Saturday, April 17, 2010
Sleeping In My Car Behind The Denver Country Club
Denver. March 2010. A snowstorm has crippled my evening plans and left me momentarily friendless, homeless and without plans. I do what any good Midwesterner would do and head to a comfortingly nondescript, mediocre chain restaurant.
My new friends Dane and Britney spend the next twenty minutes or so trading quips and anecdotes with me about what it means to grow up Midwestern and bond about how wonderful Colorado is. They are both born and raised in the great state of Ohio as well. Just like in the movies. Whenever someone has moved from somewhere terrible to somewhere wonderful, they always come from Ohio. Food for thought. I’m already having a mild panic attack about leaving my precious mountains behind. Dane, the bartender turns out to be every bit his character. He’s always on point and ready with a witty quip. He never fails to act ten years less than his likely age. He is adamant that he will never get married, will never grow up and will remain an atheist until the day he dies.
This Peter Pan is of the species manus childus, a species with whom I have become intimately acquainted in the mountains. The age of this man-child is accurately determined only through the application of a complex calculation.
He can be spotted in his natural habitat at the local watering hole (having fun without a beer in hand is tough) chatting up girls at least ten years younger than he is. They laugh airily at his constant stand-up routine. Their voices click like so many pairs of high heels on tile and he love every minute of the attention. He is not usually ganfully employed and is supported by his enabling parents. He has many stripes, but in the mountains he is usually identifiable by his requisite Careharts, sweatshirt (or T-shirt) from his favorite microbrewery and a college baseball hat. He always drinks cheap beer and shoots tequila or whiskey. He loves his Buckeyes, his Buffs, his Cornhuskers or his Bulldogs. He loves girls but hates girlfriends that last longer than two weeks. Should one desire to entice this reckless species be a beer swigging, pony-tailed, All American sweetheart who laughs at his jokes and avoids serious conversation. To avoid this potentially dangerous species look no further than the kryptonite of, “I love you,” or “Let’s talk about our future together.”
“You wanna grab a drink? I’m getting cut.”
I decide I’ve got nothing better to do.
A half bottle of Hornitos cheap tequila, several beers and a basket of fries later it’s Cinderella time. I have this bad habit of packing up and leaving as soon as a place, person or situation is no longer fun. In college, this used to worry my friends when, come 1 AM, Kate decided to disappear into the night unannounced and without warning. They used to look high and low for me only to find me fast asleep in my bed, pajamas on and makeup off.
I sneak into my car and realize I have no place to stay. Shit. I look at the seat next to me. Dane’s bag sits there calmly mocking me. Shit. “Sucker,” it says. “You’ve got a strange man’s clothes and no bed to sleep in. Watcha gonna go now?”
I proceed to the eternal Plan B of the technologically crippled, instant communication dependent, Generation Now. The mass text. I text my friends who are stuck in the mountains, I text this guy I hooked up with in college and who might, maybe still live in Denver. I text my ex-boyfriend looking for his brother’s number. I text my best friend in Athens, Ohio because it is totally logical that she could help in two thousands miles away. Nothing.
I ring my high school girlfriend’s boyfriend’s buzzer ten thousand times. Nothing. I am left with no choice. I park my car on a quiet street behind the bastion of social exclusivity and elitism that is the Denver County Club (my friend who works for a Pro-Israel lobby informs me that they don’t even let Jews in). I unroll my red sleeping bag that my Mom won at a company party when she worked for Coca Cola. In 1983. I pull the hood of my down hoodie over my head. I hunker down. I’m too tired to care about moving my shit or putting my back seats down so I curl up on the tiny half of the backseat not covered in snowshoes, hiking shoes, ski poles, running shorts, yoga pants, gloves, helmets hats and other assorted sundries of mountain life. I’ve got a yoga mat for a pillow, a pair of skis in my ass and a pile of shoes and clothes at my feet. The great blizzard of 2010 quickly blankets my car in eight inches of heavy wet snow. The elitists will have no idea that I am passed out on their quiet street, in their fancy neighborhood come morning.