Excerpts from an extremely long and convoluted conversation with Thymme Jones regarding his walk from the north side of Chicago to Indiana.....

 

Melinda: Wow, so it was just before the bombing? Was that weird?
Thymme: yeah they're gonna be linked forever for me cuz like three days later its a totally different world, you know and I was so high from it too, still like three days later I was still savoring the experience and then that happened and it was like oh...ok.
M: like it was no longer any big deal...
T: yeah well I had the thought that if we had planned to go on Sept. 15 instead of Sept. 8 we probably wouldn't have even done it... I wasn't feeling very whimsical after that.

[deleted for security reasons are Melinda and Thymme's political analysis of reality]

We re-enter the conversation where Thymme is telling about the weirdest night he's had as a pizza delivery guy...

T: the last time I told this story it was during the walk to Indiana and it was also taped, we started out with three of us and then we picked up this other girl Sandra we knew all along she wasn't going to go the distance but she had a microcassete and she was asking me to tell a story about my pizza delivery days ah so here's one:

I go into this apartment building and its one of those deals where you punch in the code and it dials the person's number and I get an answering machine and I say hello this is Thymme from Rosatti's I'm here with your pizza. Well I guess I'll try again cuz he never picked up and uh I'm like ok should I bring it back, or should I stick around for awhile. Then I found this pay-phone and I called my manager and he's like why don't you stay there for a few minutes, they'll probably be back in a minute. So about 10 minutes later I go back and there's all these cop cars there, well two cop cars, I walk into the lobby - the door had been propped open - I just walked in and I hear 'I've got you under my skin' really cranked, the Frank version of course, ...

M: In the lobby?

T: Well it was coming from one of the apartments but it was just so loud it was all encompassing, even in the lobby. My delivery was on the first floor so I turn right and the music is getting louder and louder, I get to the apartment, it's like the third door on the right or something, and of course I realize that that's where the Frank Sinatra's coming from. I think ok its probably a party and they didn't hear or something, so I knock on the door real loudly and no one comes so I just stand there for like thirty seconds try again no one comes and then after like a minute and a half the door opens and its really loud - a blast in my face - and I'm like looking at the apartment and I expected to see tons of people and there's no one, I don't even see who opened the door and then I look down and it's this midget and um he's wearing only a shirt, he's not wearing anything else, and everything is proportionate, um, and I said, 'yeah, uh, I tried to come here earlier but you didn't answer your phone' and he's like - TOO FUCKED UP', (loud) and I could smell alcohol on his breath and I gave him the total on his pizza and he fumbles with his money and he gives it to me, basically it was like nineteen twenty-six and he hands me a twenty so I'm like fumbling for his hand and I start to hand him his change and he's like 'NAAAW' (waving his hand) so I'm just like well ok and I went bye and he just slams the door and that was that.

M: Wow.
T: Yeah.
(laughter)
M: But you don't know why the cop cars were there?
T: That just ended up being a completely irrelevant detail.
M: They weren't there to tell him to turn down his music?
T: No it hadn't been turned down, I neglected to mention that detail, I actually saw them on the way out and it was like hey (wave) and keep going, I don't even think they were there for his apartment. It was really actually frightening the way he said 'too fucked up' and the way he interrupted me like 'yeah I tried to call...TOO FUCKED UP'.

(laughter)

T: I guess that was the most strange thing...
M: Yeah that would be pretty disturbing, a naked midget that screams at you.
T: Yeah that'll have to do for now. So should I tell you about the beginning? of this day...
M: Yeah.

T: I think its interesting that that's the last time I told that story. So here's the start.

(refer to map above)

M: Why'd you pick that place?
T: It's right by where I live, actually well I live here and the two girls lived here, so it's in between. I had to be there at 9:30 in the morning which is painfully early for me and they insisted on getting this early start so I got there right at 9:30 and proceeded to wait for 25 minutes. I talked to some Christians hanging out, not hanging out, handing out pamphlets and they were real subtle when they first started, they didn't seem like they had an agenda. They just kind of casually asked me what I thought the main problem of society was. And I'm like 'well, it's probably uh, people thinking that they they're the only ones who exist and what they do doesn't affect others' and it kind of went from there. It was kind of interesting at first before they started you know doing the obvious...
M: Bringing out the pamphlets...
T: Believe me they came out. Oh I just put an arrow pointing north and its actually east

(refer to map above)

ok. That would be north so I guess I should tell you...When I talked to you at Empty Bottle had I already tried to go there the first time?
M: Yeah.

