A long time ago, in a life long lost to all but memory, I was homeless and living in a truck. Some nearly 36 years ago I ended up in Boise, Idaho. "Ending up" is the best choice of wording here, as Boise is not a place you aspire to go to, its the place you end up when you have nowhere else to go. Back then, Idaho was being over-run with literal Nazis and National Socialists trying to create a "White Christian Utopia." Instead, as expected, they created an inbred shithole that gives Alabama a run for its money. Idaho is a place known for not being known, for being utterly unforgettable, the true meaning of Flyover Country.
Which leads me to my recent health adventure. I'm dying, in a slow motion train wreck of consequences of a life filled with dubious life choices. Turns out one of the docs writing a book on what we think is wrong with me travels the country and offers services to Catholic hospitals around the US to verify treatment gathering data for medical researchers. My doc suggested last year that when she is nearby I go see her. Now that I am on government healthcare, this became a possibility. Turns out she was going to be in Boise, ID and I got set up to go see her over two days for a series of tests and information. Boise is a seven hour drive over two mountain passes that would require a multiple day stay in town. Current doc convinced me this is a good thing for me to do, so I agreed. Only problem? The dates were in October. For those that don't understand what Idaho is like in October, think wild swings from 25°C to feet of snow.. in a 24 hour time frame. Not a fun time to be on the freeway. . I'm not homeless and don't live in a truck, but looks like I will be living in a camper trailer for a week or so.
I realized that this was going to be the first "Big City" I'd visit since 2019. I was going to be in town for at least a week, so I made a list. One thing that has been annoying is something wrong with the truck. If I took the time, read the manuals, got lucky with tools and parts I could probably fix it. This issue is that if I got the truck apart and could not put it back together again, I'd be in trouble and stuck on the mountain until spring. Being smart is knowing when to let the professionals do the work. I called a dealership, explained the issue, set up appointments, verified parts are available (horray for a 20 year old truck) and made the arrangements to hang out in the dealership while the work was done. The other issue, since I'm not exactly the beacon of health, and Idaho is basically a soup of Covid, I asked the hospital about parking my trailer on thier property to save on the risks of staying in a hotel during a labour shortage. They have parking set up for "non-terminal" patients that wish to not enter the hospital since all the Idaho hospitals are using portable morgues right now. with me being gone at lest a week, I decided to winterize the house, bear-proof the yard, do a ton of clean up, and made sure that the solar panels were waxed and cleaned. I spent time at the library in town to get a list of addresses and directions since I do not have a smart phone any longer. List set, homestead locked down, bad weather incoming, so off to Idaho I go.
The first pass was no issue, the rain and snow started as I stopped to get gas at the half way mark. Anyone living in real weather knows that first good snowfall of fall is a shit show. Non-locals forget that snow exists, chains may be required and your front wheel drive car needs to slow the fuck down. My trailer is 2500 pounds loaded, and I ended up putting chains on the trailer up the second pass. My guess is they got 4-5" of snow by the time I got there, and another like amount by the time i came down and could see the city of Boise. The seven hour trip took 11 hours. By the time I made it close to town, I made the correct decision to stop at the rest area and bunker for the night to start fresh in the morning. The rest area... man first big change. Brand new building, high efficient toilets, very nice place. The last time I had been on this stretch of road it was like a drive back in time and everything was shit. Instead, the rest are was... nice? We'll go with nice as the descriptor here.Rolling into town I got my first real shock. The place had grown and become a real place. In the last thirty years, Boise became a metropolis of just about a million people. The rest of the drive into town was a confused WHY BOISE? WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED HERE? Million dollar homes? Yuppie chain stores? Boutique shops? Tourist Trap souvenir shops? What the ever fucking hell happened here?
I got settled, checked in with the hospital, they gave me a sign to put in the window of the trailer that I am a patient, and went right to the dealer to get the truck fixed. Here, I had my first of three incidents that defined my week. I'm sitting in the lounge area, drinking shitty but free coffee, reading a book trying to ignore everyone else around me. In the periphery of my alert profile is a "kid" being loud and annoying. The kid, probably early 20's, is dressed like a trust fund baby (expensive looking loudly colored jacket, hat on sideways, jewelry, shoes not boots for the snow on the ground) there to get a sports car fixed. I know this because he dropped the name of the car loudly several times. At one point it is just him, his I guess girlfriend, and I. He says something, then I hear him say "some weird old dude reading a book" and now I am paying attention. Up until this point I have no idea what the kid is saying as I am actively ignoring him. I look his way, and he looks at me and says "yea, you asshole, got something to say?" I put my book down and stand up.
One thing I try to notice on people that want to square up is where are their wrists? Lay flat on the ground. Now, pull a leg up so your leg makes a 90° angle to the floor. Lay your arms flat and your writs will be right about where your hip joint is. My writs are about a hand lower than my hip giving me a reach of about 32" something I learned to memorize in high school when it came time to fight the sheet wearing protestant assholes. This kid has short arms. Don't fight a guy with long arms, folks, his reach will fuck your day. Second thing to notice, the first two knuckles. If the first two knuckles on the guys hands are all weird looking, scarred, rough and knobby? the owner of those hands has hit a few things in his time and probably knows how to fight. This kid had better manicured hands than a few women I've known. Soft hands, loud mouth, short arms. I'm not in the fucking mood for this shit.
end part 1 of 3 due to posting limits