I actually ended up dating the guy this story is about for several months. But this takes place about a week after I had met him. Obviously we didn’t know each other that well, and to be honest there had already been a couple times when I had been tempted to tell him to pull his truck over and let me out because he was just to big of a douchebag and I couldn’t handle it. What it says about the person I was at that time, that I could barely stand to be around him but I dated him for a third of a year, I hardly even want to think about.
Anyway, he wanted to go camping. I had been camping before and really enjoyed it, but it was always in a tent and sleeping bag in a sectioned-off camp ground patrolled by forest rangers. And we always brought things with which to build a fire. He didn’t feel this was “real” camping. Real camping involved driving into the middle of nowhere and eating sticks and dirt and punching coyotes and growing a beard. So we loaded up his truck with a few blankets and a couple cans of beans, and started driving.
We actually found one of my coveted man-made camp grounds first. For some reason we drove in, (I don’t know why because that wasn’t remotely what he wanted), and promptly got lost in the maze of paved roads. People had started staring at us because we had driven by so many times when we managed to find our way out.
Driving around with this guy was always like this. He always went somewhere weird, somewhere he logically wouldn’t have if he’d been, I don’t know, sane, and either got lost or stuck. I don’t mind either of those things terribly. It was actually one of his more enjoyable personality quirks. Once, at a later date, I went mudding with him. He drove around in circles for awhile and then out onto a seemingly solid piece of land that his truck immediately, and with alarming speed, began to sink into. We walked through piles of trash on what was probably private property out to the freeway, and then down to a gas station where he asked everyone with a big truck to come help pull him out. When he found someone, he left me at the gas station and off they went. Maybe 30 minutes later he drives up in a mud caked truck, I hop in, and he drives STRAIGHT across the road directly into some mud in which his truck again gets stuck. I thought this was funny. He was losing his good humor at this point. But come on. What did you expect? You and your little two wheel drive ford ranger.
Anyway, we get out of the campground and continued driving. He saw two women sitting in their car on the side of the road and decided to pull over and ask them if they knew of any good “real” camp sites. One of them told him to go talk to “Rusty” her husband, at some bar further up the road. So we drive to this bar and Rusty draws us a map on an old napkin.
I start thinking thoughts such as these:
“What if he’s a psycho murderer and he’s essentially drawing us a map to our FATE, because he will wait until it’s dark and then drive down after us because he’s pretty much the only person in the world who knows where we are, and we won’t be able to get away quickly enough because my stupid date will be like “Hey! Rusty!” and then get stabbed and I won’t be able to do anything but run out towards a pack of coyotes because I can’t drive a stick =/”
But I keep my mouth shut. And we drive down the road a ways, and then turn right onto a winding dirt road. I have drawn a picture of what it felt like going down:
We get to the bottom. This guy sees a wide empty space and just goes ape shit. He starts doing doughnuts wildly, while, and this is the part that freaked me out, laughing like a fucking maniac.
Now I am thinking thoughts such as these:
“I just came down a ridiculously long road to the middle of absolutely nowhere with a guy I hardly know who is apparently completely insane and no one knows where I am except for the Rusty the psycho killer, and someone is probably going to stab and kill me or feed me to the coyotes and why did I ever think this was an acceptable idea?”
It is becoming increasingly obvious to me that one way or the other, I am going to die tonight.
After what feels like a million minutes of uncomfortableness on my part, he calms down a little and finds a spot to park. He then proceeds to:
1. Spend 45 minutes trying to start a fire with cigarettes, gasoline, and old fast food wrappers. And fails.
2. Try and smoke a smoldering piece of paper.
3. Realize he did not bring any can openers for the cans.
4. Realize it gets really really cold out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of winter.
So I help my mental patient arrange the blankets in the back of his truck, and climb into our makeshift bed with him because at this point I’d rather be warm when I’m stabbed. He says something sweet about my cold feet and we lay there with our heads under the blanket trying to combine our body heat. This is actually a moment I looked back on fondly throughout the rest of our fucked up relationship. There was a lot of bad, but also some nice moments like this that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
After about 20 minutes, we’ve had enough. So we pack up our beans and blankets, drive back into town, stop off at taco bell, and go back to his place where I fall asleep after he graciously tells me we don’t have to have sex that night.