Tuesday, June 17, 2003

As My Life Turns


Here I am, bored at 3 am, not yet wanting to go to bed and sick of being subjected to bad early-morning basic cable TV. I kind of wish I had real cable sometimes, but I can't justify the expense, after all, my one luxury is cable internet. In any case, I'm going to take advantage of my one luxury and start posting some entries about my life experiences.

I've thought that maybe I should write a book with all the various stories and things I've done, but I'm not sure anyone would really want to read it. So, since you're here anyway, stories have to be better than listening to me bitch about work. Jen says (often) that I'm obsessed with work and I bitch a lot about it. So this is my attempt to make my blog more positive and possibly more interesting? I don't know.

Anyway, I have a brief story that I was reminded of just now, by a commercial.

I drove across the country in January 2000, away from my home state and into the same house as my then-girlfriend. This journey was done solo, from San Francisco to Knightdale, NC. I drove a Ryder truck I'd literally stuffed all of my worldly possessions into, a truck which only had a radio. No tape player, and the radio antenna was missing from the truck, which meant little to no reception. So it was kind of a quiet, contemplative trip.

When I was just starting out, I drove down Highway 5, one of the biggest highways in California. It's one of the few places the speed limit is 70, though the downside is that it cuts through the heart of California farmland, so there tends to be very little to look at in terms of distraction while driving.

I was so anxious to get on the road and go, to finally see Regan again and to be moving in with her, that I left the same night I packed the truck. I drove as far as I could until I needed to sleep, then checked in to a hotel in the middle of nowhere. The city may have been called Coalinga or something odd like that.

The next day, I got up and checked out, then hopped back into the truck, not fully awake yet. I wasn't long on the road before something along the roadside caught my attention. Because I wasn't fully awake, it took me a little bit to notice, but when I did, I watched in complete amazement.

I tell people this story and they don't believe me. But I swear to God, this is the honest truth. And it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I know I will never forget it.

Along the roadside ran a fence that was mainly wooden posts strung together with barbed wire, in and of itself not a special thing. However, and I swear to God, for at least two or three miles, almost every single wooden post had a boot or some sort of shoe sitting on top of it.

At first, I wondered if I was imagining it. I mean, maybe some joker found a few shoes by the road and put them up on posts. But no.. I kept staring at the roadside as the miles passed, and was completely mesmerized. And it's verifiable -- head on 5 south, somewhere after Coalinga (?). There are hundreds of boots and shoes sitting on fence posts along a stretch of Highway 5.

At least, there were three years ago.

I think I was just so amazed that I didn't think to whip out the camera I'd brought along. I wish now that I'd gotten pictures of it, mostly because it does kind of sound like an incredible story, or at least an exaggerated one. But I'm not kidding you when I say at least two miles rolled by. Every time I saw an empty post (and there weren't many), I kept expecting the shoes to end. And it just amazed me that they went on and on.

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