Tomorrow I give Ruth a hug and drive away to Kansas City for the first stop on my book tour, a meeting of the K.C. Drinking Liberally group.
It's been one hundred years since I really went out and socialized. I think this trip will be a learning experience for me.
Just finished updating the itinerary. There are seventy-eight stops between drinking with the liberals in Kansas City to drinking with the liberals in Colorado Springs on July 3.
Got my car worked on, tune-up, oil, two new tires. Cost about fifteen hundred or so. And so, of course, this afternoon I'm going back to the shop because the windshield wiper fluid still doesn't spray. And maybe I should have got that driver's side window and the radio to work, I don't know, maybe.
I did figure out the iPod, with the help of my kids, Sam and Emily. Ruth bought me a map and Lisa Casey at All Hat No Cattle and Bart at Bartcop.com sent me T-shirts. Awesome.
At 51, it's been awhile, almost thirty years, since I took my last road trip in my dad's 1959 Chevy with the wings, and my dog, and cowboy hat I bought in Fort Collins after visiting my sister. I always called her derisively "my rich sister." I shouldn't have done that. That's maybe not fair, but her husband, once the manager of KCOL radio in Fort Collins, was up on the dais when President Gerald Ford visited Fort Collins in the 1970s. I don't like Gerald Ford. He's dead and I don't like him any better. He was supposed to be a man's president, football player and all. If he was half a man he wouldn't have lied to us all with the rest of the Warren Commission. Oh, well, what you gonna do with rich bastards? About all you can do is holler. They're still gonna do whatever it is they do.
Anyway, dad's brown and white Chevy, my dog, Nicki, sitting in the front seat, ears flapping in the breeze, looking around at me, out the window with Buddhist detachment. Headed out west, to Oregon, to find the sun, the truth, the girl of my dreams, my ass with both hands, I really don't know. Dad died in 1981 in an Omaha hospital, of kidney failure, the day before Ruth and I got married. That has been awhile, too. Wish I still had the white plastic Jesus we used to have on the dashboard of the Chevy. It might come in handy.
I never did want to do this, take a book tour. In my mind, that's the reason you write books, because you don't or won't talk. But my books are good, really, trust me, and they deserve a chance to live. So I'm going to give about eighty speeches more than I have ever given in my life - and I think it will be a blast. When it's all over, after you get back and sit with a quart of beer in both hands on the back porch, that kind of a blast, not necessarily while, oh, well, that's enough.
I need to just go do it. Right. I hear you.
First, I need to put this letter to the IRS in the mail.
March 27, 2007
Internal Revenue Service
Kansas City, MO 64999-002
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