In the summer of 2002 I had the opportunity, I guess you could call it, to go down South with my then boyfriend-L and a random Native American man, J, to help move L’s mother (the poet-comedienne) from Texas to Florida. I am not a South person, but I wanted to see the rest (or at least part of the
We first went to
We took I-59 all the way through, running straight through the middle of Alabama-right through the heart. We stopped for gas somewhere along the way in a small town in the Deep South of
Every single one of them.
It must have been a sight, by god: a black man, a shifty-looking Native American man and a white girl, who didn’t look more than 20, all together. You know that’s what those people were thinking!! I’m sure there is a really bad racial joke in there somewhere. We paid for our food and gas and got out of there quickly.
The amount of hostility and blatant racism hovering in the air was incredible. Not to mention slightly, morbidly amusing.
From the middle of
We get into
The car starts to shake violently. Strange sounds from the front end, on the passenger’s side. The smell worsens. This is when the front tire blows out. Not even 20 minutes into
Alright. Everyone’s okay. A little shaken. Breathe.
There is a spare tire in the trunk, amazingly, a donut, only. It was better than being stuck on the side of the road in
It is blazing hot now, near noon. I almost pass out from the sudden shock of the nice air-conditioned car into the death-heat and in my haze, almost get clipped by a semi. I was wearing a black tank and cutoff jeans. I absolutely had to get out of these clothes before I became a blob of goo on the side of the road. Changed into an airy blue skirt and kept the tank. So much better.
All I could do was just sit there, on the side of the highway, in the divide, in the blistering heat, as J. and L. changed this tire while trucks, cars and semi’s flew past dangerously close, rocking the car. I’m glad someone knew how to change a tire! Hate to admit it, but I don’t even know how to properly change a tire. This must be remedied.
Finally, the tire is on, and we are once again on our way, the air conditioner blasting. I have been to northern
It was as if everything that could have gone wrong, did.
I slept through the rest of