Remember that I told you that I had prayed “The Sinner’s Prayer” out of the little booklet that Blossom had given me on the night after the day that she had invited the twenty year old me out of the rain in Manchester, Connecticutt, when I was trying to sell those stupid books door-to-door so that I could make enough money to buy a motorcycle and a gun and move to California to sell pot for a living in order to have as much sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll as I thought that I had wanted, but my simple plan was falling apart and over some hot tea with Blossom and her friend Janet they had asked me what I knew about Jesus Christ and then shared with me “The Four Spiritual Laws” that began with “God LOVES you and has a wonderful plan for your life?”
Remember that I told you that I didn’t pray with Blossom and Janet after they had invited me to do so but that I had re-read Blossom’s booklet and had prayed by myself that night to trust Jesus to be my Lord and Savior “just to be on the safe side” and then promptly forgot all about it? Remember all that?
No? Well WHY not? What the hell’s wrong with you? Saaaaaaay, are you even reading this blog? Go back right now and catch up on my story. Go ahead. DO IT. We’ll all be right here when you get back!
[A brief interlude for the inattentive and/or negligent reader to catch up]
OK, good, you’re back.
So anyway, after praying for Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior the night before, I woke up and started another day that was just like the day before and that would most likely be just like the day to come, over and over again ad infinitum, and I just plumb forgot all about Jesus Christ . . . my so-called “Lord” and “Savior” . . . if you can imagine that.
What? You say you can’t? Liar! Whatever. Don’t you dare judge me. I know you’ve done it too . . . IF you’ve ever even given Him any thought at all.
Anyway, the big highlight of that week besides praying to God that Jesus Christ would be my Lord and Savior and all, which I promptly forgot about, was that at the Sunday afternoon sales meeting it was decided that I would get up bright and early the next morning, which would be a Monday if you know your calendar days, and hitchhike from Manchester, Connecticut, across the major city of Hartford, Connecticut, and meet a senior salesman who was doing this gig for his third summer and making thousands of dollars each time to use for his college expenses, and that I would go out on the field and watch him in action so that I could then do the same thing in my own territory. I was supposed to meet this senior salesman who I’ll call “Hank” at a coffee shop on Main Street in West Hartford, Connecticut, that Hank gave me the address for at 8 a.m. sharp or he would leave without me.
On that particularly auspicious Monday morning dawn found me with my thumb stuck out alongside a major thoroughfare in Manchester, Connecticut, that would take me into Hartford and then, hopefully, to West Hartford. The major thoroughfare was about a mile or two from the widow’s house where me and Sergio, my buddy who was also a first timer like me, and Darrell, our sales team leader, all rented rooms from a beautiful old lady named Alma Casperson who died some thirty or forty years ago. I’ll write more stories about Alma in coming posts. Just keep up with me here on this story, would ya.
I had to jog a couple of miles to reach the thoroughfare from Alma’s house. It took me four rides to get to the West Hartford coffee shop, but I did make it barely on time just as Hank was walking out the door to leave without me. “Son of a bitch!” was what I thought. But “Hey, Hank!” was all I said.
I don’t remember two of the rides, but I remember the first and second ones. The second ride was with a young dude who was driving a delivery truck with fresh, refrigerated fish in the back of his truck. It didn’t smell or anything, if that’s what you’re thinking. I just remember it because the driver was my age, and he was cool, and I can still remember all the wonderful fresh fish that I got a chance to enjoy eating during the six months that I was in Connecticut.
The first ride had been with a prim and proper young woman who was also my age and mildly attractive except for her dowdy, churchy attire which was more modest than I preferred seeing on a young woman, but she was nice enough. Remember that this was the 1970s when “less was more.”
She was stupid though for picking up hitchhikers. I mean I was safe even in my formerly unsaved condition, but how the hell did she know that? I guess maybe the Holy Spirit told her to pick me up. In fact, as I am remembering this, I think that’s what she told me, and I think that she even prefaced our ensuing conversation with something like, “I NEVER pick up hitchhikers, but the Holy Spirit told me to give you a ride.”
I kind of doubt that God’s Holy Spirit told her to do that, but, I don’t know, maybe He did. Not meaning to be irreverent, but it seems like kind of a dangerous and foolish suggestion, doesn’t it? What if I had been a rapist or murderer, which I wasn’t, but how did she know? I guess the Holy Spirit would know, huh? But still.
The one thing that I do remember from my ride with the church chick was when she mentioned that if I had long hair . . . which I used to have right before I took the book selling job . . . that she would NEVER have picked me up. I can’t remember how we had gotten into that bit of conversation, but I remember that she backed up her point with a quote from the Bible that said that long hair was a woman’s glory but long hair on a man was a disgrace or something like that. She said this just before she had to let me off because she needed to go in another direction from where I was heading.
“OK. Right. Whatever, ” I thought.
“Thanks for the ride.” was all I said.
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