Road Trip: Grease Monkeys and hot dog water.

Sometimes people ask me what I think heaven must look like. I would usually say something cliché about fluffy clouds and gold paved streets. Trees line a gurgling, crystal clear river all the way towards the Throne of God. I think there are millions upon millions of angels and departed souls singing and shouting and banging their tambourines all night long. I bet there is a never-ending buffet with all sorts of delicious foods and cocktails being served by smiling angelic beings. I am sure there are pools and flowing waterfalls, pearly gates and everlasting life. Free Starbucks for everyone. No hatred, no sadness, no greed. Eternity in a nutshell.

If you are looking for heaven on earth, I suggest driving through the Rocky Mountains. Start in Grand Junction, Co and drive West on I-70 for two hundred and seventy something miles. I can assure you its rugged cliffs and dragon like scales jutting out from earth will leave you in an ethereal state of mind. Streams of water cascade down from the mountains and flow over rocks and around tree stumps, horny squirrels mate under the shade of small bushes. Blue skies and wild flowers put the whole picture in a frame to hang on your wall. I’m sure I saw the ghost of Bob Ross sitting quietly on a boulder with his easel and paints talking to himself. I could be wrong because I was too busy keeping an eye on the road. My brakes were making funny noises, I was sure the oil was depleted because I couldn’t get the Grand Van to go over fifty.

Before I left New York, I had some “mechanic” at Wal-Mart change the oil on my ride. He told me there could be a minor leak. There was no leak. He didn’t help the situation either. I know nothing about cars except changing a flat or putting in water or Antifreeze. I can turn the key and put the transmission in drive if I have to. I know how to screw on a bolt. He does not. He put the oil pan bolt on crooked or something along those lines.

While chugging up a hill towards Frisco, I was too concerned with conking out and careening down the side of a cliff to really enjoy the scenery around me. I figured this is where the rich and famous hung out yadda, yadda, yadda. All the pretty people gather here and drink champagne and toast their millions, blah.

Anyway, I entered the fairytale town with gusto and a resolve to get my baby fixed. Found a cool little auto shop called the Grease Monkey and was greeted by a friendly chap who was in the process of helping some other wanderer. I always feel a bit foolish when it comes to mechanical stuff, even more so when the person is trying to explain things to me. I just stand there with my hands in my pockets, shaking my head up and down like I have any clue as to what’s being told to me. The nice guy started telling me about bolts and pans and what have you, I smiled and agreed. I think he knew I was clueless.

It was a bit chilly in between the mountains, so I grabbed my Orange County Choppers hoodie and walked a spell while my van was attended to. It’s August, but everyone in town was wearing long-sleeved shirts and some wore winter hats (a little too much in my opinion). Before I walked away, I grabbed a bottle of water from my cooler and took a nice, long chug to quench my parched throat.

Now, two days earlier I had cooked some Franks over an open fire and thought I had secured the rest of the dogs in plastic wrap. I was wrong. The bag of hot dogs mixed and mingled with the melted ice to create a lovely aroma of, I don’t know, crap. Unbeknownst to me, I grabbed an open bottle of H20. The juice invaded my Poland Springs and ruined the whole experience. I spit it out when I realized I had been poisoned by my own ineptitude. Some of the locals watched with fiery indignation and turned their snooty noses in the air. Even pet dogs turned their snouts skywards, dreadful New Yorker how dare he!

I don’t have much to say lately. To tell you the truth, I’ve been on edge the last few days because I’m in a rather interesting quandary. I won’t get into specifics, but I hope everything works out the way it’s supposed to. Let the wind take me where it wants, keep my eyes on the prize and move forward. When you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown, your body kicks into survival mode and everything around you moves outside of time. I think I lost it a bit yesterday, but it’s all part of the adventure. When you leave the comfort of a home for the great outdoors, or a van, you tend to remember how blessed you are.

The past seventy-two hours have tested and tried my mind and soul. I may have snapped, but I believe in that old saying, whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. My apologies to the people who had to listen to me complain, thank you for hearing me out. Thank you for being there.

One response to “Road Trip: Grease Monkeys and hot dog water.

  • ReinWPStudio

    Hello, Gabe . . .

    It’s three o’clock in the morning here. Just got out of bed, took a shower and am getting ready for another day Berzanthum . While drinking ‘STUDIO’ coffee [ . . . and II guarantee it is something that you have to not only develop, but cultivate a taste for ] decided I would check in to see where you are and what’s been shaken.

    I could have told you about the Colorado “Uppers”, but decide it was something best experienced than explained. It’s an attitude that has come down from the Silver Mining Days, when men became insanely rich by simply spitting on the ground in the right direction. They were really cool guys; really the stuff of imagination and legend.

    It was the Second Generation where everything went to hell-in-a-hand-basket; and, they built Colorado Society around the painful embarrassment of their painfully un-educated, hard-working. uncouth but wild-beyond compare rich fathers and dowdy mothers. Don’t know if you know oft a play titled: THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN. This was the class that she aspired to be a part of, but never could. She was after all First Generation Rich. That was the class until the Titanic sank.

    Among other reasons, this affinity was one of the reasons I moved to New Mexico where people are real and sanely, insanely sane. The entire time I lived Colorado, few if any gave me any recognition to either to me or my work. No sooner than I left, I suddenly became a hot commodity. It maks no sense, but is the way it is there. The odd thing now is that the millionaire outsiders that have moved in, and have taken on the same mantel. I seriously think that it has to be some kind of incurable fungus or virus that permeates one no sooner then they cross the border with any intention of staying.

    Don’t fall for that trap, Gabe. It CAN happen to you.

    Things are going rather insane around here. I have an exhibit opening Friday for two days. It’s in conjunction with a dance performance. Don’t remember whether I introduced you to Flecher when you were here, but his choreography is rather amazing.

    Then, have just been informed that my work is going on display in the RoundHouse [ our state capital building ] next month. Of course when good things happen like this disaster is lurking in the shadows. Yesterday, I tripped on something and knock over all the pieces that were going on display; and of course they would all have to be glassed; and of course, I am completely bounded up in the throws of suicidal panic. I’m sure it will all get resolved in good time, but there is nothing to compare to suicidal panic . . . so might as well enjoy it.

    Have not been able to get ANATOMY OF A SERIGRAPH up an running. Just too many irons and not enough fire, but hope to get back on it next week . . .[ after the alleviation of the suicidal panic ].

    Haven’t really had the time of navigating your site. Hope you are taking and posting pictures. Drop a line when you get some free time. Let me know where you are at and what you are seeing. Hope to hear from you soon . . .

    Rein Whitt-Pritchette
    Artist | Serigrapher

    P.S. Have experience Hot Dog Water once or twice in my like. BAD DO-DO ! ! !

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