When I finished my eighth grade year, we threw a “graduation” party that was really more of a Going-Away party for our family-friend Denny. Seems that Denny was “chucking it all” and moving to Australia for love. That was the prevailing rumor anyway and our tiny Montana town was sticking to it.
I remember feeling so inspired by this guy that I didn’t really know that well, yet had been a good friend to my mom after the divorce, and had always been good to me. Here he was, with a successful carpentry business and brand-new pickup truck, and his passion was so great that he ditched it all and moved around the world. Simply poetic.
I was also in full support of his decision because I got his truck at a smokin’ deal. 12 years, 200K miles, and numerous adventures later, that truck finally died in the parking lot of the dealership where I purchased the Football Helmet.
A week before I went out to Perth the first time, I asked my Old Man for Denny’s email address, so that I could at least tell him I’d be in the country and maybe we could have a beer at the airport or something. I’d completely forgotten that Denny actually moved to Perth and had lived there for 16 years, and I was all kinds of excited that he could hopefully show me around. I was also very much looking forward to shaking the hand of the man that I had thought of when I had decided to “chuck it all” for love, and move to Australia.
His widow wrote me back from his address. Denny had the big “C” and hadn’t told anyone but his wife. He died just after the New Year. I’d had the story wrong all along too, and she promised me that we’d meet and share our love stories over a beer. The logistics of meeting up never quite worked out during my visits, but I’ll be a resident soon, and we’re sure to get together not long after.
My old truck, Denny’s old truck, is the heart of many stories of my youth, and I firmly believe in the good mojo that gets passed on in such a way. I priced the Football Helmet to simply pay off the mechanic bills and my loan, stuck it on eBay, and have been waiting for the ideal person to come along and be the recipient of this incredible Karma.
KARma… get it? Fuck, I can’t believe I just said that.
BubblyCollegeGirl is the only person to answer the ad so far, and I can tell she’s in love with the Football Helmet. She’s driven it twice, once with her mechanic father, and I’m waiting with bated breath for her to take the deal. I could tell that MechanicDad wanted to haggle, but he inherently knew that $2000 below Blue Book for a truck with nothing wrong with it shouldn’t be GiftHorsed.
I can easily imagine her College Years being nothing but enhanced by the Magic of the Paid Forward Truck.
Asshead found a woman who loves her despite the fact that I told her repeatedly of Asshead’s… assheadedness, and I’m dropping her off tomorrow morning. I honestly believe that she’ll have a better life than the one she’s had with me. Mostly because this nice lady doesn’t believe in random 4-foot flame spurts or ritual shaving.
The Farewell JuddHole Tour is on it’s final stop tonight, with dinner at Dozer’s, and has capped a week in which I’ve consumed more free alcohol and food than I ever have in my misbegotten life. The folks from work gave me an assload of cash and tons of love (and a note that made me teary), the hockey boys bought me beer and took many memorable pictures, and those that came out of the woodwork to see me off were as welcomed a surprise as a Morning Wood that isn’t from a full bladder. It’s been tough to say good-bye, but it’s been good.
Now’s when I’d admit that I’m only writing this to distract myself from the fact that I’m so excited that steel-toes are full of urine, but I’m not going to.
Australia, Other country, New Life.
Dingoes, ‘Roos, Outback.
Sentimentals, Hugs, Visits.
Kids, Family, In-Laws.
Job, Bills, Stuggle.
Visa, Red Tape, Residency.
Flight Time, Weather, Living Conditions.
I’ve heard it all in the last few months. It seems like everyone has chimed in with something, and occasionally it’s something original. It’s all occurred to me, trust me, I’ve thought my way through all of it, and the single most important aspect of it all still remains unchanged since Day One…
I am going to be with my wife again. This time, Forever.
I leave in 2 days, 8 hours, and 11 minutes.
Wish me luck.