Sunday, November 12, 2006

On the Road to Woodstock -part 24

It was getting near three o'clock, and I was getting anxious waiting for the bus to get there to take us home. John, Linda and Sherry had been passing the time with small talk, but I hadn't been saying much but more watching my wristwatch and the road.

Three o'clock came and went and still no bus. It would have made more sense if my cousin John at White House Sightseeing had sent the original driver rather than my dad. He would've known where he had let everyone off and could've picked us up at the same spot. My dad on the other hand didn't know the place and might've gotten lost.

I stood up and started to pace. I told the other three I was going to the road to watch for the bus. We weren't really that far from the road and could've easily seen it from where we sat, but I couldn't sit still.

I went up to the road and saw that the cigarette vendor was still there. To hell with it. I scrounged around in my money pocket and dug out a dollar bill and bought a pack of Marlboro's. The guy didn't have any extra matches, so I opened the pack and got a light from him.

I took a deep drag and it felt good. The nicotine coursed through my veins, and it relaxed me. I walked up the road towards the main road as if it might bring the bus a little quicker.

I smoked the cigarette a little bit too quickly, and it made me a little lightheaded, so I sat down by the side of the road for a minute. I put the cigarette out on the ground grinding it into the dirt with my fingers.

The dizziness went away, and I stood and started to walk all the way out to the main road but decided against it. It was a pretty long walk if I remembered correctly, and I decided to walk back and join John and the girls.

"Where'd you go?" John asked me.

"I got some cigarettes," I said. I pulled out the pack and passed it around. John got one out and Sherry, too, but Linda declined. The pack came back to me, and I got one out for myself. Sherry got her lighter out, and with the exception of Linda we all lit up.

"Thank you," Sherry said.

"You're welcome," I told her.

"Yeah, thanks." John looked up at me.

"There's the bus," Linda said and pointed.

I turned quickly, and saw it drive by. Dammit, how could I have missed it? All that watching and waiting and the one moment I wasn't looking the bus came. Dammit.

"I'm going down to see where it went," I said. I tossed my cigarette to the ground and took off in a quick sprint after the bus, and saw it go down the road and take a left towards where the Hog Farm was. Damn, I couldn't believe that I'd missed it come in. I slowed down to a quick walk.

I continued walking down towards where the bus had gone. After couple of minutes went by, I saw the bus come back around the bend and back up the road towards me. I took off running towards the bus, and as I got closer I saw my dad behind the wheel. I was gladder to see him than I had expected.

I saw him smile, and he pulled up beside me, and I heard the air brakes hiss loudly as he stopped the bus and opened the door. I walked up the steps to where he sat in the driver's seat. "Hi, dad," I said. I couldn't help but smile.

"Hello, John," he said. He was a stocky man with a rugged face and close-cropped hair. "I sure am glad to see you." I could see the relief on his face.

Despite our differences I sure did love him. I felt much differently towards him than I did my mom. I couldn't say for sure whether I loved her or not, but there was no doubt that I loved my dad, and I felt kind of guilty about that. One was supposed to love their mother. With my mom and dad it was kind of like good cop, bad cop with my dad being the good cop. Besides, I grew up being with my dad most of the time and we had become the best of buddies. Life with my mom was different. She was the only one that ever disciplined me. My dad on the other hand let me do whatever I wanted.

I knew my dad loved me, but he wasn't the type of man to say the words. His way of showing me his love was by giving me anything I wanted. I didn't ask for much, or at least I didn't think I did, but for what ever I asked of him I got.

"Where's your cousin?" My dad didn't like John. He thought that John was a bad influence on me. It was John, he knew, that had gotten me into wanting me to grow my hair long, and it was John that had introduced me to sniffing glue and marijuana. He wasn't happy about my sniffing glue -- I had quit that anyway -- but he wasn't that much against my smoking marijuana. Rather, he tended to condone it, which surprised me. He told me he had tried it himself once or twice, but that it didn't do anything for him. He was a drinking man himself.

"He's just down the road on the right," I said and pointed with my finger.

"There's some other people back on the other road that I've got to pick up, but I wanted to find you first." He looked up at me where I stood next to the driver's seat holding on to the pole that extended from floor to ceiling. I could tell that he was sure glad to see me.

"John's with a couple of girls that are going back with us. We need to pick them up, too. They have some camping stuff."

When I mentioned the girls, my dad gave me a sly smile, and I felt embarrassed. I couldn't figure it out, but I felt funny about liking girls where he was concerned. It was strange. All during my prepubescent period I couldn't wait until I was old enough to interact with girls that looked sexy, though I had no idea what sexy was. I just knew it when I saw it. I had a brother nine years older than me, and he was always bringing home girls that had breasts and shapely hips, and I had this inexplicable attraction towards them. It was if I had been born horny. But then strangely enough when I had reached the age when it was normal for a boy to like a girl in a sexual way, I felt oddly embarrassed about it.

"Well, let's pick them up, and then we'll get the other people." He pulled the door closed with the handle by the driver's seat, put the bus into gear, released the air brakes with a hiss and began to drive down the road.

"Stop here," I told him. We had reached the spot where John and the girls were. My dad opened the door, and I got out and went to get the trio.

By the time I got to them, the three had gathered up most the stuff and were carrying it towards the bus. "Grab something," John said, and I grabbed a cooler that was setting on the ground and followed the three to the bus.

My dad had gotten out and opened up one of the cargo bays that ran along the side of the bus. The four of us put our stuff in, and Linda and Sherry went back to get the rest of it.

"I see you got yourself some girls," my dad said to John and me.

"Yes, of course," said John smiling slyly at my dad. They were two of a kind when it came to women, but I felt uncomfortably shy about my dad knowing I was with a girl.

Linda and Sherry got back with the rest of their stuff and stowed it away in the cargo bay. My dad pulled the bay door down and latched it shut, and he turned to the girls and said proudly, "I'm John's dad." He put his hand on my shoulder. "This John," he said as if to clear up any confusion the girls might've had.

"Well, let's get going y'all," my dad said in his Texas drawl. He let Sherry and Linda get on the bus first then he followed them on as if to get a good look at their behinds, and then John and I got on.

"Go on to the back," John said to the girls, and John and I followed them to the back of the bus. John and Linda took the wide backseat that was across from the door to the toilet, and Sherry and I sat in the left two seats in front of them.

My dad ground the transmission into first and drove down to the main road where he turned the bus around and headed back to pick the rest of the people up. He drove down to the Hog Farm, and I was surprised at how many people that were waiting to get picked up. I wondered how they knew where the bus was going to be. Been watching for it, I guessed

With the help of my dad, everyone loaded up their gear into the cargo bays and then boarded the bus. They looked dirty and beat, slightly more guys than girls, and they filled a good two thirds of the seats. My dad got back into the driver's seat, put the bus into gear, got turned around, and drove back down the road until we got to the main road. He made a left turn onto the small highway that had been the road to Woodstock, up shifted through four or five gears and then finally we were on our way back home.

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