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I get my backpack back and make sure everything is there and leave. I walk to the truck stop and ask every person that comes in if they are going south. A few people tell me they are going to Atlanta but since I had to waste so much time in Acworth, I decide that I want to at least get south of it so that I can get closer to New Orleans and hopefully get some long-distance rides.
I end up being in the truckstop all day and eat at the restaurant and buy a lot of junk food. I go into the TV lounge and watch a few movies before a long-haired guy in a lumberjack shirt comes in and asks where the hitchhiker is. I tell him itís me and he tells me that he is going to Florida, his name is George, and asks if I want to come. I tell him yes and he asks me how much money I have. I tell him that I have 15 dollars and he asks if we could fill up his gas tank. I agree and we go fill up and leave. We drive for a few hours and we get really low on gas around sunrise. He pulls up to a gas station and asks where the nearest church is. The attendant tells him and we drive to the church.
We get out and go into the church and talk with the pastor and he gives us a voucher from the Travelerís Assistance program for a tank of gas and a meal from a restaurant. We thank him for his time and generosity and go back to the gas station. We fill the tank and then go eat at the restaurant. We then hit the road and after another hour or so we have to do it again. We stop in a  succession of towns and follow the same pattern until we get to Interstate 10 in Florida. He drops me off at the junction of I-10 and I-75. He continues south and I go to the highway and wait. As Iím standing there some redneck yells something at me and I turn around and yell back at him and I get hit in the back of the head with a beer bottle. Luckily it doesnít break but just irritates me.
Immediately after I get hit a guy pulls over in a Celica and asks me if Iím okay. I tell him I am and he asks me where Iím heading. I tell him New Orleans and he tells me he can get me as far as Pensacola, which I tell him would help me greatly. I put my backpack in the back seat and get in.
His name is Jim and he asks me if I have any weed. I tell him about how I just got out of jail for two weeks for drinking and trespassing and he tells me that is why he never goes to Georgia.
"I have a friend who lives in Pensacola, Iím sure she would be cool with it if I brought you over if you have time to kill."
"Nothing but time at this point." I say.
We drive for a few hours after we stop at a diner and he gets me an omelet. We go the rest of the way to Pensacola, Florida, and he pulls over at a gas station and goes to use the phone. I sit on the hood of the car and have a cigarette. A Trans-Am pulls up and two gorgeous girls get out and one pumps the gas and the other one goes into the store. Jim walks back over to me and tells me that his friend isnít home.
"Penny!" yells the girl that had went into the store. The girl that is pumping the gas looks up at the same time as Jim.
"Oh shit! Darlene! I was just calling you. What are you doing here?" says Jim.
"Well, Jake just got in from Key West with a half pound of really good Mexican Bud and Penny brought some great shrooms from Alabama and I have some acid.
We just came out to the store to stock up on munchies and cigarettes for 2 days. We donít plan to come out once we start for quite a while. Whoís this?" she says, looking at me.
"Heís a hitchhiker from New York City named Peace."
"No shit? I just came down here from up there a few weeks ago, I was working at a strip joint but the rent up there is fuckiní insane so I came back down here." says Penny.
"Are you coming with us, Peace, or are you gonna go on your way?" says Darlene.
"Hell, Iím not in a rush. I still have a couple of weeks to make it to the Mardi Gras. You definitely sound like you have all the right ingredients for a party and Iíve never done shrooms or acid. Not to mention you two are gorgeous. Of course Iíll hang." I say.
The girls and Jim laugh and then the girls go into the store and buy a lot of junk food and 2 cartons of cigarettes, Newports and Marlboros. When they get out they get into their Trans-Am and Jim and I follow in his car. We drive up to a nice little house and then we all get out and go inside. Jake is inside, rolling some joints from  a mountain of weed. He had already rolled about 50 and stopped when we came in.


Hitchin USA / Poetry ©  P.L.A.H. Enterprises