Howdy Myst, (Edited Version Available 2020)
Our apologies for wandering off for a while, February is too short a month in many respects…..to skip posting in it was easy. March was madness and we were suffering with the worst obstacle known to blogging…..writer’s cock. Had we know DSB (Dangerous Sperm Buildup) would impact our work so drastically (the term work is applied loosely) we would have never let Mark embark on something so ridiculous. A compromise had to be made……for our art (the extra sanity also came in handy). We may have some follow up to Objectifying Women soon or it may take a while, stay tuned. You will also notice Ridicu has won the right to narrate at times, (whenever I feel like it) he bet the experiment would stall around April Fool’s and he was closest, Kimmie Lou guessed Valentine’s day and I estimated Labour day, 2014 (schmuck).
Back before the end of the world we jumped ahead into Canada for dialing into TWIW (or God if you are still stuck in the old world). Now we are backtracking a bit, back to Montana just as we are leaving Yellow Stone’s North entrance heading for Livingston, (aside from a few snags, Yellow Stone was a nice ride).
Kimmie Lou was relieved to be exiting the park before dusk, “all those animals on the road would have been tricky at night…….it’s especially nice to be away from those Goddamn Bison.” Sunset along Highway 89 in August brings danger into your path a little differently, “where the fuck did all these monster bugs come from?” asks Kimmie Lou. “Maybe it’s your high beam” we lost the low beam headlight just after that Satanic Indiana Cyclone, oncoming traffic has hated us for a couple of states now. Tomorrow will be spent at a Bozeman Kawasaki Dealer for tires, sprockets, a chain and another few things that Kimmie Lou has been whining about (apparently metal drivetrain filings dusting inside the rear rim is gauche).
We pull over a couple of times to clean the Tasmanian’s visor with plexus, but soon give up as it is coated back up in bug slime after a few miles. “The key to riding blind is getting a feel for the camber in the road.” We start getting good and sensitive to the road’s high spot in the middle as the last few dozen bugs obliterate our forward view out of the visor…..all we are left with are the curved side surfaces of the visor and here our vision widens out to the road’s peripheral white lines near each shoulder – barely reflected in the wash of the high beam. Kimmie Lou can hardly see shit after a while since the bugs are all piled up on her fairing and headlight too, but she does have good suggestions at times, “guys, I think we wanna bank left….More Left!….MORE LEFT!!!” – it really helps on a lot of the curves.
Bozeman is around 20 miles east of Livingston and we arrive just after 11pm….here we encounter MSW #2 (Montana Sneaky Woman #2). The quickie map we drew on a post it when viewing the iPad back in Cody, seems all off…..we roll around the middle of town a bit before pulling over. “Big Sky BMW / Kawasaki / KTM Motorsports ….. Brooks Street Motor Inn” I am turning the post-it around to see if I can make it conform to our location when a BMW rolls by, we jump back on Kimmie Lou and give chase. Pulling up alongside a young woman astride a shiny BMW at almost midnight generally involves tact “howdy miss, you look like somewhere we need to go.” Eyes twinkle out at us from her full face helmet and clean visor “kinda buggy out tonight huh” I nod and say “I mean you look like someone who knows where I need to go.” the light changes and she pulls ahead waving us to follow her into a gas station.
We talk with MSW #2 – Kristy for about 20 minutes about her bike and the area……it turns out her Beemer was too good a deal to pass up, but what she really wanted was a KLR like Kimmie Lou…..we all fall in love with her on the spot. Kristy isn’t sure that the shop in town services BMWs (she just bought hers) but knows they are a Kawasaki dealer and gives us basic directions before riding off. Just as she pulls away we notice her bike, her helmet and visor don’t have a single bug splat…..strange.
