Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The harsh winter I spent on the Palouse..

     "Harsh lands lie before him as he struggles to keep his wits, malicious thoughts incept him, cripppling the moral of his spirit, shattered visons  begin to transpire, an awful naustalgia consumes him, a crooked smile forms, so began the fall of a mastermind, realizing as his mind falls to pieces they are but catalysts, parts of a puzzle to a different plan, as the images surface his virtue descends..Living amongst those barbarians, though a fierce complication, there tack was that of a wounded creature and they were overrun, i remain in exhile, my bones grow weak like the sun descending into the tree's to end this daily affliction, as winter shows its palid face, the earth veils with marble frost, forsaken...this gradual madness consumes my mind..So began the fall of a mastermind.."

   This excerpt  is how I would like to begin the tale of my trials on the wintry slopes of the palouse. It was not an easy underraking arriving back to pullman in a snowstorm after my adventure to oklahoma, I was pulled over the night before  under conviction of intoxication and spent my night outside an abandoned house in Cle' Elum Washingotn shivering for warmth rubbing together a packet of handwarmers in order to ward off the cold and elude hypothermia. The temperature reading on my phone read 13 degree's right before it shut off. Even my phone had abandoned me on this forlorn worst night of my life and all my blankets were left the car. I got my vehicle back the next morning from the impound lot after being socked for a wad by a hefty fee...a fee I had reserved to pay rent that month. Upon arriving to Pullman I was greeted with the icy blast of winter's unforgiving chill. I was penniless and broke. I had saved a friend from a bad situation but now I was fighting for sustenance and survival. A note the next morning appeared posted on my sliding glass door threatening eviction. At least I still have my car I mused. My car was the ol' reliable I had had it for the last 3 years and it was still chugging along despite several setbacks..The hood was replaced after I hit a deer the summer before, the back end damaged after a collision, the front fender bent out and held together by boards, this thing was a real piece of work and I christened it "frankie" short for frankenstein for it's scheer and hideous ugliness. I knew the tranny was starting to go mainly based on the fact I had to floor the accelerator all while observing diesel semi's pass me while I was 'flint stoning' my ass up an incline. Yet it got me to work and back for the last 2 weeks of Novemeber all until the first week of December. I was driving back from work in a rainstorm and noticed a car pulled over to the side of the road its blinking emergency flashers arrested my attention as I slowed down, I strongly  considered  helping out right after I glanced down and noticed my battery light was on, *uh-oh* this can only mean one thing, praying this wasn't the case I thought well forget the car! I just hope my serpentine belt hasn't slipped again, about one mile past my engine thermostat was way in the red, I pulled over snapped open the hood and gagged on a plume of protruding smoke, surely *cough* hack *wheeze* this can't be happening...not here...not now, not again the storm raged on unabated and the rain hit my face as I lurched back toward the car fumbling around for a flashlight, I found one I had kept under the door handle and flicked it on to closer observe the situation at hand..yepp sure as shit, my worst fear had come true, my S-belt had slipped off again, well I was out of AAA tows and my phone was at 15% clearly on life support I phoned my friend Faustino who came over and gave me a lift back. My car on the other hand was left on the side of the road like a sad lonely remnant of my once fleet method of transportation. I was under the impression the car could remain there for 48 hours w/o federal probing or investigation, turns out my facts were wrong. 

