Day 25

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       I felt a tap on my shoulder that woke me up. It was a carls jr employee. He was holding a tray with a burger and fries on it. He sat it down in front of me and said "enjoy". I sat up from the booth I was in and was exhausted. I told him "thanks man" and laughed a little. He said no problem and that an older couple had come in and before they left they ordered it for me. I was shocked! I was also a little bummed because I never saw them. I remember a couple sitting by me and I saw a blur of them as I woke up briefly but wasn't sure if they were the couple who did that for me.
        It was 7:30 am and I scarfed down a famous star with cheese and a large fry. I was so thankful and kept laughing while I was eating it. I wondered if the couple would ever know how much I appreciated it. And I also had a strong feeling they would be taken care of in return somehow and somewhere. 
         I was so tired from hardly sleeping but was in a good mood. I read a little bit and then jotted some thing in my journal also. I also used the Internet to look up a few random things. Some random facts; hitchhiking is legal in California anywhere except on the freeway or on/off ramps from freeways. Oregon is legal to hitchhike anywhere, even on freeways. And defending world champion San Francisco giants are still in first place. 
        A man walked up to me awhile later and told me I could stay in carls jr as long as I want. And if anyone kicked me out he would fire them because he is indeed the CEO of carls jr. (he is pictured above wearing the hood). He talked to me for about 15 minutes. Just so everyone is aware he has been putting murderous hits out on mcdonalds managers. He plans to kill most of them in the next 6 months and take out mcdonalds. He said killing the managers are where it hurts them, executives won't effect it as much, and all other workers can be replaced. But managers are the backbone. So if you like mcdonalds enjoy it for a while because this dude guarantees only 6 more months before they close the company. He said everytime he builds a carls jr they decide to build a Dam mcdonalds across the street. So he and Bill Clinton designed a plan to execute them. And his good friend Bill Clinton also gave him a time machine but he hasn't tried it yet. I was very friendly to this man and listened to all his stories. Before he left he even offered me a chance to use his time machine in the future. He was also chosen with the Clinton family to be a select few people to survive Armageddon in a bomb shelter. I couldn't believe how lucky he was. 
         After he left one of the girls working there said sorry if he was bothering me. I told them it was cool and I actually enjoyed his stories. We both laughed about it.
        I stayed there a while through the day and was eventually told I had to leave by the crew in the next shift. They said they have a 30 minute max time to stay in the lobby. I said no problem and packed my things. I was really wishing the "CEO" was still there to have him step in.
        I went right across to mcdonalds. It was extremely hot outside and really just wanted to stay cool before flying a sign that evening at a fuel station. While I was in mcdonalds I saw a young kid with shaggy hair and some blankets and stuff. He ordered food to go but just sat at a booth and never ate. He was really wigging out and every so often he would make a tense looking face and pull his hair. He was always turning his head fast back and forth and seemed to suffer from some kind of condition. 
         I left mcdonalds and went down the street at around 7 to hold my north sign at a gas station. I sat there about 10 minutes when I heard a loud bang from behind me. I turned around and it was that same shaggy hair kid. He was at the gas station across from me and he grabbed a fuel nozzle off the pump and was beating the side of the pump rigorously with it. He was really going to town and spazzing out yelling. I watched him do that for about 10 seconds then he just dropped the nozzle and hose on the ground and walked away super calm. It was like he had a seizure and didn't even realize what he did right after. About 5 minutes later 4 cop cars came zooming by and went the direction he left walking. I really wondered what happened with that.
        I sat there about an hour more holding my sign but it was pretty slow. There was a row of parking spots next to me. During the time I was there I saw 2 separate kid exchanges from people who were probably divorced or split up. It was weird because I could feel tension when it happened and I wondered if the kids could feel it. Both couples argued a little when they made the exchange and one of them had a bunch of papers for the other. 
        I took off at around 8ish to head about a mile east towards the river where there was a little ceasars in a shopping center there. I was gonna wait out back to try and score some pizza. I got there around 8:30. 
