Friday February 15, around 8:30pm, Bend Oregon
I was copying something out of a book on
snowboarding at Barnes and Noble (no Borders in Bend), and three kids walked
by, probably about 10 years old, one of them carrying a skateboard. One
of them stopped and said "Whoa, is that a book on snowboarding?"
I told him that it was and that there were several of them just around the
corner on the bottom shelf. Distracted by my task, I didn't really think
before I answered his next question, and what that answer might mean to a 10
year old skatepunk. So when he asked me if I was a snowboarder I said
"yes". After all, I had spent the last 4 days, and 6 of the
last 8 snowboarding. I mean, I call my myself a writer and a
photographer even though I have not been published in either medium.
They walked around the corner, but not out of sight. Continuing my
copying I noticed them standing there, half looking at the books, half looking
at me. And what a sight I presented. Blue jeans on their 5th
consecutive day, a nappy old fleece, a ski cap that could pass for a color
wheel, 6 days of beard growth, and to top off the experience, no shower in 5
days. Thinking they were still interested in the books I looked up and
told them "further down, on the bottom shelf". They slowly
wandered off, only to return from behind, one of them asking me if I worked
there. At this point I started to get it, and realized that when I said
"snowboarder", they heard "SNOWBOARDER". For the
next 5 minutes or so as I wandered around the store I had a little group
following me a few stacks back. A little later, as I sat on the floor in
the Travel section reading a book on National Parks, they made their last
pass, slowly walking by, trying to figure out who I was. I'm glad they
didn't stop to ask, I think we all might have been a little let down if I had
to tell them the truth.
By the way, here is the quote I was copying down,
if I ever write the book of this journey, I think I want to open with this...
"As manifested in today's environment, it is
extremely hazardous to compete with five million out-of-control human beings
endlessly copulating and bowing to the gods of growth and planned waste,
rewarded with IOU paper promises to their non-existent Promised Land.
Getaway is the name of the game and I've been burning up the road ever
surfer Mickey Dora