Thursday, October 19, 2017

Chapter 49 excerpt: Loopy in Kamloops

 These last couple of months have been busy preparing for the imminent publication of Tapes from California. Progress has been going very well, as we eagerly anticipate a late autumn release. Presently, the book is in the capable hands of BearManor's expert layout man/ typesetter Brian Pearce (John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches, Golden Goddesses:25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema, 1968-1985) who is crafting the final work. Please stay posted for news about the book's release date, pre-orders, and review copies. In the interim, I hope you enjoy the following excerpt from chapter 49: Loopy in Kamloops. Peace
We could hardly believe our good fortune when André, the crazy Frenchman from the Kamloops hostel, drove past in a dusty Chevy riding shotgun, one of the first vehicles to emerge after more than a one hour wait. Having almost given up hope of leaving Golden that afternoon, Jan and I’d started to suspect we’d fallen under the Wawa curse. Already beyond our location, the Chevy pulled a quick U-turn and eased toward us, slowing to a stop next to our packs. Motioning to pull the handle to get into the car, I was shocked to discover the burly individual behind the wheel who introduced himself as Tim, had a broken left leg. Stretching from his left hip all the way down to his ankle, a cast revealed swollen toes sticking out through a jagged plaster opening. It was the required foot if you’re driving a stick.
   Tim was driving a stick.
   Eyeing Jan warily, I was unsure what to do. Reading our concern, Tim threw back his head and started to laugh uproariously. “I was in a car accident a few weeks ago,” he mused. “Don’t worry though. The accident wasn’t my fault.”
   Boasting about his competency as a driver, Tim told us he’d cruised all the way from Vancouver with the broken leg. No trouble.
   It wasn’t much of an assurance, but the afternoon was wearing on. We didn’t want to be stuck in Golden forever. Sensing our reluctance, André suddenly went overboard in praise of Tim’s “crackerjack driving skills,” and stressed how safe he felt under the big man’s command. As if it would clinch the deal, André threw in a lone “Jesus Christ!” followed by more laughter. Convinced of having pulled off an affecting sell job, leaning into the back seat, André rearranged his and Tim’s packs next to a gargantuan tent, obviously stuffed into the vehicle in a pinch. To make room for our gear, gathering a handful of strewn-about clothes, he went about redistributing the items, and tossed some camping paraphernalia into the trunk.
   Nervous about the fucked up situation we might be getting ourselves into, aversely, Jan and I climbed inside the Chevy and yanked on the weighty passenger door. Behind my back, two fingers were crossed.
   Sometimes you gnash your teeth. Abolish all reservation.

   True to his word, André’s friend was anything but cavalier about helming the road. Notwithstanding his temporary disability, Tim proved to be an exceptional driver. Reminiscent of the fictitious character, Luke Moriarty, the unofficial ‘driver’ in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road inspired by Kerouac’s real life pal, wild man Neal Cassady, Tim handled his automobile like a pro, as if gliding a precious vessel over glass. Not once did he compromise the safety of his baby or his cargo.


1976: Tapes from California © 2017 Jill C. Nelson 

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