Once upon a time, I met a kindred soul. We were acquainted for only about 10 minutes last year in Brattleboro, VT, as we shot the shit about his rambling hitch-hiking ways.
(You can read about 4th of July weekend last year when Darwin and I first met Here!)
Darwin wanted to share the written accounts of that trip that he was on when we met, so he mailed me what is a manuscript of sorts. Thus far, I’ve only received the first half of the tale, nostalgically handwritten on the backs of old and water-warped event flyers and Veteran’s Affair flyers from the towns that he had passed through.
It is an amazing piece of American literature, and I am honored to be in possession of an epic and original first-hand account of one of the more subversive activities of people on the road. I so deeply appreciate the perspective and the voice of my newest traveling friend, telling me what it’s really like to make a life out of thumbing for a ride.
What follows is an excerpt from Darwin’s writings, entitled Hitch-Hiking New York to Vermont:
“Aaaand no sooner am I thinking this to myself does something interesting happen! A red car with a couple in it – both about my age – veers off into the shoulder and starts to slow down!
“‘Wooo!‘ I shouted in excitement, throwing both my hands up! Finally, after about 200 fuckin’ vehicles, all of which were definitely going my way, ONE finally pulls over for me!
“That rush went straight to my head – the rush of having a verifiable experience that this shit actually works – the rush of being a hitch-hiker who just landed a ride – the rush of no longer having to wait – the rush about being right about to meet a compatible stranger – the rush of wondering where you’ll end up – the rush of not knowing what’s about to befall your lot – the rush of doing something right that’s unique and bold and daring and mysterious and romantic and uncommon and adventurous and misunderstood and fun and risky and youthful and unpretentious and lively and spiritual and free and sort of lovely and definitely exciting, something that few people really know about first-hand, something illegal, something counterculture, something straight bohemian, something so cool and amazing it makes me wonder why not everyone has done it at least one summer in their life…
“The rush of hitch-hiking! It went straight to my head and I felt all the strong, pulling emotions and feelings that go along with the few seconds between seeing a car stop for you and running up to it – and as the red car got right next to me all I heard, while I held my head high, was
“‘FUCK YOU!!‘ and the red car peeled out in a storm of dust, kicking up the rocks that made up the shoulder all into me…
“Now, it’s not everyday that you feel a high emotion, THEN ITS IMMEDIATE OPPOSITE – it was like meeting a beautiful woman- then watching her die.
“Okay, well maybe not THAT dramatic, but I think you get the point! As the red car drove off I followed him with my middle fingers, and yelled out, ‘Aw, FUCK YOU…‘ in defeat.”
That simile about meeting a beautiful woman – then watching her die, that is hitch-hiker literature fucking gold and I cannot read it without full belly laughter.
Thank you to my dear friend Darwin, wherever you may roam. And if you happen to see this, please get back in touch. We seem to have lost our line for the time being.