I agreed and took over most of the driving. During our trip, I heard Jack’s story. It consisting of drinking to much alcohol, blind rage directed at his girl friend, and culminated with a serious injury to his hand. As he recalled, at the height of one of his drunken outbursts he had enough foresight to direct is fury at a wall instead of his girl friend. He stated reasonably, “ I knew if I hit her, there would be lots of trouble. So, I figured hitting the flimsy paneling covering a wall would be a better place to release my anger. What I did not see was that where I choose to strike was right over a solid stud.” Jack seemed to see the comedy of his situation; his deliberateness still invoked destruction, except it landed on him and he could laugh about it. He was heading to friend’s house near Saint Louis to take a break, heal his hand and perhaps get a grip on his anger. He regretted that his relationship had suffered on account of his rage. I was glad to provide my driving and listening skills. I also needed a chance to take a break and sort out a direction. We arrived a his friends ranch that seemed t be a shelter of sorts for several men sorting through vagaries of life.
There was plenty to do to pass time and sort out the future. I felt I had arrived at a safe place to hide out while I was determining my next direction. One toy that occupied much of my time was a full size pinball machine that did not require being feed quarters to operate. In little time, I mastered it and thought myself the “Pinball Wizard.” Just about the time that it was beginning to bore me a couple of things happened that sprung me into action. One, Jack who had stayed off alcohol for about two weeks decided to return to Florida and patch up his relationship. For me, I was taken by surprise to receive a birthday card from my mother. I was perplexed because I did not think she knew my whereabouts and I wondered what kind of tracks she followed that pointed here. Solving that puzzle sprung me into action and provided direction, I choose neither east or west but instead headed further north, hoping to cross into Canada and visit my daughter. Like Jack, I too, needed to work on patching important relationships.