Saturday, March 25, 2006

Hitchhiking in America: Part 1

I was hitchhiking through Texas once during a summer long ago in my youth. A car pulled over to give me a ride and I got in without really looking at the driver or the passenger. Quite simply, young people are stupid and have very little peripheral vision. It was only after I was in the back seat that I noted some important details. They were both white guys; the driver was heavy set and the passenger a bit smaller. They both sported the deep indigo of homemade and prison tattoos – the smaller guy even had a teardrop tattoo. The driver had a profane word spelled out on his knuckles and I thought I probably should have turned this ride down. I really do hate two-door cars.

The conversation was easy going at first but then, down the highway, it changed. They asked me if I was a “faggot” perhaps because I had long hair. They asked me if I was a “mud child” though I have no idea why on this last one. And I do apologize to any reader if these words hurt your feelings but you understand, they were not my words. Once these men had established that I was neither of the aforementioned stereotypes, they carried on with more conversation and used other crude descriptors which I do not need to repeat and with which most of us are familiar in any event. If I recall correctly, prison was mentioned somewhere too. After a few more miles, they left the highway and we drove on back roads through summer wheat fields. It was bumpy and I noticed a rattling sound coming from the top of the dashboard; it was a small pile of empty bullet shells. Now, I was seriously regretting my decision to get into that car.
- Just a peasant
photo from the excellent artwork of Sean Kernan