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I accidentally walked onto a big event occurring in Salida called FIBArk so decided to stay for the weekend! I resided in a lovely travelers home called Simple Hostel and traded my macramé pieces for a couple nights stay.
At the hostel, I met a cute Swiss-French man named Lucas. He joined me on a walk to Safeway to get some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. On our way out of the store, I saw a group of security guards outside, so naturally, I hit on them.
I brought attention to their handcuffs that hung off their waist and asked if they ever used them. They said no and I joked, “Let’s say I stole this ice cream from Safeway, would I get handcuffed?” They chuckled, “Maybe if you stole something much more expensive and started running away with it.” I teased, “Oo… you’re making me feel heated.” They laughed and were able to let their guards down around me while Lucas face-palmed himself. 😂
I know so many people get intimidated by authority but to me I just see people as playing dress up and pretending to play a role (in the end, that’s what we’re all doing). Because of that, I feel as though I can say anything that’s on my mind and it just comes out as playful, because it is.
At the hostel, I became close friends with a man named Dave who was a passionate cyclist. He was in his 60’s yet had the energy of a 12 year old boy. Early in the afternoon, he took me out for ice cream at a 50’s themed place called Salida Pharmacy & Fountain. I spun around on the cushion bar stools and licked the whipped cream off my double scoop of ice cream while he opened up to me about his past.
A few years prior, he got severely injured and his doctor told him he was “disabled” and would never be able to walk again. He refused to accept that as his reality and said, “Just because I’m disabled doesn’t mean I’m not able.” He found cycling after his injury and described how it changed his life. His eyes teared, “Never will you feel so free [when you choose this path]. How could you say no to this shit? The views outside are nice, but the views inward are even better.”
He used to be a sergeant and expressed his perception on what was revealed to him after the war. He said, “We can’t convince young men that they’re out there saving the world, because this isn’t about protecting our country… it’s about money.”
Dave was magnetic by nature. Everyone in town knew him and greeted him with smiles and hugs. He snuck us into the festival numerous times. It was so smooth and nonchalant that I wasn’t even aware of him doing it. Near the late afternoon, a couple of cute twenty year old girls who worked the ticket booth saw Dave and provided us both with free wristbands.
He bought me my first ever funnel cake and with the excitement of a child, he goes, “It’s like a galaxy with powdered sugar.” 🤣 We laid in the grass as we took apart the warm dessert and enjoyed the live music in the background. I felt safe in his presence, so I opened up to him about my fears and dreams in life.
Later at night, the boys and I went to Moonlight Pizza and I got an extra oil pesto based pizza while they roasted me for my taste in food.