Winnipeg, #6 Highway
Journeyman of Something
I worked for four years at on-the-job training and did several stints in Red River College taking technical training. I received a final grade of 89% on my Journeyman’s exam and thought I was finally something by 2005. I worked for a while longer and then became unhinged and had a mental breakdown in 2006. One day at York Station, while installing substation grounding, I walked into the building and seen a little child hanging from the bus work. He had an extension cord tied around his neck and kept coming back to life.
This reminded me of a website from the mid-eighties, Faces of Death. There were a few clips that depicted death scenes. One of them was a monkey with a collar around his neck in the middle of a table. The surrounding humans had a hammer and smashed his head, then promptly ate his brains. Another of those videos was the scene before me, a small child about eight, hanging and repeatedly dying and coming back to life. There was a creepy part in the video where the child started to spontaneously swing back and forth in slow oscillations. I got a fucked-up feeling that I was that child and I couldn’t get him out of my head. I dreamed of that little boy and suffered with him. I snapped and left the job site in my own vehicle as I was the only one there, anyway. I figured that I would just not check out and then come back after clearing my head.
I drove around Winnipeg aimlessly and then felt the need to hit the highway. I drove north on #6 Highway not sure of where I was going but kept going, anyway. Soon I heard voices. One of them told me I had to toss the boss’s cell phone or shove it up my ass. I screamed to shut the fuck up and panicked. I eventually rolled down my window and threw out the phone and laughed, but not suitably. I was utterly destroyed and just kept driving north. Eventually I arrived in Ashern and passed right through.
As I traveled the highway, I came across an RCMP cruiser parked on the side of the road. The officer had exited his vehicle and I had the feeling that he was about to step in front of my car and kill himself. I willed him not to do it and kept driving. Then I came to a side road and turned off. A pasture that didn’t have any cattle in it bordered it. Soon the road turned, and I slowed down.
I had no choice to turn as there was a dead end straight ahead. Soon I came to a pasture fence and a voice told me to open the gate and ditch the car down as far as I dared. I stopped and got out. There was no lock on the fence, and it was crudely constructed out of fencing posts strung with barbed wire. I opened the gate and drove the car in and stopped again to close the gate. After I got back on track and drove again, I found the minor pasture road led deeper into the field, still no sign of cows.
I ditched my own fucking car in that field and walked back to the only house on the road I turned on to. It was a farmhouse and I was told to enter the garage and wait for further instruction, but I was told I would see a snake and was told to get it to move without touching it. I grabbed a stick and walked towards the tiny Garter Snake that was sunning in front of the man door to the garage. As I got closer, the snake fled. I dropped the stick and entered the garage.
I could hear noise coming from a kitchen through an open window and knew someone was home. I sat down on a step inside and waited for about fifteen minutes. I was ashamed of what I’d become and stripped of the Manitoba Hydro FRC shirt I wore and took off the ball cap I had on my head. There was a garbage there and I put both items into it. I didn’t know what to do so I just waited.
Soon after a female, about forty, with shoulder-length brown hair and large hips came out of the house and questioned me. I agreed to have her call for help. Her father eventually showed up and questioned me. Then the cops arrived. It was an Aboriginal cop with close-cropped hair and a tall lanky appearance. He asked me if I was all right. Not knowing what to tell him, I told him I had gotten stuck in the pasture with my car and had to abandon it. He took me back to the car and turned it around and passed me the keys. He told me to drive safely and get home before dark. That was the end of that miserable day.