[Today, while skinning in Little Cottonwood Canyon, a speed flyer cruised by, not more than 50 feet from me. I don’t know who it was, skiing on Flagstaff this morning, but sick run.]
Continued from part 1.
…Without prompting, Steve grabbed my ski bag, refusing to roll the 80-pound beast with built-in wheels and every feature designed for efficient rolling, and I took my other bags. As we walked across the parking lot to his truck, he informed me, for the first time, that “Oh, and I godda dowg. She’s friendly, just a little rambunctious.” The next 10 minutes were pretty much a joke, as Steve proceeded to unpack and re-pack the truck between stints of asking open-ended questions in an attempt to “learn about” me with his head buried in loose dog food sitting on the tailgate. Finally I couldn’t take it any longer, and chose to make a single suggestion–since the bag will fit where the spare rim is, and the bag won’t fit where you’re trying to put it, but the spare rim WILL fit there, why not put the bag where the rim is and the rim where you want the bag to go?
“Gee,” Steve said, scratching his overly-long goatee, “my head isn’t on straight today! HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA [ridiculous and completely inappropriate and excessive laughter].”
At this point, I had no idea where the dog was, or if–although Steve just told me there was–there even WAS a dog. I went to the passenger side and finally saw a cute blue heeler sitting patiently on the soon-to-be-mine seat. Steve yelled (unreasonably loud) through the window: “HEY BRODY, HOLD ON BRODY, I HAVE TO GET PRINCESS IN THE BACK. JUST GIVE ME ONE SECOND. OKAY, HERE I GO, BRODY.”
“Now LOAD. LOAD, I say, LOAD!” he sternly yelled at Princess, trying to persuade the poor dog to jump through the truck’s 1o” square back window and into an
inhumanely indogmanely miniscule “bed” he had allotted her behind the passenger’s head. When, after 5 seconds, she showed nothing but hesitation at the enormous leap (of faith) required to reach an uncomfortable spot to lay for the 9 hour 18 hour trip, Steve fully wound up for 2 quick left-handed punches, as hard as he could, directed toward the dog as he shoved her against the passenger door with his right hand. Oh my dear GOD. I’d never seen anything like that. That poor, cute, and abused dog! What was he going to do to ME?
I heard her yelp and saw her proceed to “load” to her nook (a word that gives it far too comfy of an image).
“Okay, jump on in,” Steve commanded, having officially beat the living daylights out of his cute little Princess. I hesitated before opening the door. It was a disaster. “I don’t got a ray-dee-oh, so we’s just gonna hafta be our own! HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Oh I’m such a smartass. I’m bad. I’m real, real bad.”
After 3 seconds, I was already growing impatient with Steve’s ramblings about nothing.
“That’s a real cute dog you have there. What’s her name?”
“Oh, she’s friendly, just a bit rambunctious sometimes,” he repeated, completely oblivious to the contents of the question I’d just asked.
The floor beneath the passenger seat was stacked high with 8″ of…trash. Water jugs, headphones, just…junk. And a TON of it. Papers. Bibles. He didn’t move any of it, so when I started to make a little space for my feet, to avoid putting my flip-flops on any of his oh-so-obviously-precious documents, he reached down, grabbed A PEN, and before he strained himself into doing any more back-breaking labor, I told him that it was fine. That it didn’t bother me.
Whatever, bro. Let’s just get going already.
Part of his dash had fallen off and he acted as if it had JUST happened in the time he was picking me up. He moved some papers around at my feet in an attempt to “find the screws” and then resorted to just picking up the plastic piece and throwing it on top of my feet, too. 9″.
“I’d fix it, but ya know what da worst part ees? All muh TOOLS are in da back! HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH. Ohhh I’m such a smartass. I’m so bad!!! But, really, I don’t think we should break down…this time. We might make it all the way to Salt Lake without getting stranded!”
All this, and we hadn’t yet left the parking space.
He fired ‘er up, gave it far too much gas, and we were off.
We hadn’t been on our way for more than 5 seconds before Steve jumped in: “Well, we’ve got a long ride ahead of us, so, let’s get right to it. What kind of person are ya?”
“Ummmm,” I hesitated, “I don’t know. I don’t think I’m any kind of person. I’m me. No box to fit in. Just me.”
“Wellz ya gots ta be some kinda person!”
“Well, just so’s ya know, I’ve got family in Reno, and I can’t leave without saying bye to them [remember how long it took him to say “bye to his friends,” this morning?], so we’re going to have to make a few stops in Reno. It shouldn’t be more than a few hours.”
A few HOURS? Seriously? Why couldn’t you tell me this before? You’re OBVIOUSLY in no rush–window shopping, fiddling with every single thing in your truck cab, pulling off to make sure the rear is closed–and now you want to stop for a few HOURS in Reno?
5 minutes out of the parking lot, Steve asked me what he considered “the most important question–the one that will tell me everything else about you.”
Steve started talking as the next 20 minutes were spent getting his Toyota to its maximum 60mph. As we climbed out of Lake Tahoe for the descent into Carson City, Steve’s talking hadn’t stopped.
“Have you accepted our lord and savior jesus christ into your life or do you reject our father, condemning you to a life of damnation in the deepest dark depths of hell where maggots–ya know what maggots is?–where maggots eat at yer flesh for the rest of eternity. Do you know what that’s like? It’s horrible. The devil hates you and wants you to die. He is forceful, while jesus is just putting his hand out. But the devil, the devil is doing this”
says Steve, as he proceeds to punch my arm repeatedly like it was named Princess, lacked opposable thumbs, and didn’t want to “load.”
Now, I’d understand hitting me to prove a point (yes, even 10 minutes after meeting me), but he did it past that of proving a point. He hit me, hard, like, 10 times or more. Way past the point of joking, sarcasm, or proving whatever he was trying to teach me about the devil. Steve was hitting me as hard as he could, and enjoying it.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where it got really, really weird. And didn’t subside for the next 18 hours. Part 3 soon.