He sold all his possessions and gave the money to the poor. For himself he kept only money for the bus fare and food. He took the Greyhound from the Port Authority. Next to him sat a boy who was bald and had no eyebrows. He visited his grandmother in St. Paul. She had emphysema. They ate dinner in front of the television, the volume turned up high over her breathing. He left the next day. Instead of buying a bus ticket, he gave the rest of the money to a man sleeping on the sidewalk.
A man picked him up in St. Paul. Where you going, pal? the man said. Out west, he said. Anywhere west. So what’s your deal? the man said. I’m going to the desert, he said. I’m going to live in a cave. I’ve given up money. I’m going to get food from dumpsters. Jesus Christ, the man said. Jesus fucking Christ.
A man and a woman picked him up. Good thing we stopped, the woman said. It’s going to pour in just one second. And you don’t have an umbrella or jacket or anything. Are you crazy or something? I don’t know, he said. He was hungry. My boyfriend thinks you’re a rapist murderer, she said. She’s exaggerating, the boyfriend said. Okay, he said. But I trust you, the woman said. You have a kind face. And I’m an excellent judge of character. I just have this knack for when I meet people, I can tell right away if I’m going to like someone, what kind of person they are. I’m really good at this. Most of the time. She glanced at her boyfriend. I can read palms too, she said. I can tell you your whole life. Where you’ve been, where you’re going. I can see into the future. I read this one man’s palm at the rest stop. He was going to die soon, I could tell. I told him that his end was near. I told him that if he was waiting to do something, he should do it now. The end of his life was coming, and he didn’t know it. He told me I was lying, that I shouldn’t say that. But what can I do? I have to tell the truth. I had to warn him. So he could make peace with himself, with the universe. That’s what it’s all about, making peace with the universe. That’s all we can do. You know what I’m talking about?