They had seen my “moment” over my coffee. Somehow, they gained my trust, took me back to the station and put me on my bus. And as irony would have it, Beth and Sissy were going my way.
Trust. Rejection. Am I insular by choice or design? I know not. But these two must be witches of the most powerful order because by the time our bus reached Gallup, NM, I had told them my life’s story and they had told me theirs. And when I say, my story, the whole enchilada. My appearance in the desert, my search for meaning, all the bizarre theories I’d cobbled together over the years, Melanie and Oliver and of course, my dreams which led to my current wanderings.
Beth and Sissy were in their sixties, had been married previously with children and now, lived together.
“We’re lesbians who did the mainstream thing for a while. Found it wasn’t working. Found each other. Bought an SUV, a dog and moved to Gallup.” That’s how Beth described it.
They had been housewives, Beth with two sons and Sissy with two daughters. They were friends whose children grew up together. Same barbeques and parties and yet they both felt like it wasn’t right.
“Like you said about yourself,” said Sissy, “I was out of sync, living a life that really wasn’t mine because I was told to live that way.”
They were good listeners, good counselors and to become good friends. I do not understand why they took me under wing. As you can see from my picture, I don’t really ooze “sane, trustworthy male.” But they saw something in me needing rescuing.
“You need to find your place. No matter what crazy ideas you have, you won’t be settled or happy unless you come to terms with yourself.”
Beth was the no non-sense of the two. Sissy, softer on first blush but with time, one realized she was the anchor of the two. The next twelve hours flew by. Their kindness a balm to my souls’ rends.
Stepping off the bus in Gallup, Beth asked, “What next?”
I thought for a moment. “I think I need to rent a car.”
“How far you going?”
I looked at Sissy, “To the beginning, I guess.”
“Your spot in the desert.” Beth looked at me. It was a statement not a question.
Looking at Beth, Sissy grabbed my arm. “Rental Car offices are closed till morning. First we’ll get some dinner at Earl’s.”
Beth locked step with us, “Then you’ll come back to our place to clean up and get a good night’s sleep.”
“Thank you. But how do you know I’m not some mass murderer or worse?”
“Then the coroner will have fun putting what’s left of you back together after her .45 and my 20 gauge are done with you,” Sissy responded.
I guessed she was talking about guns. I followed. Earl’s was a classic Route 66 diner that now catered to the historical tourist rather than families and travelling salesmen. With my penchant for things old, I felt right at home. As I already knew, Beth and Sissy had been in Oklahoma visiting their kids and grandkids. The reason they had taken the bus, I learned, was their car had to unexpectedly go into the shop.
After dinner, which I paid for, we took a cab back to their home. It was nice to be taken care of somewhat. Not something I was used to. I showered and had a glass of wine with the ladies on their front porch before turning in for the night.