It was cold, to begin with, and threatening rain. The skies were layers of grey. And I was feeling a little scraped up from my long walk in the rain. A boy do chafe in spite of himself. I had blisters between my toes. Which made me nostalgic for the good old days when I was young and foolish.
Everything about me was sopping wet. My dripping old pack weighed a ton. And smelled cheesier than I like it to. My straps weren't sliding well. And my load was misbalanced, high and off to the left. It did unkind things to my back. Thirteen or fourteen miles, I figured, before I'd be safe from the rain.
I walked it. I was fairly heroic. I limped on on blistered toes. And cursed and grumbled. I dared not look at the sky. It was rotten, I tell you. I was in nine kinds of pain. It was easier than you might think. It is not like I had any options out there. It was too cold to stop and rest. So I walked. It was uncomfortable but I had no decisions to make.
I met Pastor Lee on the road. He runs a garage in town. He promised me coffee when I got there. It was a warming thought. The garage is Mowear Motorsports of Fredericktown, Missouri. They had some cool old muscle cars and one elegant Corvair. And a body man that looked like Jed Clampett. That's what I like to see. Missouri. Hell, yeah. It don't disappoint. I spent two hours there.
Not just standing around in the way. I had to get interviewed. And photographed for the local paper, known as the Democrat News. It has been around since 1870. Republicans read it now. At any rate they are making me famous, at least in this little town. Thanks to Robert Vanderbrugen, gentleman of the press.
I say this little town because I am still here. I had laundry to do. It was five by the time I got done and I still needed to eat. Lee said I could camp behind his shop. I figured I'd come far enough. My feet were a mess and it was getting dark. I retired to dinner.
Where I met Dustin, a tugboat man on the Mississipi, River. And Brian, a dissatisfied soul and sawmill employee. The invited me to watch the World Series with them. The Cardinals are involved. And drink and smoke and create that mood that really makes baseball fun.
It was a hell of a game, if you're into that sort of thing. Seriously. Game Six. Look it up. This is the first World Series there's ever been where I knew which team to cheer for.
Long story short, I crashed on Brian's couch. His cat slept on my chest. I woke up early and a bit bleary-eyed. Which is how you find me now. So I won't trouble you with any insights. Sometimes life is just about drinking and smoking and watching baseball.
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