Saturday, June 2, 2007

Memphis and the Cusp of Something Greater

With ADP behind us Ikuru Kuwajima, Katie Hayes and myself scurried up to Memphis for the day. The next day we were all headed in different directions across the country to start internships for the summer. Ikuru to New Hampshire, Katie to Washington D.C. and myself to Colorado. The day started interesting and financially burdensome for Ikuru. He has only had his license for one year and following him in his rental car it was easy to see he was not feeling very comfortable driving on foreign freeways. He was adamate that we dropped off his rental car as soon as possible and drove in one car. He must have had some dark feeling that something was going to happen. Due to all the signs at the rental car return bays being in english and not Japanese, poor Ikuru missed the sign reading, "DO NOT BACK UP, SEVERE TIRE DAMAGE." So after he pulled in the wrong rental company's return and came right back out, despite Katie and myself honking and waving at him to stop from another car (he just waved right back smiling) all four tires were totally flat. He just pulled out infront of us, drove the next 100 yards and returned the car. Both Ikuru and his half deaf lot attendant didn't notice the loud hissing sound coming from his tires as it waited in line to be returned. I walked into the office and in a low voice asked if he knew what happened to the tires, a concerned look flashed on his face and he asked, "No, did I do something bad?" After I told him , he smiled and said, "Good, as long as I didn't kill anyone." Both Katie and I had to laugh, he was so tense about having that car on these roads he had prepared himself for much worse. What a good philosophy to have in life. "Well as long as I didn't kill anyone..." Just then the attendant walked back in and politely asked "Sir, uh...did you notice that you had four flat tires?" Luckily Ikuru was able to laugh it off and Katie and I split all his expenses for the rest of the day. The rest of the day was spent on the streets of Memphis and the banks of the Mississippi River as we waded through the International BBQ Festival that was taking place. We watched the sun go down on the country's most famous river, with blue grass in the background and had about as much fun as three strangers stoned on BBQ meat could have. Being young and on the verge of so much was amplified by the river and dramatic sun. We all stayed in a tiny motel that night and went our separate ways the next morning. To Katie and Ikuru; until next time we find ourselves in a strange city, good luck.

No comments: