Road Trip: Day 3
He looks to the sky and utters words that I could never forget, “Lord, we’ve always had this thing where I do good works, and you don’t give me HIV!”
All four of us are returning to the car this night, around the end of day three. We had stopped in Little Rock, Arkansas to check out the city area. Night life was questionable at best. We approached a nifty stage-like structure not being used. We practiced martial arts while people either watched, came up to dance behind us, or even make out behind us. I went to a club-like place, spent five dollars to get in, five dollars for a Jack and Coke, chatted and realized I spent ten dollars for a very iced up, half alcoholic drink. I did talk to a shirtless band member—he was strange.
As we approach the car a street light goes off, and then back on minutes later, with a sea of mosquitoes swaying back and forth, either to feast upon my arm or back to the light. It itches and sucks. I open the door. Wasn’t it locked? We exchange glances and notice that the inside of the car is a wreck. Our things are strewn about madly. The glove compartment is ripped out, rifled through, my hoody and pillow are thrown to the floor, and worst of all, Vincent’s Darth Maul lightsaber was thrown about. Mindy turns to me with a look of horror, and I fight the shitty grin that forms on my face, realizing we had been robbed. Perhaps the words, “Am I the only one who thinks this is funny,” are a little too soon, but that didn’t stop me.
Next step, Mindy and Justin go to get a cop and report this. I wait smiling with Vincent, who kicks a door shut and stares off, brooding. Our eyes meet, and I stir him in song, and we begin to serenade this robbery. When the cop arrives we inform him what has been stolen: Justin’s HD camcorder, his Zune and FM transmitter, and a very nice knife his father had given him. Mindy’s digital camera, her passport, and other various items in her purse. My iPod which was in my hat on top of her purse. Vincent’s bocan, and for some reason or other his registration form and proof of insurance.
Vincent reaches into the car and grabs his book. “Justin it looks like your juice exploded on my book.” The cop shines his light on it. “That’s blood. I bet ya ten to one that’s blood.” To Vincent, all time has stopped. His eyes grow wide and he drops the book, backing away slowly with his hands in the air as if someone was holding him at gun point. He just touched some man’s blood. AIDs? Hepatitis? He looks to the sky and utters words that I could never forget, “Lord, we’ve always had this thing where I do good works, and you don’t give me HIV!”
I stifle a laugh. This is serious, Donald. Wait until tomorrow to laugh. From the previous horribly watered down Jack ‘n’ Coke I had, and all the mosquitoes making me their chew toy, a small headache grows in my skull. The cop goes to beat up homeless people—at least that’s what we imagine, Vinnie goes to what I can only assume is tear off a layer of skin off his hand.
Justin and I sit down on the curb, jealous the cop may actually get to hurt someone and we don’t. We discuss the excitement about how great it will be to tell this story, about how a bleeding homeless man whom I name McBleedy, full name we decide is Dr. Bloodward B. McBleedy, had broken into our car, stole things and bled all over in it. When Vincent returns, Mindy morosely following, they point out it is late, and in a city area all the places with cleaning supplies are closed. My headache is getting worse, we’re all getting itchy.
First, we need to discuss a plan. This immediately grows immensely more difficult when a loud car pulls into the parking lot, bass booming. Suddenly I realize that when things are horrid, completely and overwhelmingly terrible, totally and powerfully rough, they get worse. My exaggerating mind wants to see a hundred black people pour out of the car, leaving the doors open to make the music louder, and they all begin stomp dancing as if on a stage—just for us. However, it is only four. Still, sounds flood the parking area and our tired, robbed, migrained-heads as we quickly lose the ability to think. Justin uncharacteristically begins yelling over the music and loud but well-done stomp dancing. He says that he will put on gloves and begin throwing out bloody things.
Finally, our new neighbors realize tonight is not the night to fuck with us and leave. Who does that, anyways? It’s two in the morning! We then hold a solemn funerary service for Vincent’s book over the trash can. We each say a few words about Ken Wilbur’s “A Brief History of Everything.” Justin throws out more things. Vincent helps. I attempt not to vomit from the now full blown migraine, and Mindy continues to get in the way.
Then, Justin discovers something: my iPod. McBleedy missed my iPod on Mindy’s purse, but not her purse. I begin laughing hysterically, “I can have my cake and eat it too!” Oh McBleedy, you were either really stupid or so mad and crazy you must’ve been screaming wildly while squirting blood Kill Bill style.
Finally, we place a sleeping bag over the drivers seat, and its cover over the wheel, which together would become known as Heppy, named after hepatitis. After arriving and buying from the slowest Walmart ever, where I laid myself on a bench, feeling cold with an extreme migraine, like my head was crushing and spinning, we leave with cleaning supplies and stop at a Holiday Inn Express. No vacancies. It’s okay, because while waiting for Justin to go in and check, I vomited my Dasani lemon water on their lawn. To the next place, we got a room at 4am. We’ll have to still leave by 11am. It’s okay, the remainder of my lemon water found its way up my esophagus and on their lawn as well. Then we collapse into bed. Before I fall to sleep, I have a brief realization: this was only Day Three.