I checked out of that Best Western and drove 6 miles over to Joshua Tree (the town) to get breakfast at the Country Kitchen, a small restaurant where Gosia and I had enjoyed breakfast last year. The same Chinese proprietor lady was there, beaming good will and cheer and serving great homemade food. As I walked out the front entrance to go around back to get the car, a woman passed me, staring straight ahead and talking to herself. Hmmm, crazies here too. I got in the car, ready to turn onto the highway back to Yucca Valley, and considered having a toke to lighten the day ahead, but decided to put it off, no need.
As I started along the highway, I spotted a hitchhiker, female, and pulled over to let her in. Whoah, the same woman who had just passed me by, looking like something of a blend between someone you'd encounter at Burning Man and the Lower East Side (back in the day). Oh well, freak magnet that I am, I let her in for a ride back to Yucca Valley. Right away she started in, "Oh, my mouth is in such pain, I've got this abscess in my gum..." Wow, I recognized that blurb - it's what she was saying as she passed me on the sidewalk. Obviously she had been rehearsing this monologue for the next person she met. And it went on, "got any pain-killers" (no), "well, what would really kill the pain is a little weed, got any?". Bingo, just after I had put it off, here comes an external influence, so I relented, "sure, a little". So I pulled off the road and rolled a little, and we toked up together. Back on the highway, we had a good laugh as "Don't Bogart That Joint" came over the radio. The 60s station was on, and she was singing along with all the tunes - "This is my music, my parents played all these songs when I was little." I'm not great at guessing ages, but she looked about 40, and taking into consideration the probable detrimental effects of the probably harmful lifestyle she'd been living, I figured mid-30s; and she turned out to be 37.
Regarding the weed, instead of enjoying the slight lift we'd gotten, all she could talk about was getting more, and how fantastic the stuff she was planning to get was (compulsive obsessive). I did need to stock up a bit, but wasn't going to risk buying any significant amount of unknown through some crazy chick I'd met, so I figured I'd go in on a dime with her just to sample it. We pulled into the parking lot of a small mall, at the bank so she could get $10 from the cash machine, and I sat in the car as she went out to meet the guy at the curb holding the pizza place poster for passing cars, who would then call his friend to make a drop-off. All this for such a minuscule transaction. And then the wait stretched into 1/2 hour, then an hour. But it was interesting hanging out with Laura, the pizza dude, and his girlfriend, getting some feeling for local life (of one sort). When it finally showed up, she ran over to me and said "let's go", but I was on the phone with my brother back home, so told her to wait - clearly torture for the poor thing. We did some of it, and it was truly strong, so I just had a touch, and didn't take any more from her. She had me turn on a little street, into an alley, and leave her at the back door to an unmarked "social club" where she was gonna get something to eat. I drove away relieved that I wasn't gonna have to figure out how to get rid of her, but it was an interesting encounter, totally unexpected in a place like Yucca Valley. Ya just never know.