Big Sur, California. Chapter three
Big Sur, California. Highway 80
A Chapter by Coyote Poetry
Big Sur, California. Highway 80
The music was loud and me and Alana drank less and danced more. The other three couples were cuddling and kissing on the dance floor. She watched my eyes and she asked. Are you alright? I know people and some people are liars. You never know what they were thinking. You face hide nothing and I see kindness in your eyes. How did you end-up in the Army? And so lucky, the California coastline as the ending for you? I told her. Like you, I tasted the bad days and the bad people. Sometime we are taught lessons to make us smarter and we can know, what we need. I got lucky and the Army taught me, life was better than death. Maybe I am not right yet, maybe all of us are a bit crazy? She smiled, kissed me and she brought me close. We hear Bob announced. 2 am and you must go home or anywhere you are welcomed. Charley played the last song. A Willie Nelson song “The first rose of Spring”. After the last song, Charley told everyone. Thank you for showing-up and Happy New year to everyone, see you guys soon. I went to pay the bill for the table. Grand total for many whiskeys and many beers was eighty dollars and I told him. This is too low Bob. He smiled and laughed at me. He came around the bar and he told me. Here in Iowa city, we lost many to war and we appreciate the soldiers. We appreciate laughter and a good time. I own the bar and this is the total my new friend, no more or no less. Now remember, you must visit Iowa city when you are near. You are a Iowa city son now. He reached out his arms and I took his hand. He held my hand a second and he told me. Live your life, allow the past to make you appreciate today. I thank him and I handed him hundred dollar bill and I told him. I will see you soon Charley and thank you for the kindness.
I went back to the tables. The seven kids will adding up their money and making the decision how to pay. I heard Hank say, this will cost us a bundle. Diane told them. We have enough guys, it was New Year eve. We had a lot of fun. I interrupted them and I told them. I paid the bill my new friends. They looked annoyed and Steve told me. That wasn’t fair, you were our guess. I told them, I spend one year on the Iraq border, saved 20,000 dollars and you made me very content. I met a beautiful Iowa city girl and danced with her, welcoming the New Year with a kiss. I met kind people and I always remember this night. Donna rose-up and she came to me. Gave me a quick kiss and she told the group. I arranged a room with coffee and some breakfast. No-one leaving till the alcohol is polluted by the Holiday Inn strong coffee and some food.
Stan invited Charley and the band for the coffee and the breakfast. They told him. Their wives and kids are waiting for them and thank you all. We herded to the free room. Debbie and Diane pushed me into a chair. Both sat on my lap. Debbie gave me a quick kiss and Diane gave me a long kiss. I told her, I may fall in love. She laughed and both girls got-up and ran back to their boyfriends. Diane smiled wickedly and she the group. Now the writer can say he kissed four girls in one night in Iowa city. Everybody laughed and Alana sat on my lap. She laid her head into my neck and she whispered. I must leave a 4 am. The babysitter need to go home. I asked Diane, why do you believe I am a writer? She looked honest and she told me. The journal and pen, always a give away my new friend. A pretty lady came in with the coffee and the breakfast. Stan announced to us. Our new friend Johnnie will give us his address in California and on our Spring break or Summer break. We will visit, we have been planning a California trip since elementary school. All of them agree. The pretty lady who brought the food in, she came to me. She told me. My name is Helen, night manager and watch dogs of my college kids. Paul looked at me. Helen, like a stepsister I never had. Now Alana was the smartest of us and she is already a nurse and we are career college students. Helen reached-out her hand and I took it. She pulled me forward and she kissed my forehead, face-cheeked and tender kiss on my lip. She whispered. Don’t be war hero, they become forgotten and remembered by few.
We small talks about everything, drank the coffee and we ate the food. Helen left and she came back with some paper and pencil. I wrote down my address down eight times and each one, wrote down their address. Stan smiled and he told me. We don’t expect letters, just postcards from every place your see. I told them, I will my new friends. It was almost 4 am and I said goodbye to my new friends. I walked Alana to her car. I thanks her and I told her. Can I call you? She had a look of a questions on her pretty face and she whispered. Why Johnnie? I smiled and I told her. I like you a lot, befriended you would make me very happy. Always nice to have friend in strange places. She went into her purse and she wrote on a photo of her and her child, her phone number. A beautiful baby girl. I told her. You have a beautiful child and thank you for being kind to me. She hugged me tightly and she whispered. Please be safe dear soldier. She kissed me sweetly and she escaped to her car. I watched her drive away and I told myself. That is a girl I could love forever.
I went to the Desk and Helen appeared from the backroom. She smiled and she told me. I am glad you appeared. You were a angel, dear Alana needed to enjoy the New Year eve. I told her. You, the kids and Alana. I truly appreciate. She smiled and she whispered. Was our pleasure and what do you need John? I need a 10 am wake-up call. I need to do the heavy driving with the sun in the east. The western sun in the evening, blind me. She smiled and she told me. 10 am call soldier and please drive safety and I look forward to some post cards. I smiled and I told her. I will do my kind friend.
I arrived at my room, very tire and a little drunk. My goal tomorrow, Lincoln. I read about Lincoln, old city with great history. I wanted to arrived early to do some light roaming of the city and test the famous bars and music. I thought of Jennifer. Her far-away voice made me sad for a second. I knew I attracted the crazy women only, the odd people. I thought of Alana and how she made me felt. She made me feel safe and warm. I remember Diane and her wildness in those dangerous eyes. She was a wild one. The four men, kind and generous to a stranger and I knew I was blessed tonight in the city of Iowa city. I liked Donna and I hope her brother returned home safe and sound. I fell asleep dreaming of Alana and the phone awoke me at 10 am. No voice, just a silence.
I took a long shower and packed my bags, put the eight addresses into my journal. I was sad to leave Iowa city. I knew I would return again. Iowa city and her kind people had stole my heart. I left my room, I didn’t eat and I drank two cups of coffee in the lobby. I paid my bill and the clerk, a young man. Handed me a letter. I put the letter in my pocket and I went to my truck. I put on some Jim Morrison song. “L.A woman” blasted on the radio and I jumped on Highway 80 west with the sun at my back.