Coasting on Magic Carpets

Growing up my mom waitressed so she had no set hours, during the summers she would send me either to stay with my conservative Catholic grandparents or she would shove me off onto my Uncle L. and his merry band of ragtag friends. The female roles in the group were revolving, but the male ones remained faithfully Uncle L., R—, and J—. They would have adventures, usually hopping freight trains or hitchhiking to where ever their end destination was, but when I was with them they would borrow cars or someone would somehow acquire some Junker or another.

One summer we set out to visit every Hot Springs we could. No hotels or tents, we would usually just pull off the road randomly and unroll the sleeping bags. Looking back now it must have put a damper on things for a gaggle of barely 20 year olds to have a small child always in tow, but I never felt unwanted.

The year of the Hot Springs, we set out in an old station wagon. There were 7 of us including me. I rode in the far back, amongst the backpacks and rolled up sleeping bags. My Uncle L cranked down the back rear window of the car, and I would ride like a dog, with my head and upper body hanging out of the car. Watching the mile’s pass, waving at cars driving behind us. To think of it now, it must have been a sight, but at the time I was so filled with excitement that I was a dog, excited and wiggly feeding off the energy of the semi-adults that were keyed-up in the front part of the car.

Being with these people made me feel a sense of ease that I never felt at home, I knew when I hollered up that I had to “go!” that I would not be greeted at irritation at losing time due to a small child’s bladder. There would be no sighing or pursed lips, we would just pull over and I would be led by the hand to whatever tree or bush was closest. Often I would even be asked if they needed to stop, and this never failed to make me feel comforted and cherished.

They made a game of who was lucky enough to get chosen to let me sleep in their bags. The nights sometimes were cold, but I never felt it. They were noisy, smoke, beer filled as you would imagine with 6 people free to journey as they pleased. None of it really made sense to me, but it always seemed soothing.

Even though he was breaking the “RULES” rarely was my toothbrush taken out, nor my hair brushed. My Uncle L figured that I was clean enough after each hot spring was visited.

Grubby from traveling

Grubby from traveling

After weeks of travel, the ride back home was quiet. I dozed in the back with my head resting on a sleeping bag. Everyone was tired and content, their adventure over and they were ready for being home. I remember one of the women traveling with us (I am not sure which girlfriend of whom) bringing up that none of them had any money for gas and wondering if we ran out how we would get home. J—- laughed and said we would ditch the car and walk. My Uncle L. was behind the wheel, quietly shushed them and pointed towards the back “D!” he whispered in a loud tone. J— understood and loudly said ” I was joking, we have more than enough to make it even if we have to call my magic carpet!!” the girl was confused, but I understood. What Uncle L., R—, and J— were trying to make sure I didn’t worry or obsess about it (which I would). I can remember feeling superior at that moment, even if I did not understand what “superior” meant, I knew that I got what they were doing even if a GROWN UP LADY did not.

We ran out of gas on the last hill before home. My Uncle L. yelled “Ready for that magic carpet now, J!,” and he put the car into neutral and that magic carpet took us all the way to the front of our home. I never once doubted that it wouldn’t.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chips Hanson.....DBA>>>>/Torry Marrs
    May 04, 2014 @ 18:45:44

    Christ DT, the BOOK is almost done, writing itself here, another gret chapter! Fill ins, a little more text, already got the title with VULL, your photos are honest and funny,why not? Clever name-catchy and the border art here works too, chicks dig that kinda shit, your main base of readers for sure as well as lost 20-50 yo’s trying to find themselves vicariously through your musings, trust me! It’s a seller!! (I want the book tour management also, and the screen rights baby!) LoL It keeps me entertained and I’m pretty finicky and know what’s good and what’s shite perse. and this is good! Keeps me focused, rivioted, and laughing for more…..more….more! Keep putting it down in your secret shoe box diary under the bed, but keep the real good stuff hidden for now, this isn;t Readers Digest or POST magazine piece meal sales for free, right?? Carpe diem!

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    • Dagmar Tully
      May 04, 2014 @ 19:09:57

      Oh I think I laughed throughout reading this. You know my husband hasn’t even read any of it? It is easier to throw out there than have someone read it that can see your face. But also I am free to exaggerate his annoyance with my constant questions as much as I want. Thank you.

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