Return of the Jew Flinger

Brad and I got to bed around 2am and he didn’t have classes until 11am today which I thought gave me plenty of time to sleep. This calculus failed to consider that he had three other housemates all on different schedules and the first rev of the burr grinder occurred at around 7:30am. Whoops. I formally woke at 10am, showered, changed, and chatted with one of Brad’s house mates until near 11am when I was supposed to pick up Suzie. I thanked Brad again, offered fudge, and was off.

Outside Suzie’s house I shot her a text message that I had arrived and I was invited to park in the driveway. The garage door opened and I was invited in. I have known Suzie for a little over two years and we’ve covered about 20,000 miles together. We’ve shared a lot of the same spaces but never before did this include one of her parents. Suzie is much younger than I and there are moments where this surfaces above lake Friendship and never has this been more apparent than when I came face to face with her father. He was a visage of shriveled sternness. I was waiting for a “be careful with my daughter” line but his reserve didn’t allow for such an obvious display of feeling. This was a man that would never let me know how many rounds were in his revolver forcing me to keep track. He stared at me, reached to shake my hand and it was soft leather. He warned us of rain and I commented that I was only worried about dust storms or prairie fires. He bid his daughter goodbye as a part nod and part dismissal. I don’t know if it would have been more affectionate in my absence but “reserved” seems an appropriate description.

I hadn’t seen Suzie in seven weeks which despite an almost exactly 600 mile gap has come to feel like a while. My standard conversational paralysis set in and we exchanged short sentences until the front left tire of my car blew out spectacularly. I’ve had four flats in my life and both that occurred in Wanda have been within 30 minutes of Suzie’s house with her in the car. The side wall had gone out completely around the tire and there was a pile of tread shrapnel when I finally got the tire off. The tire was very hot to the touch and after an illegal turn we headed to Walmart to have it changed. This explosion proved the catalyst we needed and conversation picked up.

We met up with a friend of Suzie’s in St. Louis and then continued on to Columbia, MO to meet up with John and Zane. The stretch from St. Louis to Columbia is one I’ve tread before and the Jew Flinger seemed to be intact.