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Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Die Trip

Went on a Dies Trip. What is that you may ask, anyway that's what I asked when one was first suggested. My friend Gary suggested going on one as he had done it a few times with others. Throwing caution to the wind I agreed. The trip, about a year ago, turned out to be a great adventure. Your right I have not answered the question but I will...soon.

A few weeks ago I suggested to Gary we go on another Dies Trip, to which he agreed. Then mentioned to my friend Mark that we were going. Well make a short story shorter the three of us decided to do the deed. I'm getting there just hold on. When Mark arrived at my home in Flagstaff, after driving up from Phoenix, we spend some time talking about camping gear we will use this summer in England. Then he asked about the parameters which would guide the trip. I said that the only parameters were the ones we would decide with Gary in the morning.

Saturday morning we drove into town to meet Gary for breakfast were we spent time assigning different directions to each number of the die. Mine were simple 1 = right, 2 = left with the most elaborate being Roll again. Gary's were some what playful, with Marks being the most creative. The thing of it is there is no wrong way to go on this kind of trip. There is nothing to be missed, no indebt planning, just assign values to a die and go. Heading south on Lake Mary Rd. still making "rules" for out trip, such as "we would not roll the die until we came to a major intersection." Then we had to define what a "major intersection" was.

At the end of several throws we ended up at Mormon Lake Lodge. There a throw of the die put us on a one hour horse ride. What wrangles me about going on a trail ride is the six to eight horses in a row clop, clopping along a warn trail. Once up on a time you rented a horse and rode off in any direction you wanted. Insurance and law suites ended all that so now you clop, clop, clop with your horses head up the butt of the one in front of you. Clop, clop through the forest trail led by our Wrangler Jim. Jim spent most of the ride talking to the woman in front of me, every once in awhile remembering there were others on the ride by asking how we were doing. Sure go ahead an ignore the rest of us I though. Being jealous of not being talked to my the Wrangler, now how silly was that? I even thought about the time the female Wrangler on a trail ride talked only to me na na.

About a quarter away through the ride it began to rain mm mm something familiar here. But, that is another story.

Later in the day we found ourselves deep in the forest talking about the movie "Deliverance." It always interests me at the conversations that arise out of some vague thought or feeling. Now we were no where near a river, nor were we deep in "Hillbilly" territory, yet some fleeting neuron fired off causing the thought that we did not have a bow to protect us. Having left the car in the middle of a dirt road, in the middle of a Forest, I heard a horn blaring, which ended our revelry in the stillness of the place. Yep, we were blocking the road, no way, yep. I notice as the car sped passed that their faces did not show concern as to whether we were stuck or not; just annoyance. I managed to get out "Sorry," as the speeding pickup bounced by over the rocks.

Later upon rounding a corner I heard what sounded like gun fire, which caused me to stop suddenly. I am always cautious of people with guns. Especially after the horror stories told in the gun safety classes I had attended over the years. Silence! We listened. A staccato of gun fire erupted then stopped. Proceeding slowly we came upon several families target shooting into an embankment. We drove slowly by them waving as if they were long lost friends. Somewhat nervously we discussed what we would do if they decided to use us for target practice. An executive discussion caused us to turn around passing them yet again. No bullets tore through the van as we quickly exited the area.

When we finally arrived at Route 87 Mark announced that he was hungry. Gary explained that a right would lead us to a place to eat rather quickly, but if a left were thrown he would not be eating for quite awhile. Such are the rigours of a Die Trip. It was my turn to throw, to the left we when now heading toward Winslow AZ. Yes of "Standing On The Corner" fame. Mark indicated he was "O.K." with adhering to the "rules." Rules are important things, however I am of the mine set that many are made to be broken. Well, not all rules just some of the sillier ones, no one does not jump to mind. I am sure if you think about it you'll come up with one. Unless you've never broken one, even a little one?

In Winslow it was Marks turn to throw and his number indicated that we were to stop, get out of the van, tell the first person we saw what we were doing, then ask them what we were to do next. Inventive Mark! As we pulled into Winslow dead ahead of us was a gentlemen in a wheelchair sitting out side a store called "Make Up Your Mind." As we approached a woman came out of the store to stand beside him. Since this was Mark's throw he proceeded to follow the directions. The listeners faces showed polite smiles, appreciative nods, along with comments of approval. Be nice to these guys they could be escapee's came to my head as Mark talked.

The man in the wheelchair did not say much, however the woman entered into conversation with us. We found out that she was a massage therapist, who then offered her services. Gary throw the die, which came up "NO." Mark asked for a good place to eat, directions were given as we parted. On the corner we took pictures of the "Standing On The Corner" sculpture and mural. It turns out that Gary, when living in San Francisco, studied under the artist who painted the mural. We talked some about the picture, which had been damaged by a fire, then headed off.