      Right when I got there a kid came up on a bike next to me and asked me where I was heading. He said on the 22nd of july him and a group of friends were gonna head up the coast to Washington then cut over to Utah from there. Him and his group had a homeless camp down by the river. He asked if I wanted to check it out and stay with them. So I figured I would go look at it. As we walked down to the river we talked. He was only 18 and was here from Fresno after getting kicked out by his dad. They camped at the river and grew weed down there. They were planning to trade the weed once they harvested it for a suburban so they could drive north. He said it would be cool if I would go because none of them have ever traveled and I could help them. I knew right away I wouldn't go. It was too sketchy off the bat. I went down to his camp and before we got there he said the guys he stays with are drunk and to tell them we grew up together. I told him I wasn't gonna lie and if they had a problem I would take off. 
        We got to the camp and it was wrecked. There was garbage everywhere and it smelled horrid. They had bags and clothes all over and they were all wet and molded. There was a big tent there that all 6 of them slept in. There was old food all over that had gone bad and the place was flat out disgusting. Not to mention there were mosquitos everywhere! 
        When we got there only his girlfriend was there. She was also really young she was wearing a dirty bikini and had scabs all over her body. Both of their arms were pure mosquito bites. I felt really bad that they lived there and dealt with that. They said they were moving camp because the cops came down and red tagged them. They had 7 days to leave. The kid showed me around and where he had his 2 hidden weed plants. They were like 2 inches tall. 
        He said I could stay with them and it would be cool to have me there but there was no way I was doing that. Even though I'm homeless and am not the cleanest, that place really grossed me out. Hard to explain how sick it was. 
         So after about 10 minutes down there I walked back up to the little ceasars. I felt 10 times better getting away from there camp and out of the river bottom. I sat behind the little ceasars a while. I ended up talking to some Japanese folk in the back of a sushi place for a while. They were cool and were having an after work beer drinking session. 
         I heard some music down by a bridge up the river a little. It was Saturday night and I thought it might be something cool to go check out. So I hid all my things behind a building and started to walk over there. I had time to kill before little Caesars would come out so I was gonna go check it out.
          When I walked towards the bridge I ran into a guy with fishing gear. He was around my age. I asked him if he had any luck and he said no. Then I asked if he knew where the music was coming from. He told me it was across the bridge and in a water front park on the other side. I told him thanks and that I was gonna go check it out. He asked if I was from redding and then I told him I was traveling through. He was from Minnesota and was here for a job. He said he fishes there often and doesn't really know anyone. I told him I wish I had a pole and that I love to fish. He asked where I was staying that night and I told him I wasn't sure yet. Then he said "dude you seem cool, you wanna grab some beers and you can crash on my couch?". I told him I don't drink but if he's sure it's ok I would kick it with him and crash at his house. He told me yeah and it wasn't a problem. 
        So I went and grabbed my stuff and I jumped in his car. He was a real cool guy. His name was Tom. He was in the army and fought as a gunner in Iraq. He moved here to Sacramento for work and had just moved to redding as they had a new job there. We headed to Safeway and he got beer and bought some steaks. 
        We headed to a condo that his work paid for in north redding. The place was really nice. Tom fired up a grill on the patio and BBQ'd the steaks. He drank his beers and we talked about our pasts and lives growing up. He said after fighting in war he now thinks very different then how he used to. He told me he really hates his job and actually has thought about doing something similar to me. He wanted to go to lake Tahoe a while and just enjoy life. He said he has been working (as an engineer) non stop for so long and is miserable not being able to enjoy anything. He was always stressed and didn't want to live that way. He was planning to quit soon but just didn't know what he would do from there.
       We ate some steak with A1 tapatio sauce and it was amazing. That sauce was the ticket. After we ate Tom wanted to go get a movie. So I drove his car (he had been drinking) back to Safeway. He bought more beer and we rented a movie from blockbuster express. We got back to his condo and watched it. Tom had a good buzz going and I could tell he likes drinking his beer. I watched about 30 minutes of the movie before I passed out on the couch. I was really tired. I was really exited to be able to sleep comfortably without bugs crawling on me. And I got a good nights rest.


jan said...

Nick...Did you use his shower? You have to make the best of these places...ALWAYS ask to take a shower..LOL! That camp sounded really creepy...glad you didn't stick around.

andi said...

The CEO story was my favorite so far. I couldn't stop laughing. People are funny.