Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 8 - Complaint day...I'm allowed, right?

Little Rock:

Woke up with itchy bumps on my thighs and arms. I wanted to cry, and I still have one more night in this dunghole that won't refund my money. Just think of India, I told myself. At least there's no resident rat in the bathroom, and I'm awfully grateful I brought flip flops. I dabbed acetone on every nook and crook.

Before heading out to explore the city, I stopped by the motel office and complained again and showed them my arm bumpies. I told the front desk manager that serious health violations had been breached and I wouldn't have skin if I stayed another night. The manager capitulated and moved me to a room with wood floors. Springs are popping out of the bed, but the room is clean. Later I told my brother about my ailments, and he said I can't visit him in Boston until I go to a laundromat and wash every last article of clothing.

The city was a ghost town this Saturday. I went to Little Rock Central High School, site of the desegregation showdown, and nobody was there to bother me. I thought of the Little Rock Nine walking the gauntlet, and the 'throat hurt' came over me. Went to the capitol and walked slowly up the steps of the capitol building afraid that if I went any slower, my sweat glands would burst and splash the steps like the senator from X-Men. James, my GPS, was annoying me so I switched him off and cruised the city from boulevard to boulevard. I stumbled upon the Governor's Mansion and explored an ancient agreeable place with a calming vibe.

At this point I was really shaking - I mean New Mexico State Police no-no shaking. I spotted Kanpai, a Japanese restaurant. I sat down, excited about eating rice, when I noticed other customers glancing at me with sadness in their eyes, like they wanted me to join their table. Geez, I have no problem eating alone. The server interrupted my thoughts as he handed over my bento box. He let me know that he's Chinese Indonesian. "They can't tell the difference." The rice was a bit hard and the food was no Japanese grub, but it was manna.

My skin bumps were itching hard. On the way back to the motel, I saw a girl with a nice smile dangling a sign: Free Car Wash!!! My car was filthy and the tires were white from the other day's off-roading. Her dad, brother, and sister were waiting for me with their trash can barbecue hissing from rib fat. No, I didn't try the baby backs. Free, by the way, was ten dollars in the end.

So tomorrow before I head out to Tennessee, I'm taking my brother Ray's advice and going diamond mining at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Mufreesboro, AR. Hope I find me some diamonds. Our agreement...Ray gets to keep my loot since it was his idea.

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