We decide to call the hotel suggested by the dealer to get directions…..”Brooks Street Motor Inn, this is Kristy” says the night manager. “Howdy miss….did you say your name was Kristy?” “Yes, this is Kristy.” We can tell by the way she chuckled “Yehehehs” that something is up “Uh….we seem to be a little lost and can’t find Brooks Street.” “What exit did you get off at?” There is still a playful bit of amusement in her voice. We scratch our head a second, finally Kimmie Lou says “305” …..“it may have been 305.” ” Well we are near exit 105 so you are only 200 miles off.” Her delivery, now deadpan, doesn’t conceal the fact that she is smiling like a total smart ass…..we can tell. “How far away are you from Big Sky Motorsports?” “It’s around 8 or 9 blocks away here in Missoula…..you seem to be calling from Bozeman…..wanna give up your room tonight?” Then she assures us that riders are always getting Kawasaki dealers mixed up around here…..”something about Team Bozeman” she says, but we aren’t buying it. We arrange to check in around 15 hours from now, no way are we going to keep riding tonight.
Women are generally sneaky regardless of what Universe you wander into or what Planet you plop down on…..the spots you try to steer clear of though, are places like Montana – obvious elevated sneak factor. “Whaddaya figure?” “I dunno…..called ahead to order the parts a few days ago and I made it clear when we would arrive in BOZEMAN, she didn’t say – oh no, we’re in Missoula.” Kimmie Lou snarls, “are you assholes saying you don’t know where my parts are?” I am replaying my conversation with the parts lady, then I realize….”her name was Kristy too……that makes her the first Sneak – MSW#1.” “Which means the Brooks Street Motor Inn night manager is MSW#3.” Kimmie Lou pipes up again, “I can understand a patch of women set on messing with you morons now and again, but these bitches know my back tire is bald and I have metal sprayed all over my ass right?” “The parts could be here in Bozeman at the Kawasaki dealer and we just think they are in Missoula…..we better stick around until morning and check it out, when things get this sneaky it’s best to slow down and work methodically.” Kimmie Lou and I look at each other to double check we heard Ridicu correctly…..it freaks us out when he starts sounding sensible.
We decide to ride over to the Kawasaki Dealer to get our bearings before finding a place to stay. Summit Motorsports is on a quiet road, the side of the building is dimly lit….it’s almost 1 am….fuck it, we flash – camp.
The first person to arrive in the morning is a lovely young lady and surprise, surprise…..her name is Kristy, “did I order a chain, sprockets and tires from you a few days ago?” “Mmmm, you may have been talking to the other Kristy.” “When does she get in?” Kristy shrugs her shoulders seductively……the way some women flare their nostrils, “probably never – she called yesterday to say she was moving to Kentucky…..something about avoiding the IRS.” Ridicu and I cross eyes briefly, straight answers seem unlikely……we’ll have to wait for the parts department to open. Meanwhile we watch Kristy park all kinds of machines in front of the shop, Summit has this whole see the Back-Country by Quad rental business…..Kimmie Lou thinks Quads have it made, “it must be nice to roll around without worrying as much about what a moron your rider is……where the whole balance thing is concerned.”
MSW #4 RidicuRyder usually has a “protect the public” policy where we won’t show actual people we encounter……..except for Cheerleaders and other beings with special abilities. Ryder’s involvement in the JFK assassination, the cavalier way we collapse worlds and our flair for insulting political, corporate and religious administrations means we usually keep regular bystanders out of the blog. Clearly, the Kristies are different, the Witness Protection Program could learn a few tricks from these gals.
When the parts desk opens they have a chain and tires for Kimmie Lou, but no sprockets. Kristy shrugs her shoulders again, now in a “just kidding” way…..”so off to Missoula then?” she says. “Right after breakfast……any good places to recommend?”
