Ch. 24


     I don't remember the name of the street.  T'was a boulevard.  It shot outta town like an arrow ~ straight outta Flagstaff.  But, way out thar' on the edge of town, instead of smoothly curving around some mountain and away, it transformationed into a freeway and twisted around and around into knots.  Not exactly conducive to my pedestrian yearnings.

     As I trudged closer and closer to this entanglement, fences loomed up on either side of the boulevard-turned-freeway ~ and up ahead, there they were, "no pedestraians allowed" signs.  Well well well...

     So nowww what was I gonna do?

     Well (it's a deep subject), before I got to this point of no returnith, as I recall, I detoured into a knapsack joint ~ to buy a new knapsack of course ~ and a coat.

     This was a wise move.  Eventually I stood there gazing at an 80-dollar Jansport hanging on the wall ~ the cheapest pack in the place ~ and grabbed it.  And a 60-dollar sweat-shirt with a zipper down the front ~ I grabbed that too.  They were both kind of a glorified army green.

     I scoped out a clear spot on the floor, by the door, in the store, and asked the brawny clerk, who was on the phone, if it was okay if...

     He said, "Shoor!"

     So, right there, I swung off the awkward & goofy pack on my back and began unloading my stuff into the bad-ass green Jansport I'd just purchased.  It was just like opening a can of worms.  If one thing didn't go wrong, ten other things did.  I started out slow and careful, but pretty soon I was kneeling like a penance-monger in the middle of a mess going about 80-miles-an-hour but staying in the same spot, packing and repacking and repacking again and again until I was done.  Then I swung the new pack onto my back, where it landed very lopsided.  I tried to shrug it into a finer and more swank position, but it just got more lopsided than it already was.  Before long, the clerk hustled over to where I stood weary and hopeless, and while still talking on the phone, he smacked the knapsack around, pulled a strap here, tightened another there, heaved it up and down and the sum-of-a-beech fit like a glove.  I offered him the old one but he didn't want it.  So I left & tossed the piece of shit into a dumpster on the other side of the parking lot and, that's right, took off like a rocket, awalkin' down the boulevard toward that freeway knot up ahead...