Once I learned Mayor Dave was screwing me, that there was no State Police sting and there would be no wiretapping of my meeting with the DTF, I knew I had to blow town before it was too late.
I made arrangements with Lonnie to get me to Chicago.
I was so paranoid that I would put a couple things in a paper bag and maybe wear an extra shirt when I went to Lonnie’s house on Main Street. I packed, little by little, in this way so if anybody was watching, they wouldn’t know I was leaving. Like I said, after getting set up by The Snitch and screwed by The Mayor, I was paranoid. Over a couple weeks, I loaded up a couple duffels with clothes, food, and camping gear. Lonnie kept this all in his girlfriend’s trunk until it was time to go.
Tory and I were living in my bus at Charlie’s place in Yorktown. I thought it’d be good to get out of the direct view of the MPD. I arranged for Lonnie to take me up to the bus on a Wednesday morning, at exactly the same time I left for work each day. I had spent the evening writing letters in Spanish so they wouldn’t be read until I was gone. It was tricky, because I don't speak much Spanish. Lonnie showed and I got in his car with my lunch in a sack, like any other day, and we headed for Muncie. Halfway there I realized I left my charm bag on the bus. This would have been a most unlucky way to begin my new life, so we returned to Yorktown.
Needless to say, Tory was surprised to see us. I guess just after we left, a Delaware County Sheriff car parked across the street watching the place until just before we returned. Gosh, who would have thought an alleged LSD felon living in a big black school bus in a quiet middle class neighborhood would draw attention? I grabbed the charm bag and we headed to the museum where I worked, just to be safe. We cruised through the parking lot, to make it look good, then initiated red herring number two by driving out to a buddies farm in Gaston.
Have I mentioned how nervous I was? Flaky paranoid. I expected at any moment to be surrounded. By this time I didn’t trust anybody, I mean, I was up all night translating letters into a language I don’t speak, for crying out loud. Two people knew I was splitting; Lonnie, and Tory. I didn’t even trust them completely. The whole trip to the farm I kept imagining the roadblock and the look on Lonnie’s face as he’d say: “sorry dude…”. My fears were unfounded, of course. I’ve always felt guilty about the level of mistrust I was harboring during those times. Then again, there were the others. I really learned who my friends were.
The road to the farm is long and fairly straight with several small hills and valleys. A couple of the hills are high enough to afford a view for quite a distance. This enabled me to determine we weren’t being followed, so we drove on past the farm and took a circuitous route through the corn country.
About two-thirds of the way to Illinois, we picked up a tail. Two white motorcycles were following at a distance of about a quarter mile. I noticed them but was trying to maintain my composure and not let Lonnie know how freaked out I was. I couldn’t tell if they were State Cops or not. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and asked Lonnie what he thought. He couldn’t tell either. My heart was in my throat, along with my breakfast. I asked Lonnie to pull over at a farmhouse because I couldn’t handle the uncertainty. When we did, they rode on by, not cops.
A lot of people in Muncie owed me money but were either too scared or too cheap to pay me, so I had just enough money for a bus ticket when we got to Chicago. I was supposed to meet a friend in Leadville, Colorado later in the summer, but already knew the bus didn’t go there. My plan was to get a ticket to somewhere nearby and then camp and wait for Trilo and Tory.
I asked the ticket agent where they had stations in Colorado and he replied by asking: “Why don’t you know where you’re going”? This unraveled my last nerve. I was sure his supernatural powers of detection had revealed my situation. He got out a map and I bought a ticket to Glenwood Springs. Lonnie and I parted ways outside the kiosk and, as he left, he handed me a sack of grass, a blue sealed envelope, and a hundred dollar bill. God Bless Lonnie. As he drove away, I realized that I was completely alone in the world. I had to force myself to breathe. I wondered how long I could last before they caught me.
Once on the bus, I thought everybody was looking at me. Those who weren’t were obviously and deliberately trying not to look like they were watching me. Just my luck, I had gotten on a bus that was crammed full of double secret undercover FBI and DEA agents. There were probably acronyms lurking I'd never even heard of, just waiting to pounce. Sure, it’s funny now, but I was about to shit in my pants. I figured they were just waiting for me to cross the State line so they could tack on Federal charges. FYI, you can’t look out the back of a Greyhound bus to see who’s following.
As we pulled out, I opened the blue envelope. The card had Ziggy on the front cover and bore the words: “When Things get you down, do what I do…Hold your head up high! Smile!”. When I opened it, the inside depicted eyes shining out of the shadows and a balloon that read, “Then go hide out in the basement till the whole thing blows over”. It was signed Love you, hang in there, Peace, Lonnie.
I still have the card. Thanks Lonnie, It worked!