Main Street Over Easy is as promised – easy to find…….packed, but we don’t mind waiting, the place smells just like Apple Brandy Pancakes……..tobogganing (where they were tobogganing was anyone’s guess). “Kristy will be right with you” says the hostess as she parks us at a table. MSW #5 is one of these women that smiles at a knife thrower as if to say “I forgot to shave my legs this morning” – she walks up to our table and sets down a cup of coffee exactly how we used to take it before we went black. She waits calmly, daring us to disagree with her. Ridicu picks up the cup and takes a sip, smiles back at her and hands her the menu, no words are spoken. As Kristy walks away “good coffee.” “You know how we basically know everyone……from somewhere?” Indivisibility means we do all know each other….. remembering everyone would be kinda boring though so we still get to meet “new” people. “theoretically, sure……you remember her?” “Nope, and it ain’t gonna come to me either, she knows us though…..but she won’t say from where.” “She doesn’t have that whole origins vibe like Eve.” We take another sip of coffee and watch Kristy serve folks a few tables away from us, she smiles our way as she turns back for the kitchen….she knows we are trying to place her. “Forget about who she is or where we know her from……focus on another aspect of her……what she would like us to see.”
This young lady works hard, but effortlessly at the same time, her demeanor adjusts slightly with each patron, she sees us watching her as she makes her rounds. Kristy looks content – more alive as we notice her subtlety, Tom Robbins has described women like this as the “Genius Waitress” someone at large in the world while doing an everyday job……spectacular, just for being. When she refills our coffee Kristy slowly drops 5 cream, one at a time beside the Tasmanian and asks, “how far are you riding?” “Dunno, somewhere between here and Alaska we’re gonna turn right for the Great Lakes then drop back down to Miami…..doing a triangle – around 10,000 miles probably.” She raises an eyebrow, “sounds sporty” then turns and heads for the kitchen.
A short while later Kristy parks this tortilla type platter in front of us. Ridicu is silent, finally I ask “what’s in it?” The heels of Kristy’s hands settle on the table with her fingers around the edges and as she begins to lean towards us “eggs, black beans, cheese, salsa, green sauce, chiles, sour cream and……….pulled pork.” these last two words – pulled pork – and maybe the way Kristy’s lips pucker as she says them – evaporate Ridicu……I have no idea where he has disappeared to. Her nose is 17 7/8 centimeters from mine and that teensy wisp of perfume she is wearing wafts around my nostrils…..Chanel No 5 …..”enjoy!” she says with a quick wink and she’s off.
Later I am polishing off the platter and Kristy is pouring our fifth cup of coffee, another five creams plunk down one by one onto the table when I begin sensing Ridicu again. “So whaddaya think?” asks Kristy. “Incredible breakfast!” Kristy smiles “glad you liked it” as she walks away. “You remember right…..I mean c’mon do I have to say it.” I let Ridicu twist for a few seconds…..when I think he can’t take it anymore I offer “5th Dimension?” “I know, right? We just ate the same breakfast except mine was Pulled Pineapple Pork!” Suddenly there’s a pineapple fiber stuck against an incisor, our tongue starts pulling at it, we laugh……remembering each others breakfast, one more savory……the other sweeter.
The morning rush has thinned out and we’re getting up to leave as Kristy asks to see Kimmie Lou, locking eyes with us as she says her name. Ridicu attempts a seductive shrug “she would love to say hello, she’s just out front.”
Kristy skips ahead of us outside, we hang back and let her and Kimmie Lou get aquainted. When we finally wander alongside, Kimmie Lou is blubbering and Kristy is holding her clutch, saying “your parts ARE in Missoula…..don’t worry, these boys go a little off track sometimes, but your back end won’t be all loose and grimy tomorrow – I promise.” We snap a picture of Kristy on her way back inside, “take care of my girl” she says, nodding to Kimmie Lou and blows her a kiss. Before Kimmie Lou starts “I’m considering changing my name to Kristy Lou”….
