A little under a month ago, a friend asked me to meet for coffee….and today, I pick her up in Sacramento for a five-day trek up the Pacific Coast. I feel good about it. After leaving Kings Canyon National Park a day earlier than planned to have my camper inspected (I mistakenly thought I spied some grease on the inside wheel well,) I now feel a renewed confidence she’s up for the drive. “Gloria”…….that’s her name. She’s already been through mountains, deserts, and miles of winding roads of varying conditions…..all with no suspension other than what she gets from slightly underinflated tires. Really, she’s already a miracle in my eyes…..nothing short of amazing.
One thing I can say about having my friend (hence, human company) on this new and upcoming leg of the journey is that perhaps I will stop worrying so much about Miss Gloria and what she’s doing “back there” as I drive down the road. I’ve tried to be “safe” on this trip with inspections at every stop. I really don’t want to end up on the side of the road again in the middle of nowhere, but I’ve prepared for that too…..mentally and otherwise. If I have to leave her somewhere along the way, I will do it…..figure it out, if needed. However, less time to myself to think about all of that is probably a good thing.
Luckily, Gloria is good for tonight. I drop her off at a campground about an hour east of Sacramento and head to get a shower and pick up my friend, April. I also rearrange the car to accommodate April and her belongings and grab a bite to eat. It’s time for business, so to speak. I have to find my way to and around the airport. I have to act like I know what I’m doing…..which I do, but we can’t have me looking clueless and vulnerable. That invites trouble. So, I put on my best resting bitch face and walk like a woman of the world who is nice and kind enough, but you really don’t want to mess with her.
Why is this even a thing? Or, is it even a thing with anyone other than me? Perhaps it’s just something my mother instilled in me as a child…..appearing subtly tough. Can’t make it too obvious. That attracts attention and looks ridiculous. Any apparent weakness, however….that can be an even bigger attractant. Thinking about all of this while navigating through the terminal, I feel a sudden desire to act weak and clueless as some sort of social experiment. I mean, what’s the harm? There really is no threat here. I’m just puffing up my fur and arching my back like some stupid house cat that just saw a big goofy canine from across the room.
It doesn’t take me long and I reach the point in the terminal in which I can go no farther. April’s plane is early. So am I. All is well, but it still feels like an eternity for her to get off the plane and make her way to the train that brings her to me. And then…..finally…..she’s there.
And then…..suddenly and just like that…..I am not alone.