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Broke Down

January 23rd, 2008 · No Comments

Bro and I keep walking up the road. There is a town here somewhere, even if it’s just another gas station, I know it. Then there is a twinkle of light. A gas station! I knew it! It’s big, and there are trucks parked for the night. This is where I should be broken down, where the truckers are. I poke my head in the door and ask how long they’re open. Twenty four hours!

I walk back to the van with Bro, and make him go in his crate with his blanket and a hot water bottle I thought to fill before our gas station closed. Then I grab the keys, lock up, and walk back up to the open gas station.

Going through the door is like walking into boiling water, my face tingles so much. There is a short, dirty man with red hair leaning against the counter, reading the newspaper and complaining about ragheads. I wander the store, looking for a table or a place to sit out of the way. There’s a big gift section, with a wide selection of fairies, angels, and Jesus Loves You paraphenalia. Set on a table in a corner is a big granite sea turtle, and it makes me think of Darcy.

There’s no place to sit, so I decide to buy something to ingratiate myself with the counter people. Hot chocolate.

“Hey,” the guy behind the counter says. “How’s it going?” He is too clean, with curly hair just long enough to proclaim his coolness. I bet he’s from California.

I tell him my van broke down and I’m stuck here. He’s the picture of concern. Do I have a place to stay?

I cock my head and look cute. “Well, I was hoping I could hang out here for a couple hours.”

“Of course. Hey, if you want I can call my parents and you can go hang out on their couch.” In Alaska, one never knows when accepting these invitations if the big hearted inviters are potheads or radical Christians. I decline. I like it in my van. It’s just kind of cold.

The nice boy even goes upstairs and brings out a folding chair for me. I sit and write in my notebook, trying to ignore the red head, who’s complaining now about wetbacks. I almost laugh when he says that he was raised Amish, but I manage to restrain myself and keep my eyes averted.

Soon it slows down and the boy comes out from behind the counter.

“Ma’am,” he says, “do you know Jesus?”

I guess it’s not pothead, then. I would laugh if I weren’t stuck here.

He launches into a long explanation of his beliefs and his personal relationship with God. When I can get a word in edgewise I tell him I’m happy that Jesus makes him happy. I won’t try to impose my Godesses on him, so maybe he could keep his Gods to himself too.

Oh, but Jesus is just so wonderful, he says. He’s just bursting to share Jesus with the whole world, don’t I understand?

“No, I don’t. But I’ve read about it, this impulse you have.”

Somehow this inspires him to launch into a Jesus monologue about the evils of gays and the corruption of this great country, which was founded by Jesus people. He keeps talking while I slip my coat on, and barely pauses when I wave goodbye and walk back into the cold.

Tags: Van Living

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tatya // Jan 23, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Good call, Tara! Glad you got out of there before they figured out you were not merely uninterested in being proseletyzed at, but were one of those godless liberal queers responsible for the decline of civilization and America.

    And why, oh, why is it that generous potheads, in my experience, are perfectly happy to hear “Oh, no thanks, but you go ahead”, but evangelizing Christians so often insist on sharing at you even after you’ve (repeatedly) turned down the offer?

    I do hope your van gets fixed soon!

  • 2 Johnny // Jan 23, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    I have to believe every group of folks (even the amish) have
    bigots amongst them.

    Simple question for you though…

    Living in your van why are you not in the warmer states
    (ie florida etc) during the winter months?

  • 3 Irishman // Jan 23, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Ah, walking down a road in the cold – poetic imagery of the Kerouacian equivalent … great story. I can feel the cold on your fingers and see your breath pluming in front you as you walk along, Tara. It’s like Jack London … if he had a van and was a beautiful lady stripper, that is. I hope you get that cap handled, and are on your way soon. You are a wise, brave lady, Tara. God bless your traveler’s heart! ~ Irishman

  • 4 dodger // Jan 24, 2008 at 6:45 am

    God I can’t stand Jesus freaks. (yes-that was on purpose)They’re deluded and weak. Can’t blame ya for skeedaddling out of there, Tara. Makes my skin crawl. Hope you’re on the road soon. Hang in there.

  • 5 Laurel // Jan 24, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Sometimes the cold is way more inviting than The Jesus Monologues!

  • 6 grace with ease // Jan 24, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    When the choice is mother nature’s winter or the man who wants to save you from a hell he believes in more than your greatness—-

    high tail it outta there and
    hide behind your mother’s(natures) skirt!

    Bless his misguided, conditioned, fear full manhood. 🙄

  • 7 Lee // Jan 24, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Oh, don’t you love when they do that? Usually at that point I say something even more astonishing than “I don’t believe in Jesus” like “Oh, didn’t you know, I’m , and I worship Satan while eating babies? I don’t think there’s any hope for me.” Although, it is amusing to occasionally pretend to be one of them. You wouldn’t believe (well, you would) the frenzy they work themselves into. Good luck on your travels out of the creepy small town.

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