Friday, January 13, 2017

Out In the Desert

Just doing my time.

Relaxing, a little, looking around with my beautiful wife, of course.

I've nicknamed her Kathy Khaos (with a K) for the trip.

We actually went backwards to get here...stopping at JFK...

I sat with out bags at the food court as she popped outside for some nicotine, and a older man plopped down next to me with a slice of pizza on a platter.

"Can't find my freaking wife," he said. "She got Chinese, I wanted pizza. Supposed to meet here. I ain't looking."

I laughed.

"How long you been in for?"

"46 years."

He pointed to the raised platform.

"She's up there."

He didn't get up to leave. He opened his pizza and we chatted about our lives. Ira has a couple of daughters, a son and a bunch of grandkids.

"Try not to waste days," he said. "It goes fast. There aren't any guarantees."

His wife stopped by as he shared his life with me.

"I'll meet you at the gate," she growled. "Since you're having yourself a little party."

Ira hardly looked up. I mentioned that he was in trouble and he smiled.

"We're good."

Out in Vegas I was slated to speak late in the day. Through the afternoon the people in attendance kept coming up to me to tell me how much they couldn't wait for me to make them laugh. The man who introduced me called me "a force of nature because he puts his heart into everything he does."

I made them laugh. I almost made them cry and then we all laughed some more.

Then we got into the car and crossed the desert, stopping in a trading post in Arizona, about 225 miles away from Tempe.

A young couple was in there with their 13-month old son.

The kid couldn't stop looking at me.

(Maybe it was the slice of warm pecan pie with vanilla ice cream that was drawing his attention).

He was smiling, and curious, and he just got his sea legs...was wobbling.

Cute.

What sort of world awaits him.

His Dad followed us into the dusty parking lot and pulled a unicycle out of the back of his vehicle.

He was a kid himself...maybe 20 or so.

"Wanna' try it?" He asked.

I laughed.

"You do it," Kathy said.

He did.

Spinning around in a huge circle.

I'd never seen someone on a unicycle.

We chatted a little while longer, and as we were leaving it seemed odd to me that these places exist long after we leave the area. That's twice now that I've eaten pecan pie at that place.

"See you next year," we said as we clanged the screen door.

Back in the car to finish the desert crawl.

Feeling like a lot less than a force of nature.

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