Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I called around outside of the gas station. There was a garage on the side of the place, but it was closed. Gas stations hardly employ mechanics anymore, which sucks. A couple headed to Des Moines with their son stopped for a while and looked for garages on their GPS. Damn nice of them. Turned out there was nothing open. I drove across the street, stressed that there was no belt on my alternator. I parked, and came face to face with this dude walking out of one of the 3 hotels. This one looked cheap. But he was closing up for the night, and then I looked around and the windows boarded up and the overall slum-like appearance of the place and realized it was a no-go either way. Up the street at Super 8, it cost me 82 dollars plus tax for a room, because they charged me extra for my dogs. I had no fucking choice. I brought my dogs, my bike, guitar and a few other things upstairs and sat on the bed. I left a message to the towing company/garage 7 miles west in Williamsburg, checked my email and ordered from a pizza joint across the street. Downstairs I let the dogs run and do their business. Chintan, the clerk at the hotel stood outside with two women from Montana, and they smoked and watched Chico piss on every plant in the garden. One of the women, the mother of the other one, asked about my trailer. She bought a book from me and we talked about Montana. Inside, Chintan bought a copy, and I was thinking this place might not be so awful, but it is. It's awful. Expensive rooms and no personality to this town. I caught up on my internet porn then watched The Lost Boys.
It was good to be in the bed with the air conditioner and the movie blasting, my dogs sleeping on either side of me, my thoughts forced miles away from the van and the money it's going to take to get it repaired. I called my niece in Peoria and told her I was going to be a day or 2 late.
In the morning I called the garage, and they came and got the van. It was hot outside and I was burned out. It never fucking ends. The tow truck driver stops at a gas station so I can get some coffee. I sip it, the windshield blurs, and I'm at the garage, and the belt is fixed, but I notice a huge crack in the radiator. I call another mechanic over and he laughs,
"Need a radiator, dude. Oh, and your heads might be shot if it ran really hot for a while."
He lit a cigarette, smiled at me and walked off. I stared at the engine.
Back inside they called around for a radiator. Can't get delivered until the next day. I feel my bank account being wiped clean. Between the room and everything else, I'm going to get to Illinois broke off my ass, which is something I want to avoid at all costs. But I have these books to sell, and they're worth every fucking penny they cost. I think it was the owner's wife at the garage who gave me lift to the hotel. I had my camera in my pocket the whole time, but the stress of the repair bill coming out shined the garage at the moment. I give her a book for the lift.
The night goes by like the last night. Cable TV, AC, the web, emails, phone calls and trips outside with the pups. I call the garage. It'll be ready in the morning. I pay for another day. Out front I watch the storm move in, and I see some long haired dude in black loading a truck with Washington plates, like I have. I walk over and shake his hand. He's on tour with his band, Ayria, so I shot them. I checked out the link just now. It's kind of like light industry meets Romeo Void. Not my style musically, but they can make music, and I think it's fucking great they're on the road making it happen. Next stop for them is Milwaukee. I can't really imagine what it takes to be in a band. As a writer, I have enough problems dealing with myself. They seemed like a cool trio.
The storm came. There's something almost charming about the rain in Portland, or I think there is compared to the rain out here. Out here it's fatter and heavier and you don't walk around in it.
Back upstairs I sit here behind the computer. I'm bored as shit, so I'm going to upload some random photos from the tour.