Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Fall (part 1)

On the morning of March 6, 1995, we packed to leave.  Figuring we would need some sort of protection while on the road, we took one of her dad’s guns, a .38 caliber pistol.  Besides that, we took a few blankets and left.  We made some more stops at my mom’s house and Sarah’s dorm room to pick up clothes and some stuff to pawn.  Our last stop was at a pawn shop in Muskogee where we sold enough stuff to raise about three-hundred dollars.  We didn’t stop to say goodbye to anyone.  We just disappeared.

             The first crime committed was on the very first stop we made near the border between Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Ben in Granny's Attic before a show with Green Water Mirror.
We stopped for gas at a convenience store, and I went in to pay.  The woman behind the counter was on the phone, so I stood quietly waiting for her to get off.  After several minutes passed, she was still on the phone yakking her head off.  I started to get annoyed.  She had her back turned away from me, and since she wasn’t looking, I started loading up all my pockets with packs of cigarettes.  I only took about five packs, I would have taken more but I ran out of room in my pockets.  Finally, the woman got off the phone, and I paid for the gas.  Sarah gave me a questioning look inside the car as I started pulling all the packs out.  I just smiled and put on my best innocent choirboy face.

            Looking at the map, Sarah saw we would be heading towards Hot Springs, Arkansas.  She had been there before with Patrick and wanted to see it again.  I also hoped we could find a head shop (a store that sells drug paraphernalia) because they would more than likely have a copy of the Grateful Dead’s tour schedule.

            We arrived late in the night.  Not too many people were up, and almost all of the stores were closed.  The actual hot spring is right in the middle of downtown, so it wasn’t hard to find.  We had been cramped up in the car for so long, we decided it would be good to soak in the hot water for awhile.

            Trying to save money, we decided to sleep in the car instead of getting a motel room.  We only had a couple of hundred dollars, and we didn’t know how long it would be until we came across more.  It was very uncomfortable but it felt good to be snuggled up to each other.

            On the morning of March 7th, we found the head shop, and they did have a tour schedule.  To our disappointment, the next concert was in Memphis like we expected but it was three weeks away.  I hadn’t expected a wait that long and wasn’t sure what we were going to do.  With no better plans, we decided to head to Memphis and just wait there.  Memphis would have lots of places to explore we thought.  We could even go to Graceland.

            On the way to Memphis I had been thinking about our money situation a lot.  We had been on the road only two days, and we had gone through half of our money.  It was clear to me our money wouldn’t last until the concert.  I sat in the passenger seat trying to figure out someway we could get more but I didn’t see how. We had nothing to sell and couldn’t get jobs.  With no phone or street address, the chances seemed pretty slim that we could get hired. We had the gun.  I thought about selling it, but it belonged to Sarah’s dad.  With it registered in his name, we probably wouldn’t be able to sell it anyway.

            Maybe we could rob somebody, I thought to myself but laughed the thought off… almost.  My mind seemed to stick on that idea.  The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the only option we had.

No comments: