His name was Red Fox, and the last time I was driving through this area we picked him up hitchhiking. It was when I lived in a bus with my girlfriend and another woman. Weâ€™d parked overnight in a WalMart parking lot, and in the morning we took turns getting off the bus and having some alone time in a graveyard. We were starting to be in danger of driving each other insane.
When I first saw him I was walking across the REI parking lot, and he was staggering towards me, dry drunk, with his big backpack frame and ragged buffalo hide. He looked like home to me. I know how fucked up that sounds, but I guess you ought to know by now that I didnâ€™t come from some sober white suburb full of polite denials. Not at all.
He asked if I had a couple dollars so he could get a coffee. I didnâ€™t. Then he asked if that was my bus and if I could give him a ride to his momâ€˜s place 250 miles up the road. I said Iâ€™d have to ask my roommates. I had the mild sense that my judgment might be a little off, here, so I shouldered his pack and led him back to the bus, expecting my friends to know the right thing.
When we got back to the bus N was doing the dishes outside in a big five gallon bucket. For some reason she wouldnâ€™t use the sink, but insisted on hauling everything outside to wash in WalMart parking lots while people stared at her. She said it was fine for Red Fox to ride along, and so did my girlfriend. He offered gas money, we declined.
He saw all our books and told us he was a writer. Soon he pulled out a notebook full of scribbles and read us a story heâ€™d written about when he was a kid at the Indian School. There were nuns at the Indian School that held them captive, you see, and the scariest nun of all was a Lesbian Nun named Sue. One day there was a big celebration and young Red Fox decided to run away while everyone was celebrating. He was making his way through a maze of underground tunnels and was almost free when the Lesbian Nun stepped out of the shadows. She hypnotized him with her eyes so he couldnâ€™t move and then she gave him a hand job and led him back to his bunk where he instantly fell asleep.
I loved it. Cause here I was a lesbian erotic hypnotist who often hypnotized men and gave them hand jobs for cash, and my favorite client was a guy who would have me tuck him in bed and put him to sleep before I left. And here in my bus Red Fox was waxing long about the evils of the Lesbian Nun and laying all those crazy constructs bare.
Then N got out the bottle of wine. Oh no. I pulled her in the bathroom and told her alcohol was a very very bad idea. She said sheâ€™d never seen an Indian before in her life. She said “Indian” with big eyes like it meant alien, and I didn’t mention my indian blood. We pretended not to have a bottle opener, and while we werenâ€™t looking Red Fox took our screw driver, demolished the cork, and drank half our bottle. Soon he was playing bad songs on Nâ€™s guitar, which I never learned to play, slobbering on her fingers, and groping at me. Just like home, just what I was driving towards, and suddenly I was hypnotized, unable to stop the evils.
We stopped at a gas station in one of those dusty places. Red Fox conned N into buying him something he didnâ€™t need, just to show he could. N and I conferred with my girlfriend, who was driving rather than getting groped. She said that weâ€™d said we would take him the whole way, so we had to, and that was the way it was. The old white man at the gas station gave Red Fox a nasty look. You know, that look that says I thought we already killed most of your kind and locked the rest up in reservations so what the fuck are you doing here? Then he opened his mouth and said it real slow with a smirk, â€œyou donâ€™t look like youâ€™re from around here, pardner.â€
N chattered about where we were all from, and the old man said heâ€™d been to Alaska once and it was boring. Nothing to do there. I told him we were capable of entertaining ourselves in Alaska and didnâ€™t have to go destroying the world for entertainment. N was horrified. How rude of me.
We all got back on the bus, and Red Fox pulled out a six pack heâ€™d bought when we werenâ€™t looking.
Eventually we got close to his city and we left him at a gas station with his bag and his raggedy old buffalo skin. I threw his beer cans out the door after him, yelling, â€œWe donâ€™t want your fucking trash, Red Fox.â€
I still have his mothers address somewhere that he gave us so we could send him a post card.