Last year Mike and I made a pact to go on a road trip.
At first it was a bit of cloud talk, “hey we should..” “wouldn’t it be great if?”
“Screw it Joey! We’re doing it baby!” said Mike.
Suddenly it was September 1st and he was knocking at my door.
The drive to the border was quick and the entire time I was giving a silent prayer to a God I don’t believe in, “oh please let me get across the border.. oh please let me get across the border.”
You see, I am an Indian, or at least my good half, and according to the Jay Treaty of 1794 says the following: “It is agreed, that it shall at all times be free to His Majesty’s subjects, and to the citizens of the United States, and also to the Indians dwelling on either side of the said boundary line, freely to pass and repass, by land or inland navigation into the respective territories and countries of the two parties on the continent of America, (the country within the limits of the Hudson Bay company only excepted) … and freely carry on trade and commerce with each other.”
I chose not to get a passport because I didn’t want to pay for one and I was so lazy that I waited until the very last moment to apply for one and in the end said SCREW IT!
We arrive at the Sumas border crossing and the guard asks the usual questions and then we are asked to park our cars and head into a little office.
A gentleman on a motorbike was also in the office and while he was being questioned, he was asked to enter a door and suddenly he was in handcuffs.
The officer asked us how we knew each other, asked to see our itinerary, which Mike had carefully printed, stapled and collated.
“You don’t work on cruise ships anymore?” asked the guard?
“Oh, no..I guess you guys would have all that info on me hey?” I said.
“What kind of info should we have about you?” he responded.
After a quick body cavity search, Mike and I were on the road (*)
We drove down the I-5 and while Mike is a competent and capable driver.. my subconscious mind was screaming at him to GET IN THE FUCKING HOV LANE!
I did give him a passive aggressive suggestion to get in the HOV lane, which he did.
I have been to Seattle before and I remember it being beautiful, but something about driving by the Space Needle with the sun in my face, my best friend beside me and 90’s dance music playing that made it serene.
After a quick stop at our hotel we got on the light rail system and made our way to Pioneer Square.
We leave the station and Mike’s face changes. Outside the station is a rougher neighbourhood and we weren’t prepared. I just played it cool, poor people are my people.
We end up at some Irish pub called Fado’s and Mike sits at the bar and says “Got and specials?”
“No, we don’t have any specials..” she retorted. She offered to sell Mike a beer for $5.00 and I paid the usual $6.00.
I am in customer service, so I understand the pressures and annoyances of dealing with customers but this lady was rude and could have been a bit nicer to us. We’re good people. So.. sure we were douchey sports fans talking about how the game fell apart in the fourth period of play and coach has his head up his ass..but we can talk about other interesting things.
We went to a second pub and met four people from Ohio, where I used to live. Hearing them speak with their mid-west accent caused me to speak like them. “Oh gash margie, get the pap for the indians in their teepees.”
They were talking about adopting Alaskan Indians because of the grants and free healthcare..
“If they wanna feel at home, we’ll just get them a teepee.”
Heading down to some docks Mike is reminded of how much he loves the smell of the ocean. I am reminded of how much I hate the smell. Seriously, there are areas of the waterfront that smell like a bathroom on cruise ships.
We met some nice girls from Switzerland and we’ll be travelling to the same places. “If I see you in San Fran, I’ll buy you a drink!”
On the way back to the light rail station we were looking for a 7-11 and a man with a dog appeared.
“Excuse me, can you tell us where we can get beer.” He crossed the road and told us the general direction. He had a friendly face and a Labrador retriever. I’ve met this man before many times at music festivals, in crowded coffee shops and bank line ups. He is the Good Samaritan…his name was Trevor.
Trevor walks us to the store where we purchase a delicious IPA and he invites us to his home to hang out with his girlfriend Kendra. I can trust the Good Samaritan and Mike, by this point, is too wasted to care.
We arrive at Trevor’s apartment, it’s absolutely beautiful!
We’re introduced to Kendra, Trevor’s girlfriend and she’s frigging awesome! She’s reminded me of the girls I would go to the bar with when I was younger.. just quirky and awesome.
We make our way to their rooftop patio and have beers, a smoke and converse about life.
Trevor makes soap, Kendra works with people who have special needs and they share this view of Seattle:
It was a surreal experience.
Mike reminds me that we gotta make waves. We part company with Kendra and Trevor and make beeline to the light rail station.
In haste, we get on the wrong train and go in the wrong direction. We’re waiting for the train, sobering up and Mike is stressed about getting back on time. He was trying to hide it, but I think his feelings can be summed up in this picture:
We made it back in time and are just preparing to hit our second destination, a campsite on the Oregon coast.
What an amazing first day.
Trevor and Kendra, THANK YOU! I have undying faith in humanity and it’s people like you who keep the flame burning strong. We should all be so generous to invite strangers into our homes to show them compassion and fellowship.
I’m so happy and it’s been a while since I could say that and actually mean it.
Oregon, here we come!
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