On The Lam (Part 13)

The summer was rolling along smoothly and I was having loads of fun. I got back into disc-golf with a friend I had known from Draft Pic’s (Greg) and we were playing several times a week up in Bellingham. They had a weekly tournament that we would join and occasionally we would even win. It was at one of these tournaments that I would have my greatest moment in disc golf. A par 3 of about 100 yards straight ahead with out-of-bounds lining one side and a tree line on the other. When I threw it I knew it was going to be a good one as it hugged the treeline going out and gently drifted in as it neared the basket. Clang! The chains caught it as it passed and drooped it down into the basket for my first and only hole in one ever. It was especially sweet hitting it during the tourney as I won the hole in one pot that had been gathering for some time. When the tournament was over I took Greg out for a dinner to celebrate, we went to a nice Mexican restaurant near the park. During dinner Greg manages to squirt hot sauce into his eye. After what seemed like an eternity of him agonizing over it, he turns to me and says that he can not drive and that I would have to drive his car back home (about 30 miles away). I tell him that I have no license and do not want to risk it, to which he replies that he don’t care about that and I must do it. I was torn, there were only a couple of people who knew about my plight and Greg was not one of them, I trusted and liked him but I had made it a policy to not let it out and now I had to decide whether to add Greg to the list or just take the keys and hope for the best. I opted for the latter and thirty white knuckled miles later, I was pulling into my driveway in Burlington. I was relieved we made it back without incident but also very happy to have gotten to drive once again. I had known since the day I left that if I wanted to stay free, then my days of driving were over, so it was nice for circumstances to work out that I would get the chance again.

The summer also provided an opportunity to return to The Gorge for some musical madness. Phish was coming and when some friends from Hooligan’s asked if I would be interested, I said yes immediately and began reminiscing about my previous Phishing expeditions. They had gotten better every time I had seen them and somehow I knew that this would be no different. We planned on camping but not at the official campground attached to The Gorge as it cost money and we wanted to minimize costs. We arrived a day early and found a spot in the middle of no-where about 5 miles from the show. After finding two black widow spiders and realizing we had no source of water nearby, we decided to move camp on the morning of the first show. We found a reservoir about 5 miles on the other side of the Gorge which allowed free camping for up to ten days, perfect! There were Phish fans everywhere and we had to drive around a bit to find a spot, we settled on a nice little inlet that already had a group on it but was big enough and they said it was cool. As we were setting up out tents, we noticed a vehicle kicking up a dust storm as it raced down the road. My heart sunk into my stomach as it screeched to a stop right at our inlet and I saw that it was cops. Two of them jumped out and ran down the inlet towards us (we all had brought ganja with for the show so we were all tense), and to our relief, they ran to the other group that was already there. We were close enough to overhear that the cops had been across the reservoir watching them through binoculars and saw them smoking a bowl, they searched them and found enough to arrest them. Within thirty minutes they had taken down their camp and carted them all away. We now had the inlet all to ourselves but we would do all of our smoking in the tent! It was the hottest few days of the summer and it was so nice to be on the shore of that reservoir to stay cool during the day with Phish heating it back up at night. The shows were just as I had imagined, the best I had ever seen them play and the crowd was awesome, I found magic mushrooms for one show and LSD for the other and was even offered a ride if I wanted to keep following the band. I was tempted but things were going so well in Burlington, I said no. If I had known then how things were about to change, I would have jumped on board and never looked back, but as it happened, I returned to Burlington with the group I went with, thanking them all for an amazing few days, and got back to my regular routine.

About a week after returning from The Gorge, word came down at work that the place had been sold. Speculation ran high for the next few days as few details were available, that changed when the manager called a meeting for the whole staff and The owner I had never met was there to let us know the deal. He had sold it to some rich dude from the big city who was buying it for his daughter who was around 30 and had never run a business before. We were all a bit concerned until he told us that the new owner had agreed to let us all have our jobs in the new place. We were all relieved and for the first couple of weeks, nothing changed. Then the daughter got there and decided that she would be the manager and that the one we all knew and loved, would be let go. This did not sit too well with the other bartenders and it certainly did not help that the daughter was incompetent as well as mean, so over the next 10 days, all three of my fellow bartenders quit. It had been less than a month since the new owners had taken over and I was the only one left from the old staff. Business plummeted as the majority of customers had come for the bartenders not the bar. The end for me came shortly after when on a Sunday afternoon with only one couple in the bar and sitting at a booth, I decided to play some music on the jukebox. The lady comes over to the bar and says that she and her friend are having a conversation and do not want music playing in the background. I thought this a bit odd in a bar but since they were the only folks there, I happily turned it off for them. After cleaning everything I could and with still no other customers, I put the baseball game on the T.V. This was not acceptable to the couple as well, but instead of offering to turn it off the way I did with the music, I asked if it would be okay to keep the volume low enough for only me to hear it? She said no, that she wanted it off completely. It was at this point that the indignant rage began to rise in me and I told her that “this is a bar and in a bar there is either sports or music pick one!” She said neither to which I replied “fine, it will be sports”, and turned around to watch the game. She stormed back to the table and told her friend they were leaving, he tried to calm her but to no avail and I felt sorry for him as the look of defeat was in his eyes as they left. The next shift at work I was greeted by the little troll I had come to know as my new boss telling me that she had gotten a complaint about me from Sunday. I tried to explain my side but she was not interested and told me that I would have to be retrained by her as a bartender. I nearly pissed myself laughing, I told her I had been bartending for over a decade and that she was not qualified to teach me anything! She started to say something and I cut her off telling her that she was ‘nothing more than a spoiled little rich girl who has always gotten whatever she wanted from daddy and unfortunately for us here in Burlington, you wanted a bar’. I then turned and walked out knowing that I was now once again without a job.

A Continuing Story About Life On The Run