I set out at daybreak away from Steamboat Springs toward my trips destination in Lawton, Oklahoma. I was not embracing this stretch of the journey with any warm feelings. I had been through Northern Texas before and the scenery was hard on the eyes. My journey was intersected by Amarillo, Texas. An oasis of sorts in the midst of a barren wasteland. Texans are pious in my opinion. 75% of the state is flat as a pancake and when you hear the slogan "everything's bigger in Texas" I think sure, but, why would you want more of a shitty area? Maybe that's just me and my own opinions, but these sort of thoughts flowed easily while one is traveling through terrain intersected by the highest elevation comprised of a molehill. Google maps pinned my driving time at approx 13 hrs. I made the unfortunate mistake of skirting the interstate to avoid Kansas. I don't know it happened, but however you splice it, I didn't roll into Amarillo til around 8 pm, and this is with a single piss break. I found somewhere between a hay-stack and a horse shit that my auxillary cord and charger to my i-phone both quit working; my phone's life was in dire straits, unwilling to forgoe the rest of the journey without a functioning phone. I grabbed both cords with a 5-finger discount. I texted Darien, explaing I was a few hours out. I asked her if she could be ready around midnight..I stopped soon after for gas and was approached by a bedraggled black man pleading for 37 bucks..I was tired, strung out from the road and strapped for cash, but I listened to him as he went on about his desperate plight, his serpentine belt being broken, he had a 5 yr old kid, he'd been called the N word and all sorts of insults, gesturing to his car a few blocks down I could see the E flashers on and knew he wasn't kidding. I said fine, I'll I lend it. I could see the tears in his eye's as he said a thanks to God above, on my way out he grabbed me and said a quick prayer for the rest of my trip, I asked his name, then looked back for the last time...I'll look for you up there okay? He nodded,knowing what I meant--Oddly enough my car made it back with no problems--
I continued on toward Lawton, the beats were bumpin and after pounding down 2 red bulls I was feeling the vibes. After what seemed like an eternity, 2 cop pull overs, and 200 miles of back road texas-oklahoma, I rolled into crazy town USA. Darien informed me she would be outside the JC Penney location at the town mall which I located after some difficulty. It involved stoppping and clearing out trash to procure passenger seating w/o being waste-deep. I discovered Lawton to be the absolute armpit of the world. Tweakers and crazy folks were out everywhere, it was like the zombie apocalypse had hit this town hard, no one was sober, or appeared normal even the gas lot-attendent appeared strung out on some hash. I texted Darien again "where the hell am I? You lived here for a year?" Darien had had a rough go of it here of late, she was on the streets for awhile sufferering along with these tweaker's gang members and delinquits. She had no family to take her in, had lived in the spot in town where even the cops refused to go, sleeping in the cemetery there for some time, she procured frostbite on several phalanges and had seen violance, gore and misconduct to the like no one in a life time should have to endure, yet somehow, despite the odds made it through. Darien was a survivor and tough as nails, I have no doubt. I knew her from a few years back, she had a big heart though, despite the circumstances, and I guess that's the trait I always found admirable about her. She advised me not to stay there the night, for my own safety. There were people that would quickly end me. Sure, that may sound humorous to some, but this was Lawton; people were above the law here. Places in town concealed deeds and dark secrets only Lucifer himself could witness without a shudder. The place was oppressive, I have alwasy been very keen on sixth sense and intuition and as soon as I enterered this town it was like a dark, ominous cloud was over me, tracking my every move..I am not exaggerating when I felt evil here did not sleep. I parked outside the empty JC Penney lot around midnight and after some difficulty found Darien, she had a purse and skateboard in tow, nothing else, she was not equipped with much. She mentioned there were people following her, of a gang type. The mall lights shut off around us as soon as she said this and all was pitch black, I located the light on my phone and found my car. We got in. After clutching the steering wheel I glanced at Darien, "You came for me, you actually did, where are we going Kyle?" IDK..I said..anywhere but here. I found the Interstate again and sped off westbound like a bat out of hell. I knew it was 1 in the morning and I had been driving for for 18 straight hours yet I wanted to put as much distance between me, Darien and that hellhole as possible. Darien talked about a great many things, stories and struggles of doubt, fears and survival, things that would move even the hardest of hearts. She kept talking to me about her exploits until she nodded off, eventually, I reached back located my blanket and tossed it over her, around 3 am she was passed out, the last few hours after my riding companion was gone were the hardest; blinking my eyes I struggled to keep awake...I had to get back to Amarillo, I just couldn't stop on the side of the road...I had precious cargo, surely I will make it...After what seemed like 6 hours, even though it was only 2 I pulled into the target lot, the same one I had entered 9 hours before and eased to a stop, shifting into park. I shut the engine off. I crawled into the passenger seat with Darien grabbing an ear of the blanket and called it a night. Needless to say I did not sleep well, Darien was criss crossed over me and gone like the wind, whilst I struggled to find head-placement that would ensure rest. My head dipped into the backseat divet at several points and I awoke with a shudder before my neck snapped off, I managed to pull off a few hours beauty rest...I am now falling asleep myself and will write about the next leg of the journey soon..
Until next time...sayonara my friends :)