I was 25 years old and called up my friend Ryan and asked him if he knew how to use a camera.

“A Camera?  Sure.  I guess.  Why?”

“Okay.. We’re taking a month long trip to walk Ooli (my Doberman RIP) across the country.  It’ll be fucking hilarious.  You in?”

“Dude.  I’m broke.”

“No no, I’ll pay you.  All expenses covered.  Let’s leave today.”

“In who’s car?”

“Hmmm… I’ll go get one.  Meet me in Prospect Park in like two hours and be ready to go”.

So I went to some rental car place over in NJ somewhere.

[me talking to the rental car dude] “So… Unlimited miles, right?”

“Yeah… Unlimited miles.”

“So no matter how much I drive it’s the same cost?”

“Well.. I mean you gotta put in the gas an stuff.”

“Right.  Right.  Okay.  I’ll take it.”

So the rental car dude slowly starts typing the info into his computer… “Impala… How long a rental you want?”

So I think to myself hmmm… how long this shit gonna take.  “Like… uhhh two weeks?”

“Two weeks.” He said to me in this confirming typa way as he put it into his computer.  Then I cut him off typing–

“Actually I don’t know.”

He looked confused.  “What?”

“Maybe three weeks.  Wait– If I wanna change the rental length can I?”

“Where you goin?  Africa?  Just call us up.  You can extend over the phone.”

Gold.

So in Lancaster PA I walk Ooli in front of an Amish horse and buggie.  St Louis Ooli and I walk by the Arch.  In Kansas we walk through the windy fields of long dry grass.  In Colorado we walk through Chautauqua State Park in Boulder, through the pine trees of Park City Utah and then

STOP—–>  We get to Reno, “The Biggest Little City In The World”.

“What should we do?”  I asked Ryan.

“Casino.” He says.

So we leave Ooli in some shitty motel room and get to the casino… but it’s full of old people.  So we left.

Then we walked around the block.

Wait.

Cars piled up around some plain looking building.  Upon closer investigation we see that it’s called, “The Men’s Club”.  Hmm… Okay.  So we enter the strip club and

BOOM!  The bustling city erupts.

Then I see this little red head walkin around, she’s a stripper, let’s call her Brooklyn…

She looks at me from across the room, I look back. Then she leaves.  Then a light touch of human perfection rests on my lap and I look up and it’s her. She asks me who I am.  I’m greg.  I ask her who she is.  She’s Brooklyn. But after ten minutes, I break the bad news to her….

“I’m probably not gonna get a dance… Sooooo you know, I feel bad taking up your time.”

“Oh that’s okay” she says.  Oh.  Awesome.  We talk some more. [dude approaches]

“hey uhh.. my buddy really likes you sweets [shoves some money her way] can you come with— [pulls her toward his friend]  ”I’ll be right back” she says as she proceeds to give some dipshit a lapdance right next to me.  She stares at me the whole time… wait, is she staring at me?  Nah… she’s a stripper.  That’s what they do.

The song ends and she’s back on my lap, talking as if the convo never left. I learn that she’s named after the town she’s from… (not brooklyn, a small desert town in Nevada).  [another dude approaches]

Dude: yada yada… you get the picture.

She leaves again but assures me she’ll return right after.  What the fuck is going on?  This time she gives a splendid dance for a guy behind a cloud of smoke, and she stares at me from across the room.

Sure enough.. the song ends and she’s right back on my lap.

“I think I’ma go.” I tell her. “wait.. don’t you want my number?” She asks me.

Your number?

Yeah!

Ummm… yeah.  What’s your number?  So we exchange numbers…Then she says to me

Do you wanna hang out after work?

Ummm… yeah, sure. [subtext: FUCK YEAH I DO!]

I get off at like 4, will you be awake?

I’ll stay awake.

I get up to leave, completely confused by this whole situation.

WAIT!! She screams. Don’t you wanna see me dance?  I go on stage next.

You want me to wait for you to go on stage to dance?

Uh huh!

Usher’s OMG comes on and she takes the stage.  Her moves are fairly spectacular.  She wears two thongs and climbs to the top of the pole, swings upside down and peels off one thong with her high heels… really talented girl.

RING RING RING RING

I wake up.  It’s 5am.

FUCKKKKKKKKKK

I check my phone, there’s six missed calls. I look at Ryan passed out on his bed.  I look at Ooli, sleeping on my bed.  I look at my phone and frantically call the number back.

“Jeez. I thought you forgot about me… do you still want to hang out?” “Yeah Of course [flustered as fuck]” “Good I’m almost at your casino.  Meet me out front?”

