I pulled out of the lot in my 1979 CJ-7. I guess you could say it was an impulse purchase. Once everything started going down I knew it was a possibility. After all, I had nowhere else to go. I was stuck in a place I had never been before, unable to continue the way I knew how, the way I was accustomed to. It was like that for a while and I had finally been awoken to the situation by force.
In the end, or more to the point, the beginning, I was drawn to this vehicle. The choices were limited. Not because of resources but for reasons driven more by circumstance. Those circumstances revolved around nothing more than a three week journey to cleanse the mind, the spirit, and the soul. The vehicle played a major role in that cleansing. To be open, to be free along the roads of America traveling to find answers, or at least where I would get no more questions. Answers were actually the least of my needs. I would hope to find them but wouldn't consider it a failure if I didn't get them.
And so I headed out, north to be exact, on this journey. Some would call it cop out as the first of my stops would have to do with business, but I consider myself in the very least efficient and would not allow business to go neglected. After all it was all I was being left with.
I arrived at my second destination to see a friend I had spent more time online with than in person. The first and only time we actually met was before we even knew each other. It was in Vegas during a gathering. I was there on business and about 2 weeks before my first post ever. We played 1/2 no together and spoke of shared relationships with others. He was cool, but I could never recall what he looked like. At the time it didn't seem as important as stacking the two french boys who insisted on speaking french despite the several warnings from the dealer.
We agreed to meet at a place downtown, with the possibility of another showing up. That never happened as insecurity got the better of them. We shared a brew and conversation on what was what, who was who, and our visions of what was to come. I spoke down to him about his situation. I tried to counsel but found myself being more than direct and stern. I wanted to convey to him what I saw for his future and was sure I was doing the right thing. We spoke some more and shared a meal. When it was time to go we embraced and he said I wasn't actually a frat boy as he patted me on the back, and it seemed that he held on a little longer and a little tighter than I expected. I looked back as I was walking to the Jeep to give one final wave good bye and I noticed something that startled me. His expression. It was stoic, peaceful, and calm. He started to well up, but with a huge smile. He looked as if he would come running to me expecting me to feel the same way he did. "Did you see that?" "See what?", I asked. He stopped and looked a bit confused without really losing the smile. "Never mind. Drive safe. I'll see you there."
I stood there with chills and a certain feeling of unknowing and weirdness. "What are you talking about, see me where?" He waved, turned, and clapped his hands together hard as he walked away. I stood there for a minute. Got into the Jeep and started off west. I thought about that little exchange for a moment for the next 5 miles thinking Bayne was probably right.