Litkicks Message Board Archive

November 14th 0715 a little later

Posted to Tribute to Ken Kesey

... Goin'out the door the first thing I got was a cold, wet slap in face of southwesterly wind. I was out here with the trees and the breeze. But,I ain't no tree, so I'm not gonna just stand here,like some big wooden plant, wavin'my arms around. Going down the steps,I slip and slide over the slimy Alder leaves that seem to cover the brick steps, and the asphalt driveway. The leaves seem to still be coming sideways on the wind, God, how long can they hold on to their branches in this wind before they're torn off and sent flying to the ground? Alders, I hate Alders. Grow too fast,rot too fast, and make a big goddamn mess in the meantime. The leaves just come to the ground, sticky wet. Like bugs hittin' a windshield doin'fifty. Splat. Its over. they just stay where they hit 'til they turn to a green brown slime,then back into the dirt they came from.... I gotta kind'a fight the fuckin'wind to pull the door open on the big red caddy, I slide on in, and the door kind'a closes itself..." Mornin' Jimmy",says Darrel,"Yeah,hi..nice day,huh?" I say to him, while wiping the rain outta my eyes with my sleeve. "Hey man, if you feel like backin' outa this Eugene trip,fine with me, I don't blame'ya, this is pure shit". I guess I was giving Darrel a chance to cancel,like maybe his offering to haul ass down there, was something he wished he hadn't a said. "Nah", he says, " I wouldn't wanna miss this,besides, good excuse to get away from the ol'lady for a day." "Okay, cool, good enough",says I, as the caddy starts nosing down the driveway.... I take a good close look at ol' Darrel's face, because this is the closest I been up to him since his dumptruck full of pit run blew a brakeline, and went down some bank out by Knappa somewhere. I remember seeing Darrel downtown, right after it happend,and man he looked tough. It looked like somebody had built a fire on his face, then put it out with an axe. He was all swollen,black and blue, and stitched up like an old feed sack.'Cept for some new lines on his face,and a different shaped nose, he looked pretty good, considering what the pictures of his truck looked like.... We get some gas, and get out on Highway 101,that long,wet winding snake of a road that runs the length of the whole Oregon beach. Its'one twisty, skinny, busted up road, that one. It goes by the water, over the water, even under the water sometimes, all the way to California,'bout 400 miles south'a here, I'd say. It just snakes along,up and down headlands, through the pastures, and parks. Goes through all those little lumber mill towns,harbor towns,and tourist traps.Kind of a nice drive, if you ain't in a hurry. Lot'a log trucks,Winnabagos, pick-ups,and tourists..... Darrel and I start shooting the b.s.,ya'know, talking over the old people and places stuff. Fishin', drinkin', women, dope, you know, all the fun stuff,the good stuff.The stuff that you don't get to do when you're thinkin', and wishin' you could..... "So", Darrel says, "Tell me how you got tangled up with the Chief that night." "Where was it,around here?" "Uh uhh, Umatilla County" I said,three hundred miles east of this soggy,green county of Clatsop. Its'a whole other world,up there,by God. Its' as dry, and bright, and open up there, as it is as damp, dim, and dismal here. Yeah, two different worlds, almost. Theres' Western Oregon,and theres' Eastern Oregon. Different as night and day. The countrys' different, the weathers' different, and the people are different.Sometimes I don't see how such different places and people can be called one place,like Oregon, but, by God it is. Its just the way it is...............jf