Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An unexpected visit

(chapter 2)
An unexpected visit

Back in high school I always dreamed of adventure. I felt it was just a matter of time before i could exercise my Great Escape. I KNEW it was just a matter of time, among some other small issues, like permission from the adults and things of that nature. And a passport.

The phone rang at my parents' house and "they" where asking for me. Then the visit came, and now they wanted me. Bad. They were all wearing suits, and they were escorted by two military supervisors. They had my name on the list and they were coming to sign me up." They" were the Army, and I suddenly had no friends. My Dad promptly offered them chairs to sit down as they engaged in discussing my future induction in the Service.  Hell, no, I thought to myself. Why?  Why me, why now, who is deciding?  I waited, I paced, I sat, and my mind was racing. I was done; but I didn't want to accept it. If i was to make a move, it would have to be immediate and I would need some money, quick. Lots of money.  So this is what I did...

The getaway

Since the military wasn't what inspired me the most, I quickly decided that it wasn't an option. After all, being 17 was really what counted since the world was out there, and all for the taking. No, I didn't prepare for much. I had a great backpack, had a passport (which was about to expire), got a down sleeping bag, got maps to all neighboring countries, jeans, t-shirts and a jacket, and in less than three days after getting some money from who else but Mom, I was ready to hit the road. I did my best to assure her that everything would be fine, like if I had any idea. Tearfully, she handed me the equivalent of a real fortune, something like $200 USD plus a huge bag of Mom-made sandwiches, a thermos full of coffee, home-made brownies and lots of candy and chewing gum...I kissed her while holding back the tears and I left.  Many years would pass before I saw either of my parents again. I headed North towards the border with Brazil. I remember clearly that my head was exploding with excitement. I had been on the road before, this same road that now was gonna take me much further. So this for me was the Big Time and a whole new set of emotions were going through all the fibers of my being. It was almost as if I was destined to do this; born to run as they say. Indeed, I was just following my destiny.

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