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August 21, 2023:
I made a sign on a piece of cardboard using a sharpie that had the abbreviation for Wyoming on it. Richard took me to an on-ramp in the morning when it was still dark and raining pretty heavily, but I didn’t mind one bit. I figured it would be best to get a head start and take my time.
The first vehicle that drove by picked me up. The guy was using a company vehicle and was on his way to work, going 2 hours eastbound. He drove me through the entire rainstorm and it happened to stop right where he dropped me off.
It was the most perfect on-ramp to wait on, however I had a hard time getting a ride. There were a couple of different entrances so I kept switching between the two. Eventually, I got a ride by a guy my age named Rick! We ended up hitting it off really well, so he drove me three hours out of his way, just because.
As I looked out beyond, I saw windmills in the open fields and rolling hills with brush at the base of them. I felt extra protected by my angels today, or more sure of their presence I should say. I knew in my heart I would make it home safely because the only driving force going back to Chicago was seeing the smile on my mom’s face. That’s all I could think about.
I had casually voiced that to Rick at one point during conversation. Next thing I knew, he was taking an exit headed towards Salt Lake City Airport.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked.
“I’m buying you a ticket back home,” he said, “you need to go see your mother.”
I started crying in the passenger seat from an overwhelm of complete gratitude. It was so sudden that I felt in a shock state. I thought it was also really funny because this year I was very adamant about hitchhiking and taking my time, yet the drivers were often taking me long distances or bringing me straight to my destination.
At first, I told him how it was really okay and that I didn’t mind hitchhiking, but he was very adamant about getting me back home, so I decided to relax and accept the gift I was being given. He bought me food/snacks, not asking for a dime in return. He even carried my backpack all the way up to baggage claim like a true gentlemen. I hugged him deeply at the airport and thanked him for his generosity.
My older brother picked me up from O’hare and drove me home. I walked through the door to surprise my mom and she looked at me as if in a shock that I was appearing before her so suddenly. She had guests over, yet it didn’t stop us from causing a scene as we both cried and hugged each other.
They left shortly after, we sat on the couch together and cuddled up close and just talked about life. She told me how as a mother she now felt a true sense of peace knowing that I was home and safe and sound.
Then, she started discussing marriage with me and told me how she wants me to get married to a doctor named Joris or my brother’s coach, Corey. She had been bringing up the same two guys for years and it would be the same recurring conversation.
I laughed and said, “Mom, the doctor is unattractive and has zero emotional intelligence; Corey is hot but does cocaine.”
In her mind it didn’t matter if I was happy being a solo wandering soul. She would rather have me be financially provided for so I could live a ‘normal life.’
“You can have all of the solitude time you want,” she said, “you won’t even have to have sex with them since they’ll be at work all day. They won’t be bothering you with texts/calls and you can go see other people you’re actually attracted to during that time.”
Her mentality cracked me up. Then, I asked if Dad still took care of her financially when they had first met, despite him not having much money.
“Of course,” she said, “it was just basic customs.”
I really associated that with love, it seemed. I found it so attractive to be taken care of by a man in that way, but of course, I couldn’t be in a relationship with him if there was zero emotional/spiritual connection. My heart wouldn’t allow it. I wasn’t here to live like ghosts in the same house just for some false sense of security.
Upon going to bed, she put magnesium on my feet then asked, “So, when are you going to shave your legs?”
I laughed and said, “Mom,” in a tone that suggested, ‘it’s been years, for fuck’s sake let it go.’
She goes, “Okay okay, I’m just asking.”
I chuckled and looked at her through soft eyes of appreciation.
Ah, it’s good to be home, I thought to myself.