So I jet down to the concierge.

I need a room.

Great, check in is at–

No, I need one now.

Oooohhhhhh [wink wink]

No no, it’s not like that.  She’s a stripper.

Right.

She is.

Right.

I get a room close by my other room and make it look like I’ve been staying there.

She calls my phone, she’s here. I jet downstairs, but not before cleaning myself up.  There she is, in her adorable hippie clothing with bright pink high heels and a sparkly dress sticking out of her small Rastafarian weaved purse.

I wake up the next morning, Brooklyn in my arms.

“Come to San Francisco with me.”

Are you serious?

Yes.

Why you going to San Francisco?

We’re making a movie.

About what?

A guy that walks his dog across the country.

Huh?

Come with me.

Are you serious?

Yes.

How will I get back?

I’ll pay for your train. It’ll be fun. Road trip.

Well… okay!

She smiles.

I’m in love.

I go to the other room and wake Ryan up.

Where the fuck have you been? He asks me.

Brooklyn came over!

Oh.

She’s coming to Sanfran with us!

What? [as he gets up and puts his clothes on trying to put two and two together]

Yeah! I really like her!

The stripper?

Her name’s Brooklyn.  She’s amazing.

Uhh… okay dude, look, I gotta run to the roulette table real quick and make a hundred bucks.

stares.

silence.

Really?

Yeah dude, I’m broke. I spent like two hundred dollars last night, I’ll be back [and he leaves the room].

Fast forward

Brooklyn and I are driving through the desert. We pull up to a college dorm room of some shitty college.

“I’ll be right back okay? Gotta get my stuff.”

She comes back out with a small bag and some poi, you know those balls on strings that hippies wave in the air…

That’s all your stuff?

Yup!

FASTFORWARD to San Francisco.

“Come to LA with me.”

FASTFORWARD to Los Angeles

“Come back to New York with me”

FASTFORWARD to El Paso

Lights. Bright lights.

Shit… it’s Border Patrol.  We were at a checkpoint on Interstate 10.  Brooklyn was driving.  I was asleep in the backseat with Ooli.  Ryan was in the passenger seat.  We had Jersey plates.

The cops open the doors.  They start rummaging through our shit.

“Any drugs on you?”

Ryan stares at me.  Brooklyn stares at Ryan. I stare at the cop.

I had a few grams of pot I had bought in Venice Beach at one of those medical weed joints back when I was not sober… which I am now.

“Uhhh I have like a gram of pot”

They walk us to jail.  We’re each thrown in a different cell.  I REALLY had to piss.  My cellmate was a big black dude with cornrows and he was laying down on the bench in the cell when I got in.  I rushed right by him and started peeing in the toilet as he asks me

“What’re u in for?”

They found a gram of pot in my car and they threw my dog in a big fenced off cage outside and now I’m here.  You?

“Man they tryin a tell me I got like… an ounce of shrooms or some shit in ma bag?  But that shit ain’t mine.  I was on the Greyhound and they just pulled me off that shit an said I had like.. yeah. What I said.  I dunno man.  Now they be sayin I got like a warrant out for my arrest.”

Nah man you’ll be all good. You’re good.

This dude is fucked.

Shit. Brooklyn.

I start yelling for one of the guards from the bars of my cell.

EYO!

WHAT?!

Well..  That redhead.  (Explaining to the guard) She’s my girlfriend.  And I JUST met her three days ago in Reno.  And she didn’t do anything.  She doesn’t even really smoke.  And, well, she’s gonna FLIP out at me cause it’s kinda like our third date or whatever and can you just please please let her out?  I’ll take the charge or whatever but can you just please let her out??

The guard looked at me. Like I was a fuckin idiot.

Silence.

He’s still looking.  Finally,

Shut up.

And he walked away.

Four hours later the door to the cell opens.  I’m taken to the front.  Brooklyn and Ryan are waiting for me.  Brooklyn is fucking PISSED.

I pay them off $750.  They let us go.

I go and get Ooli.

The Mexican Border Patrol dudes start asking me why I didn’t cut her ear and make them point up (she’s a five month year-old Dobbie).  I said cause I didn’t fuckin want to.

The car is a MESS.  The weed is gone.  Our luggage and things are everywhere.  We drive to a small town like seventy miles away and rent a room at a run down motel.

Ryan goes to sleep.

Brooklyn runs outside and calls me a dick.

I apologize profusely.

Then we have sex in the bathroom and she moved back to New York with me.

CUT TO SEVEN YEARS LATER.