Highway 80 west stories. Part four. Salt Lake city, Utah


Highway 80 west stories. Part four. Salt Lake city, Utah

A Chapter by Coyote Poetry


Long ride and the long highway allow us to learn. We are not alone.


                                Highway 80 west stories. Salt Lake city, Utah.
Me and Lana stayed at the Outlaw saloon till closing time. The people of Cheyenne were easy-going and friendly. Somehow we ended up with six people at our table. The people talk of the cold days and hard work. A woman name Rebecca saw the sadness in the eyes of Lana. She told her. “Honey, you’re going to be alright. Hang with this sun-tanned beauty and things will be okay.” I was the odd ball at the party. The Kuwait sun gave me a farmer tan from hell. The old timers told me. “I need to go to Kuwait. Looked like you only sunbathe. Not too much fighting.” Was a good night. Lana forgot her real problem for a while.We get back to the hotel. I clean-up and start making the bed on the floor. Lana told me. “Soldier, if you sleep on the floor. I will sleep in the truck.” I smiled and told her. “Time for all things. You are very beautiful and in trouble. I don’t want to add to them. I will lay with you. Tonight we are too filled with regret and sadness. Sex is good but sometime better to hold off and maybe one day. If you still like this old soldier. We can be more. Lana put on her warm pajamas. She came to me and she wrapped her arms around me. She whispered. “Thank you for the good night. I forgot about my father for a minute. Where do we go tomorrow.” I told her the next stop will be Salt Lake city. You will like the city. Nice people. Maybe too nice. I like the myths and tale of Salt Lake city. Ancient Native Americans would go to the salt water to find healing for the  body and mind. She smiled and told me. “Maybe I can find some healing too? Some of your old medicine may fall upon me. You think?’ I turned around and brought her close. I told her. The first people in the America is the medicine for all people. You must open your eyes and want to find some kind of peace.We awoke late. We had to escape the hotel quickly. The hotel clean-up woman woke us up. She told us. You have a half hour. Lana showered and I brushed my teeth and shaved. I was looking like a lumber jack and needed to have the clean face again. Too much time in the Army? Lana ran passed me. Clothing less and proud. She gave me a wink and started getting dress. I just laughed and kept shaving.

We ate at the hotel restaurant. She was hungry and I drank coffee. She asked. Why won’t I eat. Eating alone is not polite.” I told her the biggest and best buffets are coming. I will eat later and get my steak.” She accepted the response and she enjoyed her food. The snow was falling. I hope I don’t get stuck in Reno. I didn’t have anything for my tires to drive over the Sierra Nevada mountain if the snow is too heavy to get into California. I was writing in my journal as she ate. She asked. “What are you writing?”  I told her. “Just thoughts, poetry and story. I will be the next Hemingway one day. You will be part of my story.” She looked out the hotel window at the snow and asked. ” I hope you plan on not following Hemingway to his poor ending? I forgot to tell you. Literature was my study in college. I knew you were safe. You have the eyes of a old soul.”

I allowed her to read my journals. She got a pen and she started edited them. I watched her eyes surveying the words repairing the many mistakes. She asked me. “Do you like to travel? I like how you watch the road. I see you feel the comfort of happiness driving away from Michigan.” I told her she was right. Good to leave regret and old misery behind you. If you don’t look back. You may forget where you came from. Lana asked.”You said the salt water can heal. Will the water help me?”  I told her. Too cold to fall into the salt water today. I like the smell and the feel of the place. It is sort of a ancient place for old Naguals  to find their thoughts and gather their life. I bought us some whiskey for our coffee. We will sit by the salt water and maybe find the mystery spirit of hope?”

I filled up the truck and bought some hot coffee. We could see the lake now. I told her you will need a hat and gloves. She picked out a red combination of gloves and hat. She picked out  a black set for me. I took out my power bag. Ensured I still had the sage. She asked what was I looking at. I told her. “The sage. Old Ojibwa belief. My Grandmother would burn the sage. She told me it clean the poison out of us and the world. Sort of a blessing. I do it more for her. When I burn the sage. I believe she can feel me thinking of her.” Lana came to me and kissed my lips and whispered. “You are a man of mystery Johnnie.”

At the lake. The snow was light. You could see the salt and smell the salt in the hair. It was a smell of purity. Me and Lana walked to the water. She touched the cold water and looked at me. She said. “You are right. Only a fool would go into the water. I put down two folding chairs near the water. I bring her the coffee with the whiskey in it. I told her the whiskey is to keep us warm. I opened the power bag. I lite the sage and I said a prayer. I walks around the folding chairs as the sage was burning with Lana’s eyes watching my movement.

Earth, water, fire and air.
Hear my plea for peace and salvation.
Please protect me and Lana.
Two travelers looking for a safe place.
Send wisdom to our leaders.
Please spirits of life and death.
Allow me to live with honor for my ancient teachers.
Give me strength and ability.
Please give strength and hope to my new friend.
Too much sadness is upon us.

Lana came to me. She started to cry and with tears flowing down her face told me. “I’m so tire and scare.  My dad would have told me I would be okay. He would told me. Be a good soldier and be brave for me. His last words to me were. Was he was so sorry he had to die. He wanted to see me live. I had to live for him. He told me I was his baby girl forever, I will always be with you.”   I brought her close. I felt tears falling down my face for an old Mexican man who loved me like his son. I didn’t know when I saw him last. It would be the last time. The regret of not enough gratitude for him broke my heart. I wished too late to visit him more often.

Cars are driving down Highway 80 west. Not paying attention to two people seeking peace in things that cannot know true closure.

Coyote/John Castellenas