#27 In Roads-Funny girl

After filling up, I head into the station to rehydrate. Rachel is busy harassing the guys with a steady stream of banter that keeps everyone laughing. She offers a smoker a match to go with his cigarettes but tells him he can only have one match, not the whole book. They start to negotiate as he tries to convince her he deserves them all. I put my purchases on the counter and ask if she gets paid extra for her sense of humor. “Ha!” she responds. “I wish. I’d be a rich woman.” I ask if she’s a local girl. “Yep, kinda. East Bay area but yes, a California girl. I did move away for a little while but we’re back.” She lowers her voice, looks sideways and grits her teeth as she explains, “We’re back to take care of my husband’s mother.” A customer chimes in about in-laws and family and she cracks a few jokes before returning to our conversation as she takes inventory and keeps an eye on customers at the back of the store at the same time.

“We moved to Arizona for a little while, then to Oregon which I loved. I’d like to go back, you know, live along the Umpqua river. It is so beautiful there.” I ask where she lived in Arizona and she chuckles as she rolls her eyes skyward. “Well, we were in a place called C.o.r.n.v.i.l.l.e,” she says it with a pronounced drawl. “Can you believe it? It’s right outside Cottonwood.” We crack up that she would end up in such a tiny, “Whoville” sort of place and that I would actually know where it is. “I liked it there, we had a great house but everybody started fighting and I just said (here she flips the bird at the sky) to everybody and we left. It was like ‘hey, I’m sorry you don’t have any money. I have a job, how about if you try that whole get-a-job thing yourself,’ ya know? Forget that crap!” She waves her hand over her head for effect.

Rachel mentions that I’ve picked a perfect day for riding since it’s so nice out, but asks if I’m melting in my leather get-up. We chat a bit about the beauty of the surrounding area before I ask the 38-year old if I can take her picture. “Of course, fire away, honey,” and she poses, never asking why I’m so nosey or why I want her photo. “You have a lovely day, sweetheart, and be careful. There’s a lotta crazies out there.” After the looney guy on the freeway yesterday, I nod in agreement. I certainly have met my share of crazies, but at least life ain’t boring.


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