T: The three that were there for this one were me and Barb and Cathy, the first one just me and Cathy went. We made it to 63rd st.
M: Oh you were almost there...
T:Well if we'd have done it logically we'd have made it but we were pretty far west.
M: So why'd you stop?
T: It was getting dark, it was starting to rain, and my feet were fucking killing me. I wore these shoes and these are not really long distance walking type shoes. So when I was sitting there waiting for them to arrive, Sept. 8th, on the corner, before the Jesus people came and I couldn't find this kind of you know what do you call that sole that you put on the bottom of your shoe,...
M: Uh....
T: There's like a funny word for what those are...
M: You mean like an arch support?
T: Well that's the non funny word. But yeah it's like, well I had been looking for that thing and I couldn't find it so what I did as far as taking preventive measures, I took these Band-Aids that I had and I put them all on the tops and bottoms of my feet...
M: To prevent blisters?
T: Yeah. And amazingly enough it worked.
M: So did you totally coat your entire foot?
T: Well I still had sort of markings where I'd gotten really bad blisters the time before which I believe was three weeks before that, so I concentrated on those parts.
M: I remember you asked Deborah and I if that would work and we both said no.
T: Really if I hadn't done that I don't think I would have made it.
M: So you didn't get any blisters at all?
T: I got some but it was tolerable. The roughest part of it was just general fatigue, I started with only three hours of sleep. We've actually been meaning to drive a car to try and go the exact route well we can't go the exact route we went through a park at one point but try to go as close as possible to the same route to try and see how far we really went it was oh at least 26 miles...

[long digressing tangent while both look at street map of Chicago]

M: So were you under the Skyway?
T: Well that's where we ended up. It's a pretty creepy area.
M: I like it down there. Was it dark by the time you got there?

T: Well this is the funny thing, I mean they were like really insistent about getting an early start or we would never make it. So they were like 20 or 25 minutes late and then we spent the next 35 or 40 minutes debating whether or not we were actually try to go all the way to Indiana because they had made the mistake of turning on the weather channel. So there was a possibility of rain. And I said 'if you hadn't looked at the weather channel there would be a possibility of rain too so'. At the point we're talking about this there were no clouds at all.

We ended up getting into this really convoluted debate. That's the problem with three people. Cuz then someone planted the seed of, 'well why don't we just go completely in the other direction and not even pretend to walk to Indiana. Like why don't we walk to the B'hai Temple or something. Finally I said 'lets just fucking go to Indiana'. We didn't really start till after 10:30 and then we picked up this girl Sandra, who last she had heard we were probably weren't doing it, so she was ready for us to not be going. So we got to her apartment. I guess she was expecting us to stop by but she wasn't thinking we were gonna go to Indiana still. So we're like 'c'mon down' and she had to do some stuff or whatever and Barb had to go to the bathroom and I'm like 'well if I go up there we're gonna end up standing around way to long so I'm just gonna stay planted here'. Of course we all ended up going up there cuz it was taking so fucking long. We spent a good half hour there and it took us probably 20-25 minutes to get there so at this point it, its like 11:30 when we finally leave her place.
M: And you're only at Lawrence.

(laughter)

T: So I'm thinking, well I'm not just thinking of course, I'm saying to them, 'you know I could have slept till 11 I really didn't have to wake up at 9'.

[tangent where we talk about Greg.]

[long consultation on street map of Chicago resulting in Thymme and Melinda realizing they are talking about 2 different Jewel Stores]

[and Chicago neighborhoods and other completely unrelated thoughts.]

[more tangents regarding velocity and food intake]

T:It was really rough at that point actually.
M: Even though you were only four blacks away?

T: Well this is the beautiful thing about it - we had no idea. We, really at that point, we were basically like, 'well you know we've made it pretty far. It was cool'.

(laughter)

This ending is like the best ever. So we're walking south on Ewing and I was definitely hurting the most - my feet were fucking killing me, I was really tired. At that point were sitting on this bench, on Ewing, it was like Ewing and 103rd or something like that. I'm asking them 'so how much longer do you want to walk', it's probably about 9 at night by this point. So this drunk guy comes up and we ask him how do you get to Indiana from here and he just kept babbling about this McDonalds he's like well you go down to 106th St and you'll see the McDonalds and he'd just like trail off, he said the same thing about 5 times and it always ended with this McDonalds thing and we're like great we know there's a McDonalds but then what, so then we just decided to go east on 106th and well ok we'll go into this McDonalds and then we'll find out what's goin' on. So we cruise east on 106th and we get to the McDonalds after maybe 15 minutes or so, we walk in, we sit down, go the bathroom, drink some water and stuff, we're talking for about a half hour or more. Finally Cathy gets up and says 'well I'm gonna ask someone who works here how to get to Indiana from here'. She goes up and she's like so 'were trying to get to Indiana, how do you get there from here?' And the woman just wasn't interested in us at all, she's like 'well I'm not very good with directions, what part of Indiana?' And Cathy's like 'well I just want to get to Indiana', and she's like 'what part cuz that'll change the best way to get there' and she's like 'well I just want to get to the border' and she's like 'oh, (pause) it's right there'. We were literally like a hundred yards away.