Saturday, March 7, 2009

The plan

Rocky and I spent days walking across town and back. And that didn't take much walking.

We talked about nothing and most of the time we walked in silence. She smoked constantly and I found it interesting, mostly because I started adding up the number of cigarettes she smoked and wondered where she kept them all. When I wasn't walking with her I was sitting in my house in the lawn chair watching the light fade away. I would then sit in the darkness until I couldn't keep my eyes open. Then I would lay on the floor and sleep.

We started stretching the trip, going off into the desert a bit on either side of town. Now you would think that growing up here I would have done what the normal kid would have done and explored, but I never did. My world view was so small, so limited, and so bleak that it didn't occur to me there would be anything out there other than what I already knew. Even though I had traveled a bit off the range so to speak it was quite symbolic that I was walking with Rocky when my mind awoke.

I looked up and saw the rusted gate. It was a small area that was fenced off, about a ten foot by ten foot area, and as we approached I saw why it was fenced off. There was a massive hole in the ground. I stopped and could feel my mind open up into a vastness never felt before. For the first time I had curiosity. I wondered why that hole was there. I vaguely remembered talk about the mines that used to operate around here and the danger of what they left behind. I almost forgot Rocky was with me and started climbing over the fence. I heard her cough and that caused me to pause. She never coughed, which I thought was odd since she never inhaled without having a cigarette between her lips. I think that was her way of yelling stop. I turned and she looked at me the way she does, bottom lids all squinty and her lips curled up. She called me a dumb sh** and told me to stop trying to kill myself. Anyway, I told her I just wanted to look down the hole and she told me it was probably a vent shaft for an old mine and probably went down a thousand feet. And then what, I asked, what's down there. A mine, she spat. I couldn't let it go. We walked back to her trailer and then I went home - I couldn't stop wondering how deep that hole was, how big was the mine, where was the entrance. I fell asleep early that night and slept late the next day.

I woke to Rocky digging through the debris in a large old desk. She was flipping through all those old papers and tossing them down. She asked me what all that shit was and I didn't answer. I was thinking about that mine shaft when I fell asleep and in my sleep I wandered from dark to light to random rooms from my life - school room, bathroom, a place or two I must have gone when I was much younger. I came out of the mine and I was in the desert, but I could tell I was far from where I lived. I couldn't see anything different around me but I could feel it. I wanted to feel that way again. I needed to feel that. I asked Rocky what she thought it meant. Means you are tired as fu** of this shithole.

We talked in that room all the day. She left at some point and came back with a sleeping bag and a huge box. In the box there was a kerosene lantern, some food, and a bunch of Rocky's stuff. She lit the lantern and threw me a sandwich she made of some canned meat and stale bread. I liked it. She kept flipping through all that crap and started telling me about where she came from and why she was here now. She ended all this by stating she was going to stay here. I said I was just thinking of leaving. She sat up looked at me with a smile, this I never saw before. She started telling me her plan.

Rocky wanted to stay here a while longer. She wouldn't tell me why, but she couldn't leave the town and was moving in with me. But to my surprise she thought I should leave town for a while. She laid out the plan which was I leave and stay away for as long as I can. She said that I was not to come back until I came back because I wanted to and not because I had to. She wouldn't explain that and stopped talking, only to say I had better get ready to go.

next - I go and she stays

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