We are humming along a few miles West of Bozeman on I 90 when Kimmie Lou asks “what’s the 5th Dimension?” “Ridicu and I have a variable view of the 5th Dimension, Kimmie Lou.” “It’s where standard reality goes sideways and becomes very elastic is what Ryder would say”……. Kimmie Lou rolls on for around 10 miles then says, “okay Ridicu, let’s hear it.” Kimmie Lou knows we try to keep uncertainties from overwhelming her mechanical sensibilities. “Well, it’s kind of a dimension optional beach……you can still wear dimensions, but they aren’t really required.” Kimmie Lou contemplates for another few miles before saying “Kristy said it’s everywhere except where beings aren’t ready for it.” We all stay silent for the next 50 miles.
A gas stop in Butte gives us a chance to stretch and discuss intersection of ideas. “Kimmie Lou, remember how an Indivisible is everybody?” “Yeah…..I have been meaning to ask you about why you can be so critical of people – like the President, he doesn’t seem like such a bad guy”…. “Understanding that you are basically criticizing yourself, doesn’t prevent you from creating a little necessary friction, especially if the person criticized can benefit by being rubbed or heated.” “Besides we called him a pussy…..not a bad guy.” “Okay” says Kimmie Lou, “we’re everybody…..as well as being Individuals, I’m still not completely clear on this by the way.” “For now, let’s focus on acting indivisibly….. Where the result is more union and less division among beings. As Individuals we can pursue specialized knowledge, become well versed or expert in several fields – including various religions, but then have limited involvement with the body of our species…..we become overdeveloped as Individuals and underdeveloped with our Indivisible. We let this sink in for a stretch, eventually Kimmie Lou says, “like the better balanced your Individual and Indivisible are the more likely you are to experience TWIW in a good way?” Ridicu and I smile…..Kimmie Lou has a memory like a steel trap. Then she offers, “so I shouldn’t get too wrapped up in extra dimensions or advanced science or enticing spiritual teachings that set the bulk of our Indivisible aside”……
Missoula is fairly straightforward…..nobody at the Brooks Street Motor Inn or Big Sky Motorsports has ever heard of a Kristy, but Kimmie Lou is thrilled with her new tires, drivetrain work and oil change……she is like a new woman – extra sassy…..even a little flirty, “hey fat boys…..now you can ride me long time.” We do encounter another MSW (#6 if you are still counting) at a sporting goods store between the Shop and the Hotel. Our 8lb (4kg) air bed has a slow leak and it is time for a lighter $40 thermarest pad to sleep on that should weigh around a pound (500g). Kristy has this Icelandic blonde hair (common here for some reason) and we are immediately entranced. “Howdy miss, what kind of camp bed would you get us on?” She quickly has us by the elbow and is marching us to the sleeping bag isle…..it is reminiscent of Miss Bolton taking us by the ear to the principal’s office in grade 2. Kristy has this sensual hold on our elbow…..the thing about most women on this planet…..lousy elbow. “I would want you on this large All Season Thermarest Neo Air…..currently on special for $109. “We’ll take it!” Ryder would have been happy to pay 10 times as much…..she’s boldly transitioned to actually cupping our left elbow (right here in the middle of the store). Then she says, “but it is a little heavier, is weight an issue?…..what kind of camping do you do?”
After Ryder describes how our 3 week Smokies trip has morphed into a run that will likely be more like 3 months, Kristy guides us into a floor-demo MSR Hoop tent. “Kristy, we really don’t have the budget for a tent like this right now……our Coleman will work out fine.” We are sitting cross legged inside the Hoop. Ryder has somehow straightened our arm forcing Kristy to release our elbow, this saleswoman is lethal and the delightful interior of this tent has a whimsy where we might be strapping fly-fishing gear or cross country skis across Kimmie Lou’s rack next. “This is the last sale tent…..you save an extra 10% because this is our floor model – that’s almost half off”…..and Kimmie Lou’s load drops another 10lbs.” She looks us right in the eye as she mentions Kimmie Lou’s load…..is Kimmie Lou a Kristy now???
