepped forward and he shoved her to the side, his body slamming towards me.
I turned and booked shit.
“Drew! What the hell are you doing? STOP!” Captain screamed.
I darted across the road, Drew behind me, running into a field. I was thinking, shit no that’s stupid, don’t go away from the road, stay as public as possible, find help, find help. I darted left, running parallel to the road, Drew swooping after me, hell’s fury under his heavy boots, “shit shit shit”, autopilot, thoughts moving too fast.
“DREW STOP IT!” screamed Captain. I jumped into the road, Captain running after Drew chasing after me bulleting towards cars like mad.
We weaved in and out of cars with sleepy drivers dragging eighty miles per hour behind them.
I heard a car door slam and turned my head, slowing my run. Drew was back in his car. I couldn’t hear what Captain and him were saying. I was breathing heavily.
Captain jumped on the hood of his car, started screaming.
I couldn’t hear what they were saying.
She jumped off, began screaming into the window, I could see the swells of anger in her cheeks from her. She reached in and slapped Drew.He sped off, furious.
Many people dream of hitting the road, and traveling cross country. In our dreams, we don't include the dangers of hunger, gangs, the cold, the long waits for a ride to pick you up in the rain when hitchhiking, the dangers of other humans. These dreams are still worth having, as any dream is. Have you ever thought about hitting the road? Where would you go?
Connect with Jeremiah:
Jeremiah Walton graduated high school the spring of 2013, and hit the road hitchhiking the following fall, hunting open mics and slams, aiming to broaden the poetic community and promote passionate living. Jeremiah manages Nostrovia! Poetry, W.I.S.H. Publishing, The Traveling Poet, and works as an editor at UndergroundBooks. He blogs at Gatsby’s Abandoned Children, where most of his books are free to read.