Allow me to take you through the transcriptions of what transpired during my weekend away in Colorado Springs. I wasn’t sure my friend would be here, but he arrived, along with his girlfriend, Shannon. She and he and I walked into the Breakers bar, my friend, Crackhead, was barefoot and worried that he would be shunned inside the cafe. Once inside, we got past the leasing desk and safely went into the bar. D hadn’t seen Crackhead in a few years or so. They hugged. D shook hands with Shannon. We all googled over the pool, the lake, the patio, the firepit, et cetera. I offered to Shannon and Crackhead, once D was back tending to the bar and the customers, that we should all have a drink. Crackhead and I ordered a beer, and Shannon got a mimosa. We talked and bullshitted, finished the drinks, got out of there, and I showed them this apartment, we smoked, they met Tiger Lily, and then we were off and into the car and onto the road heading for Colorado Springs.
There was a decent amount of traffic and storm clouds rolled over us in the car. The rain pelted the uninsured windshield. Finally we reached the Springs. We stopped at Walmart for burger buns and Oreo cookies. Crackhead was barefoot, walking down the aisles, holding up his sagging pants. We paid for the items and I asked Crackhead to get us to the nearest liquor store. Inside there he grabbed cigarettes, barefoot, while I grabbed a twelve-pack of Heineken. Then we were at their, Shannon and Crackhead’s, apartment.
Two dogs and two cats, two bedrooms, one just recently emptied from the departure of a drug addict. I said that the place was nice. Crackhead showed me his little pot plant growing out back. And he had a big white bucket of, what he called, “Chickenshit Tea.” He said that he liked using it as a fertilizer, though everything he had planted (besides the pot) had been torn to shreds by his dogs. He lit some of the coals in the grill out back on fire and waited for them to get hot. We sat on the couches in the living room. Then he threw burgers and corn onto the grill. It cooked. We all talked. Then we ate. We were tired and full and stoned and I kept on drinking as Crackhead put on a movie. They didn’t have cable. And for the rest of the night that is what we did, and I drank myself to sleep, drinking eight bottles of beer before I was too tired to keep open my eyes.
I awoke to the dogs running around and snorting and licking and growling and pissing and moaning. We sat around the coffee table as Crackhead played music through the speakers in the living room. Then we went out for coffee. I offered to put some gas into the car, Shannon had been bitching about not having gas, about this, about that, about everything. We got our coffee, and made our way into Manitou Springs. There, Shannon was to pick up a paycheck that ended up being less than she thought it would be. She drove to cash it, then we went to Pet Smart, Entertainmart, Independent Records, and then into Fountain to a pizza place. Outside the sky was getting darker as another storm moved in from the mountains. Crackhead wondered what I was going to do once I “ran out of money.” I shrugged my shoulders, saying I’d do what everybody else does. Bitch, work, find a job, drink, live, love, piss, fart, masturbate, find somebody, find a reason, discover a purpose, and move on from there, as always I have done. But I didn’t say that aloud — just, instead, dodging the subject altogether. We ate the pizza. Then we were back at the apartment, getting high, sitting around, watching movies. I drank a few more beers and crashed again, on the couch.
In the morning the dogs ran down the steps and raped me while I was vulnerable. It was Sunday. Crackhead and I were supposed to pull weeds for his boss, for some extra cash. We debated whether the weather would uphold without rain. It was cloudy. Crackhead didn’t want to do any work. He got high. I figured it was time for me to head back to Denver. Shannon said she hated Crackhead. She seemed like she wanted to scream or to break something. We went out for coffee and smokes. I put more cash into their car. Then, later, after much mild arguing between Shannon and Crackhead, Shannon gathered her work clothes, for work at five, and we got into the car to drive back up to Denver. Things seemed, to me, awkward, tense, and weird. Shannon complained about the traffic, about the people, and about the roads. We wouldn’t make it in time, Crackhead said. So he got off at the next exit, and after hearing me tell him that I had never seen the Garden of the Gods, he drove directly there. We parked and got out and while climbing on one of the red rocks, Crackhead said he had lost his keys. Shannon searched the car, rolling her eyes. Crackhead found the keys, in his back pocket.
We hiked around and there were great views. Everywhere during the trip I considered the many motels and apartments. It would be a great place to have enough money to focus on writing. Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, Old Colorado City, it was all spaced out and hidden and there were magnificent views of the mounts and the flat skyline back east. We reached a good spot to stare, and the three of us stopped to rest up in the mountains. Crackhead was, of course, barefoot, climbing, and I was in flip flops. Denver was seventy miles away as we looked all around us at the beauty of nature and elevation and not being immersed in all the bullshit that surrounds anything and everywhere.