“Wow, you morons were lucky to make it out of there alive” says Kimmie Lou when we describe white hot, high pressure, elbow fondling sales pitcher – MSW #6. We are a little West of Missoula heading North towards Kalispell on highway 93 and about a day away from Canada. “Of course we bought the MSR Hoop Tent.” Kimmie Lou doesn’t say anything for a few miles “What about Cole?” she has got pretty attached to most of our gear…..even though some of it is kinda heavy. “He’s still with us……we thought everybody should get to see Canada, we’ve come a long way together.” “So Hoop and Neo must be pretty light….I hardly notice them.” “C’mon Kimmie Lou, we know you are pretty much a Kristy already” The thing about Ryder is…..he has crappy filters and can be a little suspicious. Kimmie Lou scoffs, “I would love to be a Kristy…..but c’mon, do you really see me pulling all these alternate realities off?” We ride I silence for a while…..some women do live in the moment and stick to the basics, Kimmie Lou is definitely one of them.
When we are back on the road she continues, “besides, from what I can see you morons spend too much time in the 5th, 9th and Quadrillionth dimensions…..ever think maybe you ordered my parts in another dimension and the Kristies somehow figured it out and dropped in to keep you assholes on track?” “You are right Kimmie Lou, we do have trouble holding certain realities in a fixed position, I’m sorry I doubted you back there.” “And I’ve been meaning to tell you” she continues, “this Megalomania shit……it gets away from you here and there, especially as you sway sideways with all this dimensional drift…..it’s why she left” then she recovers, “I’m sorry to blurt it out like that.” “Who left?” Ridicu has to find out sometime, I have been trying to keep it from him, let him enjoy the trip…..”HW got a place of her own, she’s leaving.” “LEAVING US ?” Kimmie Lou tries to downshift and pull over, but I roll open the throttle…..I really think it will be better for Ridicu to have his meltdown at high speed…..he is gonna take this pretty hard because he will think a lot of this is his fault…..and he’s right, most of it is.
“So how long have you known, Kimmie Lou?” Ridicu is hyperventilating a bit, we are doing almost 90mph (140kph) in a residential section around the North end of Flathead Lake…..a sign back a bit suggested 50. The wind up here funnels in like crazy, almost every shoreline house has a sailboat out front. “Howie (her car) told me they had been apartment hunting just before we left” says Kimmie Lou….. Ridicu dials back the throttle, we slow to something like normal speed skirting Kalispell bay “HW seemed happy we were going on an adventure, so pleased we wouldn’t be all cooped up on the boat together for a while.” Kimmie Lou and I downshift and start looking around more, we say nothing…..letting some time pass for Ridicu to answer his own question. “Ooohh…..SSNNNEEEEAAKY.” “Well with you around she would have never been able to leave” offers Kimmie Lou. The thing about Ridicu…..he can be quite the charming bastard.
Just outside of Libby we pull in to the M K Steakhouse…..it’s time for some serious chow therapy. We can smell the Kristies, the air is alive with them.
All the Kristies are inside, some are sitting at tables with boyfriends, they all smile hello as we pass by…..Ridicu is barely attached to me, he has slipped off our edge…..sorta like Wile E Coyote in mid air except he likes the altitude. We belly up to the bar, when MSW #7 comes over I sling out my best “howdy miss, how about a GrapefruitsyTonica and what’s tonight’s special?” Ridicu barely stirs, he is kinda parched though. Kristy is already holding a GrapefruitsyTonica and slides it in front of us, Ridicu has our lips around the straw before the ice stops tinkling. Kristy hands us a menu…..when we open it there is only one item listed:
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Ridicu revives a little more, “how lumpy miss?” We don’t see it coming, but when her slap connects with our cheek we have a pretty good idea of texture around here. Then she adds “a single helping comes with a Ribeye side steak, order double and you get a New York, but I think you boys oughta listen to Kimmie Lou…..order a triple and skip the meat.” Then, as if she is reading our minds “when you fart in the right valley around here…..it echoes across Idaho. These are the Best Goddamn Garlic Mashed Potatoes you’ll ever slide down your gullet.” Ridicu is almost back at capacity, “well, in that case make it a Quad Helping, another GrapefruitsyTonica when you get a chance please and one more…..” Her smile flashes, \ SLAP / …..this time on our other cheek. Ridicu deserves this, it’s so nice when wait staff anticipate your needs.
Supper is spectacular, writing schmiting……just take our word for it. Everyone stops by to say so long, half-way through White Hot Kristy is back at our left elbow and IRS Dodger Kristy is cupping us on the right, we faint and fall face first into the mashed…..now dirty mashed potatoes. Everyone laughs and as they are all cracking up we grab a handful of spuds and slip them into our pocket for later. Our check has been taken care of, but when we get up to leave Ridicu tries to leave a tip……MSW #7 clocks us with a solid right roundhouse. We stagger back a bit and she steps after us with her dukes up, “okay Kristy, thanks very much for a wonderful time.” I’m doing what I can to muzzle Ridicu, I get the feeling he would love to have our nose broken just now, before he can say anything Kristy darts in and lands a kiss across our left cheekbone that knocks us across a few thousand dimensions, halfway into the cosmos around the corner.
HW and I are very happy and living a nice life on a mostly blue planet like this one…..our twins Kim and Ridley are a real handful (especially Ridley). They have just begun preschool a few blocks from where HW works blah blah blah, yaddi yaddi yadda……you get the idea. When we come around we have already made camp in the Libby City Campground, Kimmie Lou is on her center stand watching a crow tear into some pita we’ve had since Kansas. “You guys okay ?” We can’t decide if we should let on we don’t remember getting into town. “You guys didn’t just drift huh…..I mean she really pelted ya out there.” We sit around talking about life in different worlds, past lives, future lives, eliminating time between everything. Everything settling into your consciousness and what a fucking monster headache that can be.
After nightfall Ridicu and I slip out the back of our campsite into the graveyard behind the park. Our psychosis has been swirling all afternoon like a Vulture, if we don’t give in to it now we will just have another Vulture tomorrow and more after that. Sliding through dimensions doesn’t help and this impending Divorce has rattled the hell out of Ridicu. I’ve been slowly digesting it since Georgia and now that he and I are going to process it together we both know it’s time to let reason take the night off.
We pick a spot between a couple of headstones where we can lay and see the moonrise beside a large oak in one corner of the cemetery. We love graveyards, so peaceful…..the grass is long here, probably due for cutting tomorrow. Ridicu reaches into our pocket and smoothly exhumes the cold potatoes, we are careful to only chew a couple of times after he crams them in…..over-salivating can ruin the effect. The sky is a very cool blue…..almost electric and the moon is a gorgeous slivered dimple at one corner of the universe’s mouth.
Another art lost in this world is how to strangle a potato even after he or she has already been mashed…..
Ridicu softly sobs a few times as I begin wrapping the dental floss around our left index finger and then the right. Tears fill our ears as we work back to front, side to side…..we floss regularly so it takes a while for our gums to bleed. The best blood baths are the ones where you can completely swallow the crime scene at a moment’s notice, but tonight we are all alone…..we need this to last. Aside from pocket lint, there was a penny so the first trickles of death taste extra metallic. A few dozen fingers start scratching our back, hands reach up and begin rubbing the tension out of our shoulders and neck. Yeah….these micro-psychotic-abrasives really do the trick when a boys night at the spa has to happen.
How lovely to be back with you all again.
March has come and gone and the Bank Of America account still seems to be light a Quadrillion dollars. Silly Chinese, ever wonder what’s behind the reason you don’t like losing face so much? It is because when a round closes and you seem to be holding a lot of cards…..almost everyone thinks you are assholes.