Our waitress seemed to be having a conversation with someone other then us. Each of our questions were met with answers having nothing to do with the question. The conversation at the table became unique when Gary began talking about Gay's view of heterosexual kissing. As the conversation progressed I could not help but think that this is not a conversation "men" would be having at a dinner table in Winslow, Arizona. This cause me to begin laughing which seemed to befuddled my table mates. Once I explained we looked around to see if we had cased the exodus of other dinners. It seemed that we were not being paid attention to, or being ignored. Having finished dinner Gary make another executive decision, he was going to get a message! Which led conversation about my not liking massages, which seemed to be a foreign thought to both my companions. Now I have had a few, but they have left me cold, no clothes, and far from relaxed. Mark turned to me saying "Well you don't like to be touched." When asked were he had gotten that idea he said "You told me that."

Now I am not sure when and where I might have said such a thing, but it shocked me to hear it. As we walked I had to think about this statement. I like to touch and be touched, just not by everyone in the world. I recently received a very tight hug that was wonderful, because it seemed to have no hidden messages. I could not for the life of me come up with a reason why I would say such a thing. Then I wondered if I had said it at all, but somehow portrayed it in body language? mmm I received no insight as I walked so put it on automatic to bounce around my head.

As we entered the massage parlor I noticed several whips hanging from the wall, Teddies hanging on another, all were for sale. "I see you have more for sale here then messages." "The good stuff is down in the back." was the response. At the rear of the store we found a selection of goods we did not expect to find in Winslow AZ. Mark and I chuckled conspiratorially as we headed off to explored the restored La Posada Hotel leaving Gary to his message. Returning an hour later we entered the store as Gary emerged from the massage room. I was taken aback! He looked as if he had just awoken from a deeeeeep sleeeeeep, barely able to keep his eyes open. This is not anything I ever experienced from getting a massage. However, Mark seemed to understand his lethargic behavior. There was this grin which looked as if he had just got caught with his had in the cookie jar. I was amazed, yet found my self embarrassed at the intimacy of the moment.

Mark and I turned our attention to another woman in the store who left am imprint on my memory. As she perused the Teddies my "man" brain took over wanting to offer to buy her one if she would model it. Later Mark admitted to the same desire, while Gary was still in the throws of his massage. There was no cold shower available so we opted for an ice cream during which we discussed Gary's message. So now I feel the hook settling in with a tug to go, maybe to experience what Gary had. No no to much money, or just not wanting to be touched without being able to touch back.

There is nothing as soothing as touching a womans skin in my mind. Running your hands over the curves, feeling the softness or hardness below the smoothness of the skin. I used to fall asleep slowly moving my hand over my former girlfriends body. Of course this did not thrill her all to pieces. However, I found it took away the cares of the day, just being held and holding, touching, I guess similar to the soft rubbing that once put my children to sleep. I smile. How I love my children. Even now I rub my son or daughters back thanking God they are the people they turned out to be. My children are magic to me as I watch them grow old, raise families, love their spouses.

The next morning finds us talking over breakfast. All I can remember is that all our conversations were vibrant. There was little disagreement among us which surprised me. Mark and Gary have never spent this much time together, yet we seem to understand and accept where each is coming from. There are smiles, laughter and even a little shared sadness as we talk. I am relaxed as our words become my massage by being in a place of accepting and acceptance, not judged. As I think back I hear very little of passing judgement on others just stating our feeling and thoughts. Can it get any better then this?

We are heading home, I suggest a stop to tour the ruins of Canyon Diablo ( . I have passed it many time over the years, but have never walked around it. I guess it was a town, not the story I had heard. So now, since I am driving, I am looking for the correct exit. I get off a two wrong exits, knowing that it is not far from Winslow. Mark, riding shot gun, pulls out his portable GPS, I am irked. "I know where I'm going I don't need that." or words to that effect spill from my mouth. Mark is again perplexed at my reaction to the GPS. "I don't know why that thing bugs me the way it does." I say. To which I receive "Get over it." Now I am angry, get off at the next exit finally arriving at the canyon. We exit the van and begin to explore the canyon, I mostly by myself.

This is not the first run in over the GPS system. I have thought allot about why it bothers me so much, also coming up with some answers which I don't like. I am not anti-technology having embraced most as it comes along. I have not embraced GPS! Maybe it's the "man don't ask for directions" thing, yet I have many times misplaced myself, asking strangers without compunction about where a place is. Nope not that; then what? I find it silly to have a thing tell me how to get to a place that I have been to many times before. So using it to go to San Diego makes no sense to my head. The issue come down to the word TRUST. My friend does not trust me is the thought that runs through my head the instant he pulls out the GPS.

Old route 66 bridge

However, I look deeper to see why that thought is there. The "logic" come out that we have been talking about him going to England to bicycle through the lanes together. I have been to England twice, riding hither and yon, with out a GPS. Yes I got lost which allowed for me to meet some of the kindest people. An aside, if I had not gotten lost I would not have met them. That purchase ran through my head as He does'nt trust me to get him through. There is a place that also says My friend does not trust himself to get him through. I do not know this to be true, not asking for fear that it is.