Rune Rofke - Glenn Emery

Hell on My Hip


It's been almost exactly one year since I started this journal. I'm down to the final pages in the book, so I'll have to start a new one soon. Fortunately, Mr. Kamiyama gave everyone on MFT beautiful bicentennial journals, which have lots of historic dates and information about the people and events that led to the founding of America. I can't wait to start writing in it.

On Monday Captain took me over to the church center in Little Rock. He told me Karola was there. I was shocked because I thought she was in St. Louis, but Captain said someone had driven her here the night before so she could see me in the hopes it would make her want to join the church. He said she was attending a workshop, but once she found out I was in Little Rock, she was very insistent on coming to see me and they were afraid she would leave. They thought this way they could make sure they could get her back to St. Louis.

It was a thrill to see Karola again. She looked so beautiful. Her spirit was so bright and clear. It was exactly one year ago that Imoe and I had picked her up hitchhiking in Colorado. Now here we were together again, but under totally different circumstances.

We spoke for about an hour and everything seemed fine. Her English had vastly improved, and she seemed to be understanding a lot of the Divine Principle lectures. I began to think that at least this one fallen relationship of mine might actually get restored.

But when it came time for us to go, Karola suddenly started sobbing. I did my best to comfort her, but Captain was standing right there, so I couldn't hug her or touch her or anything. It was really awkward and I felt bad leaving her like that. I wish I could have stayed and taken her back to St. Louis myself, but there's no time for that now. Washington Monument is too important. I have to leave her in God's hands. I just hope she can join the church in Munich when she gets home.

I am currently holed up in a motel room in De Witt, Arkansas, with a giant boil on my left hip. It is huge. I've never seen or experienced anything like it. It hurts like hell. My whole hip is red and swollen and throbbing and tender and warm to touch, but it hasn't formed a head yet. I can feel I have a slight fever from the infection. It's right on the spot where I carry a small red nylon pouch on my belt to hold all the change I collect. The inside of the pouch is shiny black with grime from all the coins, and as I run around in the sweltering Arkansas heat and humidity, sweating like crazy, the coin pouch knocks against my hip on the very spot where the boil now is. It's like all the sin of that money has been transferred to my hip.

The boil showed up yesterday, the day after I saw Karola. I was fundraising in Clarendon with Raisinettes. I made $228 there.

After fundraising the shops during the day, I went into a residential area in the late afternoon to do door-to-door. At one of the first houses I went to, I was talking to some elderly women, but I could tell they weren't going to buy and I was about to leave. But just then a neighborhood boy named Joey rode up on his bike and he urged them to buy. The ladies obviously knew him, so one of them went and got some money and bought a box.

Joey wanted to come with me, so I said okay. He told me his dad was the doctor in town and had bought a box from me earlier in the day when I went into his office. I sold a box at every house Joey and I went to together. And if they initially said no, Joey would tell them his dad bought one, and then they'd change their minds and buy a box.

When we got to Joey's house, his father came to the door and started to say he had already bought from me earlier in the day. But Joey made him buy another, and then another. Then Joey had to go inside to eat. I didn't sell anything after that all the way down the street.

When it got dark I fundraised the drive-in movie, which is almost always a gold mine as long as I don't get kicked out. Everybody likes a box of candy to watch the movie, even if it costs a dollar more than at the concession stand. When I was done I only had four boxes left.

I fundraised to some Christians, but they didn't want any. Instead, they wanted me to go home with them to talk about the Bible. When I declined their invitation, they tried to tempt me with ice cream. It was ridiculous.

About 11 pm I went inside a shoe factory, but no one bought. This surprised me because usually I do pretty good in factories. I like the environment of big noisy machines and people working with their hands. Shift workers always seem to enjoy the momentary diversion of having a fundraiser come through, even if I'm not supposed to be there. No one tried to kick me out, but I didn't sell anything either. That almost never happens.

So I went to look for the head guy. He was sitting in the break room, reading a Christian pamphlet. I sat down next to him. His name was Grimes and he said his mother had been one of the founding members of Jehovah's Witnesses. I listened to him for half an hour. Then I asked him to buy my last four boxes, but he only took one. I asked him for a $20 donation, but he said he couldn't.

When pickup time came at midnight I had three boxes of Raisinettes left, and while I was waiting at Phillips 66 for Captain to come, two ladies drove up. They asked me if I needed a ride, but I told them I was waiting for one. I told them I had three boxes of candy left and I was trying to make a goal. They each bought one.

That's when I started to notice my hip was hurting a little, but I didn't think too much about it. 

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