Close Calls: Part 2 of 3

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When I woke the van was an oven. I was soaked in sweat. The pulled curtains kept some light out, but didn’t help to maintain a livable temperature, so I flung them open and laid back down to enjoy the rush of cool air.

While sorting through my luggage I sensed something and looked out through the side windows. Directly across the narrow sidewalk was a giant window giving a view straight into someone’s living room where there was a couch with a man sitting on it. He was staring straight at me. I looked back to my things. While moving a stack of books, I glanced over to find him still staring.


I laughed to myself at the irony of this guy watching me from his couch. It was a bit awkward, but I did block his view by parking my big bus in front of his window. I figured this gave him some right to watch what I was doing. When his girlfriend or wife got home, they kissed, she sat down next to him and then they watched me together. I kept on with the show.

Upon opening my black duffel bag, I found my new pocket knife had opened during the journey and slashed a couple dozen holes in the bottom. I had just earlier been pleased when noticing the bag’s tag said “Built for Life”. Now it was all hacked up.

“Whoa!” I said out loud.

I had just noticed the holes were all located at the center of the bag, which was where I had it draped over my neck on the hour or so of walking I did from the airport and train stations. With the weight of all my gear behind it, the blade could have easily pierced my neck. Kershaw knives are some of the sharpest on earth too. I thought about the tunnel in Boston and was happy I was traveling.

Later that evening I did some grocery shopping, then in the van I ate a dinner of apple juice, an apple and a peanut butter sandwich. A few hours had passed and I noticed the radiator fan was still running. By the time I got the fuse out, the battery was near dead and the van wouldn’t start.

Good thing I’d only parked a couple blocks from Donna’s place. Hopefully she has jumper cables, I had thought.

“Hi Donna” I said as she was parking another white van in front of her house.

“Hi John”

“Could I borrow a pair of jumper cables?”

“Sure, What happened?” She asked.

“The switch on the radiator fan must be busted. It drained the battery,” I answered.

“Sure yea,” she said leading me into the garage. “I don’t know where they are. I’m not a mechanic y’know!”

“How about these?” I asked while wrapping the greasy wires and big clamps up to take with me.

“There they are!” she said just as when she had found my missing insurance card.

There was just enough juice in the camper battery to jumpstart the engine battery. I drove around to charge the battery and for some practice behind the wheel of a minibus. Also to search for the mechanic I’d gone to last time, as I’d need to get the fan switch fixed in the morning.

I got lost again, but didn’t fall off any cliffs. After three hours of rounding roundabouts and trying every exit, I needed gas. After topping off the 20 gallon tank at $7/gallon (yes that’s $140 to fill up), I noticed a stronger than usual smell of gasoline.

Maybe it was just the gas that squirted out of the hose, I thought. There had been no safety valve on the gas nozzle, so when I pulled the handle out of the holster I sort of garden hosed the pump, ground and side of my bus with fuel. But the smell seemed to be getting stronger…

3 Thoughts on “Close Calls: Part 2 of 3”

  1. Suzy Says:

    cliff hanger………..

  2. UT Says:

    I can’t wait to hear what happens. Was there a fire? Did you blow up?

  3. Cheryl Says:

    seemed to be getting stronger and……..? Ok. This was posted yesterday. Where is part 3 of 3?

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