Gramercy, The Journey of Jack Lewis. Chapter 7

Chapter 7  Fun and Games

After Jack was lost in a series of circle trips and junctions to nowhere, he eventually found himself traveling west, crossing the border into Oregon.  He carried on foot during the day, and at night posted himself in the cheapest motels he could find.  There was nothing but hills of grass and highway for miles in any direction he walked.  He passed the occasional truck stop and small town that felt like Northern California and South Central combined.  

Eventually he landed in Eugene, a town that felt like what Sacramento would be if it was pulsating with frat boys and sorority girls.  He eventually came to the University.  He sat in an empty bench in the courtyard of some random building near the edge of campus.  He put his bags next to him, and he pulled out Crime and Punishment.  He had just got to the part after the murder.  Jack was enjoying the book, but he couldn’t understand why the main character committed the murder since he had nothing to gain from it in the first place.  But Jack knew plenty of people in Leavenworth who killed for all kinds of reasons, most were crimes of passion, some were just flat out crazy, a few continued to claim it was self defense, a few did it either out of spite or to get something out of it, Jack had lost count of the people who swore they didn’t do it.  Jack didn’t believe them, nobody did, that’s why they were in jail.

Jack could tell these college students were a lot colder and less open than the ones he met in California.  They looked at him as if he was dirty, crusty and stale.  Which irritated Jack at first but then he caught a glimpse of his reflection in a near by window.  He was, in fact, crusty and dirty.  His hair was so long now that you couldn’t even see his tattoo on the back of his neck.

His beard had grown long and his hair was a weird brownish blond stained from the constant sunlight.  His skin was two shades away from being brown, he decided to clean up.

He still had over a thousand dollars left, but he didn’t want to waste it.  He had recently bought a tent in one of the mini Compton’s on the way here.  He continued to wander to find a spot to set up camp.  As he walked away from the university he passed by a number of fraternities and sororities.  One he could tell was about to host a party.  Jack decided to check it out later, and see if he couldn’t get some beer out of these kids, maybe even a little weed to to kill some time.  Jack was a little tired of reading every night by himself and decided he could use a little company for a night.

After a long debate with himself Jack consented to wasting some money on a motel room for at least tonight and tomorrow.  He cleaned himself up and he trimmed his beard just a little bit, to look a little less scraggly.  He also cleaned his clothes.  When ten-thirty rolled around he decided it was a good hour to go.  He got to the party, there was a small line to get in, and it was $5 at the door for guys to get a cup and drink all night, girls got in for free.  Jack got in and immediately became a wallflower on the stairs. He didn’t mind, he knew he didn’t look as good as back at the California party, but he wished at least one girl would notice him.

Every time he wished someone would come up to him he took a gulp, and after every three gulps he needed a refill.  By the first hour he had six beers.  The next hour he had six more, and he tallied them all on his palm.  Soon a cute redhead caught site of the marks and hollered, “Damn.”

She pointed to his palm, Jack looked at it and chuckled.  All he said was “I’ve been around the block a bit,”  with a coy smile.

The girl smiled back half taking him seriously and half laughing at him.  She extend her hand and said, “I’m Ann.”

Jack knew he had finally hit a home run.  He gently grasped her hand in that overly firm hand shake you give a girl when you’re a guy who has just met her.  “I’m Jack.”

The rest of the night at the party would remain a blur to Jack.  He did remember walking back to his motel with Ann, both stumbling drunk as hell.  The part that wasn’t a blur was when Jack pounded the hell out of that coed for four straight hours.  The part after that was just darkness.  The same was true with Ann.  She had never been pounded to the point of being so sore with pleasure.

Then she asked herself just before she passed out from ecstasy, “Holy crap, did this guy just get out jail or something?” But she didn’t care and had very pleasant drunken blurred dreams.

Jack didn’t dream that night.

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