1. Tuesday, August 6, 2019

    it was the day of rest, i had just finished reading the bible 

    and then phone rang

    unlisted number

    familiar voice

    can you come over here and pick up some suitcases and drive them out to las vegas

    when?

    right now.

    the bible is pretty clear about not working on the sabbath, but theres great debate as to whether thats a saturday or a sunday

    and even Jesus made some exceptions

    i didnt consider this being tempted because technically it says to work six days and take a day off on the seventh and technically im unemployed.

    how much are you paying?

    a lot.

    whose bags are these?

    rich people’s.

    i put on shorts and a cubs hat and collected the bags. there were lots of them.

    they filled up my trunk, my back seat and my passengers seat.

    were drugs in there? weapons? stacks of cash?

    that was none of my business.

    all i knew is they were paying more money than i had been paid in months and if i died or got arrested or got shot, at least id have a stupid story to tell in the world famous.

    and even though it irritated me that i didnt know what i was transporting, what worried me more was i wasn’t going to arrive in sin city until 1:30am

    i was worried because i get sleepy when i drive long stretches, alone, late at night.

    i learned this when i drove around the country a few months into my reign at LAist.

    often i would pull over after a late lunch and take a nap, but still i’d get sleepy again at 7pm and have to find lodging

    there would be no stopping for this assignment.

    but i did make one stop. two. one for gas and another for a Beyond Beef burger at Carls Jr and a large coke.

    that burger was vegan and it was so tasty i want another one asap.

    i listened to artie lang’s second book, Crash and Burn (2013) as i sped through the night, which was compelling but it’s not the type of stories that put you at ease since they’re mostly tales of him fucking up his life via drugs and drinking and lying and sleeping and being a total ass wipe to everyone around him.

    but it did keep me awake.

    at midnight i made it to the famous Baker thermometer where i took a great picture of a pretty girl once upon a time. back then it was broken but the other night it was working perfectly. my car was telling me it was 100 degrees out there in death valley, at midnight and the giant thermometer was more conservative: 99.

    i took a pic.

    then i texted the luggage owner. i said “im 90 minutes out, right on time.”

    he texted back. “thats great, when you arrive i will be asleep but my daughters will be up. in one of the bags is medicine. important medicine. please text them when you get here.”

    but the number was clearly international and i said, “im not sure i can call that on my phone.”

    originally i was told to leave the bags with the doorman but the doorman wasn’t gonna give me any tip. and if ever a guy deserved a tip it was the one driving all night like springsteen delivering the cocaine i mean medicine

    but it didnt happen.

    i texted when i arrived. the guy said great, thanks.

    he texted the dark colored praying hands emoji

    and that was that.

    no drama obama.

    i deposited the cash in the atm the next day and drove home the long way, still fueled on the adrenaline of breaking all the common sense rules of accepting gigs

    and being a little more desperate to say yes to anything than im comfortable with.