Tucson to New York Part 2

After hitching from Tucson to Oklahoma City on route to NYC, I planned on spending a time or two with Carolina. Jesus, school, work, and the like stood in the way of spending any substantial moments with her, in fact I didn't see her outside of a Starbucks. I did spend some time with my friend Shaw grabbing some drinks and sharing some laughs.

At one time I thought I'd stay one or two more days in hopes of sharing waffles and smiles with Carolina, but that's when I met a traveling musician, Kurt. He was supposed to be couchsurfing with Delissa where I was, but I met him at a little coffee shop called the Red Cup where he was playing a show. He's been on the road driving state to state on tour, what he calls "48 in '08" where he's going to play at least one show in each state this year. I talked to him for a few minutes before he went on to play, in that time he convinced me to ride with him to Kansas and then Denver starting the next day. This was going in the wrong direction as far as New York was concerned, but it turned out to be the right move.

That night we met Cristin, a beautiful girl at the Red Cup whose eyes redefined pure. Passion emanated from her presence, I couldn't get enough of her and she couldn't get enough of life, we bounced from spot to spot meeting everyone and hearing everything. Hours ago I'd considered OKC a generic city dominated by jesus, and she'd opened my eyes to a much more interesting perspective.

After breakfast with Cristin at the Red Cup, we gathered our stuff, loaded the car, and shot towards Hays, Kansas. It was a lively show, everyone who came had come to get drunk, and while Kurt was performing they were consistently bringing him shots on stage and shouting back and forth. At 2am or so we found ourselves in an ihop with the 2 bartenders, the Ashleys, and a 19 or 20 year old girl who they'd carded and kicked out earlier that night, it made for an interesting dynamic that we laughed about to no end.

The girl, Laurel, added to my definition of beautiful and we ended the night at her house. She strummed her guitar and revealed her amazing voice, it was a poppy sort of voice, pure and clear. The next morning we hit the road again, gunning it towards Denver through the fields of Kansas.

Kurt played the Walnut Room, with a crowd far different then the drunken Kansas crowd. As I recall, Kurt called them "stoic and conservative" a few songs into his set. I met a couple of Kurt's old friends from school who lived nearby, as well as a couchsufer from Boulder who made it out to the show. Brendan was one of Kurt's friends, and we slept at his apartment 30 floors above the city overlooking the mountains and everything else.

The following day was the 15th of march, saturday, but somehow the official day of Saint Patrick's celebration, and that we did. We loaded up on guinness and car bombs in between beer pong games, and then we all hit the streets for some more good times. After some time at the bars with stories I won't get into here, we ended up back at Brendan's place eventually passing out.

The next day we were off to Boulder with no real plan. We took a walk down pearl and stopped at a brewery to grab some food, beers, and watch the Lakers game. We wound up at Alexis' place, the couchsurfing girl who'd come to the show a couple nights before. Her eyes were pale and intent, her demeanor relaxed yet adventurous, she capped the running theme of beautiful girls I had encountered on this trip. That night was filled with good food and a more than our fair share of belly laughs, a simple and truly great night.

I considered hitchhiking the next day, but the forecast said the snowstorm we were in would continue that night before suggested a forecast of another great night to follow, so when Alexis offered to let me stay another night I stuck with that idea. Being the real Saint Patricks day, I spent about the last of my scattered dollars on a bottle of vodka and some beers. The night was spent with more laughter and at one point some drunken food on pearl street.

Earlier that day, I got a message from my mom with the offer of a Greyhound ticket. I'm sure this was done to ensure I was in New York in time for court, and also a mother's worry of her son hitchhiking across the country. Although I was excited for the unknown happenings of a good hitch, I remembered my motivation for getting back to New York after a drunken call from Mark, and gladly accepted the the ticket.

The next morning I left Alexis' place catching a ride with Kurt back to Denver, he was catching a flight coincidentally to New York as well, he dropped me off at the bus station. The bus ride back took a couple days, and was relatively uneventful compared to my normal Greyhound experiences.

The bus dropped me off from on 42nd street and I walked directly down to 23rd where I met Mark, now Free Man Mark, at the Shake Shack for burgers. This was the first time I'd seen Mark without a job since the day I left Connecticut for Florida to go to school just weeks after high school graduation.

There's a lot to say about getting back, free man mark, and the promise it brings, but I'll save that for the next post. For now, I'm very happy with my recent excursions, I have a better idea of beauty and my passion for the road continues to burn hotter. Each week can only get better, it's no wonder I end so many things I write with simple phrase, good times.