Back at the condo Shannon dramatized terribly her not wanting to go to work. She wanted Crackhead to come up with excuses. None were good enough for her, and she went off to work, miserable, destitute, annoyed, jealous that Crackhead and I were able to sit around and talk and get stoned. She left and I drank her fruit punch Four Loko. Crackhead and I wanted to eat mushrooms. We sat and smoked and drank and waited for something to happen. Then we walked to the grocery store to buy chicken and corn and other items. We walked back and grilled and drank and smoked and waited for something to happy. I was too stoned to eat my food. I went up for a shower. And coming back down, Shannon had arrived. She went up to the couch and kissed Crackhead on the forehead. Work sucked, but work was over. Crackhead put on Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, and then Shannon and he and the animals went up to bed. I tried not to think about what I was doing, where I was going, and what I was doing there. I slept, for the third night in a row, on a couch that smelled on animals and without a blanket. Maybe I even slept pretty well.
Monday morning we went out again for coffee and doughnuts. Shannon went into the store to buy her necessary feminine products and doughnuts. She came out and got into the car and was angered because she had dropped her green tea frappuccino, saying she’d dropped it because she had had too many things in her hands. Crackhead unsympathetically stopped for cigarettes. Pretty soon we were driving up to Manitou Springs to drop Shannon off at her job. Crackhead and I went to his boss’s house to pull weeds into the heat and hot sun of the early afternoon. One of the puppies Crackhead chained up and she sat underneath a car while the humans did their measly “work.” I pulled weeds, thinking, why is this? Why does this need to occur so that I may be awarded pieces of paper that signify something illusory? It was completely and totally senseless. And to add to the senselessness, Crackhead and I drove around for nearly an hour, trying to drop off his boss’s rent check to a realty company that apparently had disappeared. Crackhead said he had dropped off his boss’s rent check before, but that he just could remember where the hell it had been. I thought I might be going crazy. We stopped at a 7-11 and I got a slurpee. It was all right.
The rest of the day we spent at the apartment, doing the same thing. Listening to music, talking about past relationships and what we had both learned, since moving to Colorado. It was six o’clock, and I was ready to get the hell out of there, to get back to Denver. Not only because I wanted to leave, but because I still had needed to face myself, face a few things, face the realities that I’d created for myself. It was good to get away, even if temporarily, no matter the situation. I learned that I am one of the luckiest sons-of-bitches on this forsaken planet. To have this time carved out for living and writing about what I see and experience. To waste it would be a waste.
We rode to Manitou for the second time in the day. A hippie friend of ours, from the same hometown as Crackhead and I, the girl now with dreads and tattoos, the one whom we were counting on to get the mushrooms, she was working. Crackhead walked in to get more money from Shannon. Our hippie friend, Jesabelle, called Crackhead and I pussies, for “not wanting to trip.” We left Manitou Springs, stopping for drinks, and then stopping for eyedrops for Crackhead had unknowingly scratched his eye. Then we were flying, driving north. I stared at the hills, the houses, the mountains, the rocks, the fields and valleys and wild animals. Colorado is entirely remarkable and there is a certain indescribable feeling about living here and traveling around the state and exploring what it has to offer. One of the most upbeat sentences, for I was feeling sort of down, and I didn’t know why. I just knew that everything that existed in nature, in this state, is wonderful. Are we destroying it all? Or are we realizing something right in front of our faces?
Lazy writing, but this has been a true story.
We got into Denver and I walked into the apartment. Things had been changed around, Chelle had done a lot of organizing and laundry and cleaning and working and moving. “How are ya, Mr. Myers?” She said to me from the bathroom. “Good,” I said. “How are you?”
She made me taste tomatoes and basil that she had pulled out from the garden, while talking about the weekend and how she had made some extra cash herself. Then she showed me a shelf of my things that she’d organized for me, and upstairs into her closet she showed me my clothes that she had placed onto hangers. I told her that I hadn’t even realized I’d had that many clothes. She laughed. “I know, right? I figured you would say that. I put these shirts here, and those shirts there, and then your other stuff right here.” She was pulling open drawers and pointing to things in the closest. I hugged her. “You smell like a hot tub.” She tried sounding polite.
“Yeah,” I said. “I need a shower.”