  On the morning of December 3rd, the  second day after my car had been abandoned, I biked the 4 miles over to it with a S-belt wrench in hand hoping to fix it up enough to chug-along to my place of residence.  I still remember that cold bitter feeling that hit me upon arriving at the vacated spot where my car once was,...It was gone...gone! I sat there on my bike seat  amidst the falling snow and piercing wind as it whipped my numb face gripping the guard rail for emotional support in complete mesmerated shock and! why! This isn't happening!  Say it aint so! It's gone! I called the police department and they said they picked it up no more than a half hour prior..I was 30 minutes too late! If I hadnt thrown that eggo in the toaster and started a batch of coffee maybe I would have  made it! Now my lolly-gagging around and late morning start would cost me. I quickly phoned the tow company all the while on my way to work explaining my dire circumstances and begging for a requittal. Unfortuanately there was nothing they could do. I was depressed as an eeyore in winnie the pooh as I biked into work, the glum feeling permeated me and followed me around like an ominous dark cloud refusing to depart. I would have to pay $400 that I did not have to get it back plus the impound fee. A quick financial observation made me realize there was no way I could save frankie. Frankie was doomed as well was I. This was my fate I was flummoxed and perplexed. Eventually I decided to forgoe the attempt to get frankie out of the impound lot and instead attempt to scrap it for what it was worth, turns out it wasn't much, best I could get out fo it was $100 from some random self employed auto rpair junkie who attended auctions, I agreed to it and paid the towing fee of 300 in addition to the removal of the car. 

      I biked to work for the next month is weather that barely crept above 35 degrees, 15 miles a day and sometimes over a solid sheet of ice all the while wondering if I had lost my mind completely..Naw I was paying for my faults, for my lazy non-chalaunt care free behavior surely this is what I deserve I rationalized. Many times I'd show up to work completely soaked unable to retain sensation to my toes or face. I'd de-thaw in the back room as concerned co-workers brought me piping hot coffee. My starbucks family was the reason that kept me going it was like having a second family, they all looked out for each other and many times when I got off at 9 after pre-close one or two of them would offer me a ride back home, although I initially refused they insisted and I accepted. On one particular day, when there was 6 inches of snow on the ground amidst a raging blizzard I got off at 9 and a co-worker amanda drove back and picked me up saying there was no way she was letting me leave work back to pullman..She knew I was strong-headed and resented help, but she was peresistent and came back and picked me up, I popped the back tire off to my bike and she lifted me the 8 miles back to pullman. On the steep hill to my apt though her car gave out and we found ourselves surprisingly drifting sideways down the hill..."awh let me out I said I don't want you to risk any more" she agreed and I got out and folllowed a trail alongside the road up a steep embankment, bike in tow to my place, I slipped several times all while grasping my bike and struggling up the steep ravine. At any particular moment I could have slipped and went *ploop* clear off the edge. It was wayy easier traversing this shortcut w/o 6 inches of snow on the ground. But I eventually made it up safe and sound. 

  On many occasions I actually enjoyed my commute to work I'd bundle up roll up my black khaki's bast the knee line of my my underlining white thermals throw on a scarf and bike to work. I'm sure I looked rediculous but who cares, at least I wasn't freezing and could feel my face. the Icy palouse terrain was indeed quite beautiful and I was enjoying amazing scenerery and crisp fresh air few other's would understand. On one particular commute to work I hit an icy patch and slid clear off my bike headlong into a wooden bridge support my out stretched hand bracing the fall connected with the pillar and I heard an unsettling *snap* my finger was swollen and bruised, as I got back on he bike. About a mile later I slid off again and my ass hit the icy turf with an abrupt bounce. I must have broken my ass bone by the searing pain I soon after expiereinced, my middle finger was the size of an enlarged penis and my ass felt like jelly. Soon after  my bike gears starting clicking out of gear and I spent the next half hour traversing the last two miles. This was the most physically and mentally exhausting ride of my life. Ugh, if only  they had a  bus connecting the two cities my life would be so much easier. I arrived to work feeling like I went 9 rounds on the losing end of a  UFC fight. Yet this was all okay because my spirits were still high.

   Now it is April and I found a second job working as a server at Fireside Bar and Grille to supplement my income and earn enough $ to pay court fee's as well as a sleugh of other bills. Life's not easy but by the grace of God I continue trucking, now spring weather has arrived and the undulating rolling hills of the palouse are green. The tree's outside my house are blooming with white and pink flowers and it brings rest to my unsteady soul. Life is better than I expected. And I am doing far better than I deserve:)

Good night everyone -signing off for the night

-Kyle Crockford

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