Before leaving Trap Pond, I decided to call my oldest friend, Scott. I have known Scott since I was 15, longer than I have known anyone else on this earth besides my family. I met him at a Pentecostal church, and my earliest memory of him is when he was cracking jokes at a potluck-type gathering on a Sunday night. I looked up his cell number in my phone and tapped the button to make the call. He answered right away, but I was in the boonies and had bad reception. He said I sounded like I was calling from the other side of a stargate. He and I loved the movie and show about Stargate-SG1 years ago and he’s still a big nerd about it.
I got back to civilization and called him. He was just getting off work. I told him I wanted to stop by and chat for a bit, and not to clean up on my account. I drove to his house and let myself in.
I used to worry that Scott was a bit of a packrat. He was always toting old junk around with him whenever he’d move – stuff that no human being has any real need for. But he always seemed to have some scheme of selling the junk on ebay or restoring the old car he’d totaled at age 16 and has been with him ever since, now that he’s 50. But now I saw that he had acquired even more shelves and they were all packed out with stuff. There was a little path through the living room leading to a couch. As I made my way to the couch I said, “You might be a hoarder.” I have never known a single guy to have so much STUFF. I wondered to myself whether any of it really brought him any joy.
He went to shake my hand but I gave him a big hug. Then we talked for a few hours, just catching up and discussing our families and recent happenings and the Word of God. He surprised me when he informed me that he had gotten rid of his television and internet. Of the two of us, he was always more into television. But he said the cost wasn’t worth the payoff. All said and done, we had a good time in the Lord, though I felt concern for him. He remarked that I was the first company he’d had to his house since the last time I was there – which must’ve been five years ago at least. Since I’d left his mother had died, and most of his family is dysfunctional. I suggested that maybe it was time to visit me in North Carolina, or even to move somewhere else. I felt a little trapped in his living room and wondered if he felt the same way. I prayed with him before I left, and then hugged him again.
I left his place around 7 and then drove to Salisbury, MD, where I was supposed to stay at Jerm’s that night. He had all his kids and their significant others there. I had rebound a bible for his daughter and presented it to her on my arrival. She seemed pleased with the work. I chatted with Jerm and his wife until 11:30 or so, then I went to sleep in a room they had prepared for me.
Next morning, Jerm treated me to breakfast at Denny’s. I had country-fried steak and scrambled eggs, hash browns, extra bacon, and black coffee. We got back to his house around 8:30. They were planning a trip to Assateague Island for a beach day. The island has a lot of wild horses living on it. They walk up to you on the beach and on the roads lining the island. I live very close to the beach anyway, so I wasn’t really enthralled with the idea of leaving the air conditioning and sweating my balls off in the hot sun, but I went to spend time with Jerm because that’s what I was there for. I hadn’t brought flip flops so I was wearing my Vans skate shoes over the hot sand, which ended up giving me blisters on top of the blisters I got the first day by walking around Trap Pond.
I felt a little guilty that I didn’t eat any of his wife’s food while I was there. I was fasting on the first night, when I visited Scott. The second day I planned a big meal with some other friends that night so I skipped lunch after eating that big Denny’s breakfast. On the third morning I was fasting again and only drank some black coffee at Jerm’s house. His wife is the type that likes to feed you and goes to a lot of effort to make nice homecooked food. I tried explaining to her that I’m trying to get control of my body again and cut weight, but I felt like I disappointed her nevertheless. She’s really a very cute and sweet lady and you can tell she really loves the Lord.
At about 2:30, I started thinking about the primary task I’d come to Delmarva for: to deliver two bibles to the pastor and pastor’s wife – John and Alice – whose church I’d been a part of for over 15 years. I took my leave of Jerm and his family and walked over the sand to my car, which was boiling hot in the midday sun. I was sweaty all over and sandy besides. I wondered how I would shower before getting to their house at 4, which was the time we’d agreed on. I turned the car on and got the A/C blasting, and then I remembered that there is truck stop in Laurel. I thought they might have showers there. While I brushing as much sand off myself as I could with an old t-shirt, I called them to confirm.
“Do you guys have showers?” I asked.
“What’s that?” the girl said.
“Do you have showers for truckers?” I asked again.
“Do we have what?” she said. Clearly not many folks call asking to bathe.
“SHOW-ERS,” I said. “Like a bath that you stand up in and water falls down upon you.”
“Oh, showers,” she said. “Yes, we have them. They’re eight dollars, or free with a truck fuel-up.” I thanked her and said I’d be there in about 45 minutes.