Highway 80 west stories. Part eleven. New friends
Highway 80 west stories. Part eleven. New friends
A Chapter by Coyote Poetry
A lucky traveler meet good people and is taught something by them.
Lana sat quietly for awhile. I like that she was thinking things over. She pushed the empty pie plate away and she told me. “After our grand adventures today. I want us to go dancing. I want to have some fun. I have been going to school for 16 years and I need a break. I left my father five years ago and I didn’t know he was fighting cancer till the end. I didn’t have enough time for him. He worked and saved for me,sis and brothers to have degrees. Why didn’t I notice him dying?
I told her. “I would do the same. Some sickness hit you quickly and fast. You do not want pity. I like the old Native American way. I would built be a bridge between two trees and wait for death.” Lana gave me a look of “I was crazy.” She said. “You don’t live in ancient times where there are no cures or medicine for healing.” I smiled at her gentle rage and told her. “Don’t worry honey. I don’t plan on dying today. Only the good die young. Old Soldiers will live forever.”
She asked me. “How do you know people in Europe? Did you go to school there?” I told her. “I was station for almost four years in Germany. I met many good people who I befriended. I would recommend a long vacation in Europe. I wished I had more time to see the now free countries of Europe.” She smiled and said. “Time for the biggest bookstore and church.” I smiled and agreed.
We found the Family history library. It was amazing. Lana roamed the library and I sat and read books trying to research some names. She came to me and asked for a real bookstore. She wanted to buy some books today. I saw a bookstore down the road and we drove to the Barnes & Noble bookstore. I bought the series of Carlos Castaneda and I begin to read them. My stepfather had the series on his book shelf and I tried to read them before the Army. I had no time to read. I worked two jobs and had only concern was money. Thank you USA Army. 30 days off a year and weekends off. Being stationed in Europe and the coastlines of the USA. Nothing could be better. President Clinton had the USA going in the right ways. No wars going on and he knew how to communicate with other leaders in other countries.
Lana returned with five books. Three books about the California coastline, Hemingway’s book”The old man and the sea” and Steinbeck book “Cannery row’. I told her. “Do you think I’m a rich man?” She gave me a sly smile and told me. “Don’t concern yourself poor soldier. I will pay you for your services. So far I owe you not so much. Just a ride and a bodyguard” I gave her a shit-eating grin and told her. “I’m charging by the mile. The New York city rate. I could be a rich man when we reach Reno.” She came to me and wrapped her arms around me and whispered. ” Please Johnnie, stay with me awhile.” I told her. “Johnnie had no place to go. You are my best and only offer. I will hang around as long as you need me.”
We returned to the Westerner. The couple Jack and Cathy was there. They waved us over. Jack introduced us to his son Danny and his son wife Sarah. He said my son is a real Mormon. I brought him to live in Salt Lake city and now he is going to be a saint. I’m safe from sainthood. No sainthood for old Soldiers who have seen hell and back. Maybe heaven is too far away for us? I shook the hand of Danny and his young wife Sarah. Danny held my hand tightly and he said. “Thank you for your service Soldier” and he looked at Lana and said. “Nice to meet you and how did you like the temple?” Lana gave a sweet smile and told him. “It was beautiful and big.” Danny laughed and he agreed. He told her. “I’m sorry for the loss of your father. I wish I had words to make you feel better. I believe he is in a better place.” Lana looked sad and thanks him for the kind words.
Cathy said. “Enough talking. We need to drink, dance and laugh. Danny and Sarah will drink soda pop. Us young folks will dance and drink whiskey till the bar closes down. My father told me.Can’t drink in heaven. We better do it here.? “We danced, laughed and did drink. Lana held me tightly on the dance floor an she whispered. “You ain’t going to leave me in Reno Johnnie? I ain’t ready to be alone.” I told her. “Johnnie will take care of you honey. You are stuck with me. I don’t have too much. I have only what is stored in the back of the truck. Before the war. I gave everything away. We will need to rent a furnish apartment near Monterey. Won’t be cheap. Down the road about 30 miles. One of the best colleges in Santa Cruz. If we take our time, maybe we can be okay?” Lana gave me a real smile for the first time today and said. “You have been making plans. I’m very happy.” She kissed me hard and laid her head into my chest. I saw happy tears on her cheeks. I kissed her forehead and I whispered. “Time is all we got. Let’s forget and begin together.”
We left Cathy and Jack. They had treated us like we were their children. Cathy told Lana. “I saved my husband once. He had saved me many times in return. Good men are like brick houses. They are solid and we need them to stay strong for us.” Jack took me aside and he told me. “Johnnie, death will come soon enough. Don’t look for it. Take care of the pretty lady. Sometimes Soldiers must slow down and enjoy the kind gifts of life.'” I shook his hand and I gave Cathy a bear hug. Cathy gave me a kiss on the cheek and told me. “Be a good Soldier. Don’t leave our new friend behind.” Danny gave me a bible and his phone number. He told me. “Brother, if you need a friend. Please call me. No-one can walk alone. All of us need to find some sort of peace. The book is good too. Could teach you a few things.” I thanks them all. Lana gave hugs to everyone.
We arrived at the hotel. Lana stripped down to panties and fell upon the hotel bed. She smiled and told me to come to her. I went down to my boxer short and Sat on the floor at the foot of the bed. I told her.”I never seen someone so beautiful. I know you believe me foolish. If I took you now. We will miss too much. Love take time and I have enough sex for the body. I want to to know when we go to the next place. Was for the heart. I want to remember you as my friend and pardner in life. ”
I stood up and picked her up. I moved the blankets aside. I laid her upon the bed and I joined her. She wrapped her warm body around me and told me. “You are right. Slow and easy lover. I need time to digest you. I know sex is good but love is better.”
We fell asleep. Lana didn’t have bad dreams. I tried to close my eyes and rest. I knew next stop is Reno. Time for decisions.