Flower picked up.
I couldn’t believe my ears.
FLOWER!!!! WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? WHERE’D YOU GO?!?!
I’m so sorry Greggy they made me leave and I went to Switzerland and then I ran away with Kiki and then we got tickets to come back here and I’m doin it Greggy, the whole Kerouac thing!
I couldn’t believe I had found her.
Everything we talked about! I’m free Greggy! Come be with me, let’s be free!
Where are you?
I’m in a city called Providence and there’s all these—
She kept talking but here’s what I was doing while she was talking…. I had no time to waste… My mom could walk in at any moment and my cover would be blown. I had only 36-hours left on my visitation and if I didn’t get this runaway right… well, I’d be back in Georgia. For another ten months. At that fucked up place I was telling you about.
So I tried to interrupt her–
But she just kept going–
–There’s this Shocker-dude and gives these psychic readings—
Oh! And then there’s Vincent! He’s this poet dude guy and then Ari! He’s got like this long weird hair and—
I’m calling you RIGHT back. DON’T MOVE, OKAY?
DON’T MOVE. FIVE MINUTES.
I hung up, unplugged the phone jack into my computer modem (this is how it worked back in the day. I couldn’t be on the phone and the internet at the same time).
I went to the Greyhound website I think… or some bus website.
I found a bus leaving for Providence the next day at 6PM from the Hempstead Greyhound station in Long Island.
It was 23 bucks.
I quietly unplugged the modem and re-plugged the phone before my mom or dad would notice the green light not flashing, then flashing again. We had a green light on the telephone line to signal when it was in use. I didn’t want them seeing any funny fidgety activity…
I called Flower back ASAP.
Flower. Listen. I’m coming to see you.
Tomorrow. I get in at midnight. Can you come get me at midnight? I’ll be at the Greyhound station. You know where that is?
Ohhhh I know where that is! It’s downtown and–
I could hear my mom. Or someone. Someone was coming.
–I gotta go.
My mom poked her head in my room.
I hung up.
What are you doing?
…and so started my plan. GET TO PROVIDENCE. GET TO FLOWER. NEVER COME BACK EVER AGAIN.
And you know what? It worked.
But not like I imagined…
Here’s some more of my SIX-MONTH ADVENTURE AS A HOMELESS RUNAWAY TEEN ON THAYER STREET.