ol’ smitty

August 20, 2008

i spent a few days and nights recently in leakey, tx on my friend, lauryn’s property. her cabin is right on a gorgeous creek that feeds into the frio river. you can jump off a bunch of rocks into some clear cool water at the bottom of some handsome hills. i was really excited to have a bike with me (thanks again to robert for driving and letting me cram my bike in his marshmallow) because the hills there are amazing and almost completely void of automobiles. on the first morning i awoke in leakey i set out on a much anticipated century loop.  

 the first twenty five miles or so went like this: climb a little, ride through town, ride a really awesome stretch of dirt and gravel, climb like hell, and descend really fucking fast. about thirty five miles in, i hadn’t seen a car, or a person, or anything that wasn’t livestock or roadkill for over half an hour. i was really deep in thought, and my involvement with these thoughts had reached a low volume autoconversational level. i was muttering to myself in the middle of nowhere. a guttural roar bored through the hypnotic hum of my tires, simultaneously disrupting my one man dialogue and spiking my heart rate. i glanced back to see a terrifying beast of a miniature pincer with his mouth agape about to remove my right foot.  he looked kinda like this:

 i stood on my pedals to accelerate and escape the monster. i raised the volume of my mutter to a full yell, bravely declaring, “oh shit.” i totally got away.

two days later i realized that i hadn’t had a cup of coffee. robert and richie and i had to go into town to get some essentials, and i was really excited about some shitty gas station coffee. as we walked into the convenience store, a man who was easily a hundred and thirteen followed closely behind.
“hey smitty,” the man holding the door for us said as the geriatric entered wearing his standard issue jumpsuit, slippers, and hat. i wandered around for a minute, hoping to find some topo chico, and looking at pictures of dead bucks with their tongues hanging out of their mouths. i filled myself a tall styrofoam tumbler of exquisitely gas stationy coffee. i tasted it and approved. just after i tasted it, i noticed smitty ambling towards me intently. once within arm’s length, he said, “lemme see that tattoo ya got there.” before i could even swallow my second sip of coffee in two full days, he grabbed my shirt and rolled the sleeve up to my shoulder. while inspecting my arm closely, he made that weird lip-lick/smack that really old people make. “where’d ya git that done?” he demanded. “in houston,” i said. he looked at me for a split second, and walked to the candy bars. when he took his purchase to the counter, there was a newspaper from two towns over waiting for him. the man working the register says to ol’ smitty “that’ll be $1.28 then.” “let’s just call it a dollar,” smitty replied, handing over a single. the woman who facilitated the newspaper deal made some gesture to the cashier to let him know that was cool, and smitty left. i wish that he hadn’t though, because i had a lot of questions for him about the civil war, world war one and two, prohibition, candlestick phones, and what the stamp act was really all about. i guess they’ll just have to go unanswered by a man who experienced it all first hand.

there was all kinds of road kill all over the place, but some of it was extra fucked up:

apart from all of the awesome riding, swimming, and meeting ageless men some other cool stuff happened. i caught this frog:


this nice gentleman will offer to park your car when you pull up to lauryn’s grandparents house:

then we had some fire,

then we crammed into robert’s marshmallow again and went home.


One Response to “ol’ smitty”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    yr bloug ist graite!!-g

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