Road Dog


Joshua, 1977-

“It’s almost like a marriage, without the crap of sex”

He is like a brother, we share everything we have. If I got a hotdog, it is cut in half and he gets it. He has got my back, and I’ve got his. We travel together, wherever we go, we do it together. It’s almost like a marriage, without the crap of sex, he laughs. A road dog can be a woman or a man, but they’re a necessity when you travel. On the road, if you get lonely, you get lost. The next thing you know, you’ve been in one spot for two weeks, bruises on your arms, and you are so far gone that you don’t even know what you are doing. So yes, travel with a road dog to keep each other safe.

‘Yo, you want coffee?’ he calls out to his friend and hands him his half-filled cup of coffee.

Usually, the only difficulty in the partnership is deciding where to go. He may want to go this way, and I may want to go that way. Sometimes, just waking up with a smelly butt too close to you. ‘Dude, go over there!’ he feigns disgust in jest. But mostly, that’s about it. I met him that way, points at his friend, sitting away waiting for him. I was travelling through Sacramento and met him at a truck stop just outside town. He had been homeless for two months, living out of his car and did not know much about living on the street. ‘Ditch the car and let’s go,’ I told him. His parents towed the car home, and we went and got him a backpack and a sleeping bag.

Sometimes when you separate from a road dog it is the last time you see them. But more often, you run into them, find them on Facebook, or use the Bong Express, asking someone who is heading someplace to relay a message. Even if I never see him again, he is my brother for life; all my past road dogs are my inner most connected family, right there with my mom and my wives.

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