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Factory Days

Maybe it started with running away from home with John. He was 21 and I was 17. We hitch-hiked all day heading south toward Indiana on a pleasant and warm autumn day maybe in October. I wanted to quit high-school and my mother wouldn't let me. Come to think of it, John had a car and a bunch of money so I have no idea why he hitched with me. We did not hang out together, so what it was all about I don't remember even if I knew at the time. There was a lot about reality that I did not know at that time. I wanted to go to Florida, and we were trying to reach the main highway just over the Illinois line, that went al the way down. And we did reach it around nine o'clock that night. Should have stopped in a truck stop and looked for a ride with a trucker, and I thought of it but would have been too shy to actually do it myself. So reaching the highway with our thumbs out, in the nine o'clock darkness, for about fifteen minutes, we got busted by the highway patrol who turned us over to the Gary Indiana police.

I wound up in the Gary Indiana jail for the night, until my grandfather came to get me next morning. John was not arrested and spent the night in a motel. Think he took a bus home, not exactly then a favorite of my grandfather. But he did look after me. So they let me quit school, but I went back for second semester, then quit again in the very last week. Just did not have the memory for it, but thought I was stupid.

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