Lee Side of the Mountain
Wandering through Colorado Springs on the lee side of the Rockies, I'm lefting wondering if I've seen purely indigenous habitants or simply universal variants:
1. At the Colorado City Goodwill Store (which stores, by the way, always imbue me with a renewed sense of pride in being able to have other people dispose of my junk), I stood in line behind a young, slightly counter-culture couple (very early twenties), both of whom were buying boots, his a pair of well worn cowboy boots that he immediately donned upon exiting the building. What caught my attention was the duct tape wallet protruding from his back pocket. Clever that, I thought. Looks like he made it from duct tape. Then I observed that they were driving an ancient Toyota hatchback whose tailgate had been generously shoved forward several inches by a rear-end collision. Holding the tailgate to the chassis and the glass to the tailgate was a more than generous supply of, yes, of course--duct tape. Clever that.
2. The most gorgeous, lustrous, thick, wild, celtic-esque mane of blonde streaked with pottery red that I have ever seen caught my eye several yards down the block. Long, down to mid-back and encasing the head in a wavy helmet of hirsute wonder. Walking toward the seated person from behind, I wondered how any woman could possibly maintain this riot of a hairdo without a fulltime assistant and a bucket truck--until the gentleman stood up and turned towards me, and I realized that I was perhaps looking at the last surviving, honest-to-Haight Ashbury hippie that never made it over the mountain for the '67 summer of love. And I wonder if he's spent the last forty years thinking of what might have been.
3. A U-haul moment: a VW bug with a class II trailer hitch (that's for 3500 lbs. of gross weight with a 350 lbs. tongue weight). He could haul (or try to haul) ten sumo wrestlers up the mountain, one of whom was standing on the rear bumper. Whatever he's towing, I just want to be way ahead of him or way behind him going down the mountain.
4. Friendly gnosticism shared freely via bumper sticker: "We are not physical beings having a spiritual experince. We are spiritual beings have a physical experience."
5. Mr. bike-riding, skin-cancered, bathing-challenged, spray-bottle-toting, $90-a-month-disability-check homeless man who offered to clean my windshield for a dollar, and asked with such resigned politeness and amiability that I couldn't say no. He remembered the name of a band from Detroit when I mentioned I was from Michigan. I had never heard of them, and he remarked wistfully, "You don't hear much about them anymore, I don't know why." He took his time and did the job right, accepted some money, and thanked me most sincerely, looking back with a smile when I said, "You take care of yourself."