Today is Mr. Carolina’s birthday. I think he’s 26 now.
I haven’t spoken to Mr. Carolina since 2013. I was in Texas and he was in North Carolina when he called to tell me he was going back out on the road. We talked a few minutes, then hung up our phones. That was it.
I didn’t realize we wouldn’t talk again, but the next time I called him, I got the recording saying the phone was no longer in service. Did he lose the phone? Did the family member who’d been paying the bill decide not to pay it anymore? Why did he never call me again? Did some glitch in the system cause him to lose my number? I have no idea.
I got reports about him for about a year. When I talked to The Viking or Sweet L, I always asked about Mr. Carolina. The reports were few and far between, but at least I got some information. He’d gotten a dog. He was on some religious trip. He ranted about seeing the demons in people. That’s the last I heard. It’s been a long time.
I sure loved that guy. I suppose I still do. He is a good person, generous and funny. We traveled together for not quite too months, but we were together every day during that time. We were together every day, and he never got on my nerves, never annoyed me, never pissed me off. He listened to all my stories, cheered me up when I was sad, appreciated every thing I did to make our travels possible.
I appreciated him too. Anything he had, whether food, money, beer, or weed, he was willing to share it with me or whoever needed it. I trusted him to drive my van, and I learned so much about driving just by paying attention to how he did it. I never had to pump gas when he was around. In so many ways, he was a real friend to me.
I hope the last few years have been good to him. I hope he’s happy and safe and loved. If you see him, tell him I said hello and give him my phone number. I’d really love to hear from him.