So much snow and sickness for a week or so made cabin fever inevitable. It was time to get out. Get to Salt Lake, see fresh faces of friends I haven’t seen in so long.
Friends from different walks of life at different times, living in one city… and they all became friends! A circle of friends, all connected.
And go see my favorite band! Arcade Fire! They’re playing in Orem tomorrow night… so exciting. An adventure. An escape.
We went through Idaho Falls and were making great time. Through Pocatello… sun starting to set… beautiful golden light… snow disappearing.
Car slowed quickly. I asked…
– What’s the matter? Are we getting pulled over?
– What? No.
Evan looked at me very worried. I still didn’t catch on.
The car [evan’s car] just stopped working. Slowed down. Stopped.
We tried everything.
Evan gave it more oil. Checked other motor things.
We did chants for the car as we tried to start it…
– GO, CAR GO! GO, CAR GO!
I was in disbelief…
– Try it again. It has to work. We have to go have dinner with our friends. Get to the concert.
– Rachel, it’s not going to work.
– Try it again.
It didn’t work.
The car had to be towed. We decided it would be best to get it towed all the way back to Idaho Falls… for reasons too logical for a blahg.
We waited. Cracked a beer. [we found our favorite favorite oregon beer at a random IF grocery store…!] We waited for the tow truck.
Todd showed up. He was driving the tow truck.
He rigged everything up, we got what we needed out of the car…
– [whispering] This guy is a character.
– Yeah, he is.
Todd was a short guy, smelled of smoke, gruff, moved with a purpose. We got in his cab of his truck. Justin Timberlake was playing. Hmmm… Todd and I might actually get along.
I, of course, sat real close to Todd… in the middle of him and Evan.
We were quiet for a long time. Evan on the phone a lot trying to figure things out.
I started talking to Todd… asking about his life.
He’s been in Inkom, Idaho [population 738] for 47 years [his whole life].
He has five kids from 29 to 16 years of age.
And that was all I got out of him for a while. Evan and I started feeling less sorry for ourselves and started to laugh at it all.
– It could be a lot worse.
– Yeah, it’s only a car.
– And money.
– Yeah, but that’s only money.
And Todd chimed in.
– This job is hard sometimes… I see a lot of fatalities.
And it hit us.
We are so lucky.
We all realized that and we started to talk more. More like we were humans. Dealing with human things. Life.
Jackson is expensive. Kids are expensive.
– You two married?
– How long have you been married?
– 29 years!
Math, math, math… He got married at 18!
The more we talked, the more we just randomly opened up. We cursed every so often. Complained. Vented.
– Buddy, you better get her to that indie rock concert.
– Yeah, I know… I’m tryin’.
– Says it’s her favorite… Gotta keep the lady happy.
[like i wasn’t even there… sitting right in between them… hilarious… ah-mazing.]
Started talking about families.
– They’ve had their fair share of DUIs.
– Oh, I’m so sorry.
They’ve spent their time in jail.
– It’s just a rough place to grow up sometimes.
And then we were to the shop in Idaho Falls all of a sudden. Evan got out of the car to deal with things. I asked.
– Is there a lot of meth down in Inkom?
– Uhhh… No, not really. A lot of cocaine.
– Oh, yeah?
– Yeah, my wife and I used to deal. Used to use a lot too… It was just so much damn money. I’ve been clean for 19 years now.
And then we just talked and talked [for what was in reality minutes… but felt like years of a friendship unfolded] about addiction, family, darkness, reality, light, hope.
Then, on his own time, he drove us to our hotel and helped us unload all of our stuff from the truck to inside. He didn’t let me carry more than him… it was cute. And when he left he looked me straight in the eye, shook my hand and said…
– Hey girl, I hope you get to your concert. Go and enjoy yourself.