There's nothing special about me, I'm just an ordinary guy. I'm just an
everyday Joe, another dumb schlock walking the streets.
The world would disagree with you I'd think.
The world would be wrong.
Why don't you tell me about yourself anyway?
Alright, well, my name is Jake Simpson, I'm 26 years old and I'm a
current resident of Atlanta, well, the suburbs at least. I'm not much to
look at, about five foot six, short brown hair, brown eyes. My job never
required me to wear a suit so you'd probably see me wearing khakis and a
dress shirt on most days, jeans on casual Friday.
Are you married?
Yeah, I'm married, for the time being at least, to a beautiful lady
named Marie. We met in college, both of us were studying art at the
University of Georgia and we hit it off almost immediately. We dated off
and on most of the time we were there.
I'll tell you, those were good times, she was gorgeous, the parties
were great and we just had a lot of fun. I wish I could get that back.
Anyway, we both graduated and we decided to get married right after
that. The wedding was beautiful, everyone was telling me how great of a
bride I had and everything. But then after the honeymoon the old maxim of
not knowing someone until you marry them came true.
Listen, I love her, don't get me wrong, but things changed a lot right
off the bat. I had always remembered her as a wild child who I could have
fun around and laugh with. But that screeched to a halt within a week and
she was wanting to only go to dates at fancy restaurants and drink nice
wine. She knew I was never in to that stuff, but she never bothered to
But I guess what really got to me was the kids thing. I wanted kids
bad, I still do! But she waited until two weeks after the honeymoon to
tell me that she was infertile and would have to undergo some kind of
serious and painful surgery to fix it and that she wasn't going to do it.
That just broke my heart.
You didn't talk about kids before the honeymoon?
That's the thing, we talked about it all the time, well, I did anyway.
When we started getting serious, I'd bring the issue up, talk for about
fifteen minutes on the whens and whys I wanted them and she'd just sit
there and smile. When I was finished she'd tell me how sweet I was and
changed the subject. I should have known something was up right then.
I want to know more about you.
Your job? Maybe?
I am, or at least, was a graphic designer for a local design firm. We
did mostly contract work. A small business would want an five-star
brochure for their clients to read , but wouldn't have the people in-house
to make it so they'd hire us. The service didn't come cheap but it was
easier than hiring a full-time graphic designer and probably a lot better
The end result is that I did a lot of work for a lot of different
companies who don't even know my name. Doesn't matter though, the pay's
good, the work's fairly easy and you don't get burdened down with
Plus, it meant that Marie and I had enough money so that she would only
have to work part time. Even that wasn't really necessary but I guess
without kids to take care of she didn't want to stay around the house all
day. Besides, she got a job as a graphics consultant and between the two
of us we could afford a lot of the finer things in life without busting
Sounds like a good life?
It was. I'm not saying it was a bad life. But I guess I kind of got
worn down by it. I mean, in college I was an artist. I used to make
sculptures out steel and glass. I loved working with my hands and showing
off what I made. I used to have them all over the house until Marie told
me to put them away because they were ugly and that I wasn't that artist
anymore. She told me I'd have to accept that.
In a way, she was right though. I was doing the 9-5 grind and I wasn't
complaining. I hadn't made a sculpture in three years and I can't say that
I had any plans to either. I guess just because you graduate with honors
from a recognized art school doesn't mean you're an artist for life. I
should probably just be happy I found a way to integrate my love for art
with my work and leave it at that.
So when did you start thinking about going on your little adventure?
I didn't. When I woke up the morning I left, to me it was just another
Tuesday morning, no different from the one before it, or before that one
and so on. It was just another day.
So what happened then?
I woke up, I ate my breakfast, I brushed my teeth, I read my paper, I
went to work and I even left work thinking everything was ok. I got in my
car, made my way through downtown traffic and started heading up 85 to go
But somewhere along the way, somewhere in that thick traffic I began
thinking about what I had waiting for me when I got home. A cold wife who,
while I loved dearly, hurt me to be with. A home without art or fun, a
life without expression and all so that I could get up and go to the same
damn job that while I guess I shouldn't complain about it, I felt like it
was grinding me away.
I just got more and more mad about the whole ordeal and by the time I
looked up at the road I only had half a mile to my exit and no way to get
over. Ok, that's a lie, I could have gotten over if I had really wanted
to, but when I saw the sign and realized I was in the left hand lane, I
didn't even put on my blinker, I just floored it and started weaving
through traffic like those idiots I usually shoot the bird at.
By the time I looked up again, I was two miles past my exit and I
started to panic. I thought I had lost my damn mind, I was wondering if I
had a death wish or something. I began to think that I should seek therapy
or something like that.
But then I remembered something, when I was in college, I had often
wanted to just roam the nation, see the world so to speak. I mean, if you
don't count vacations, I'd never really left Georgia in my life. I mean,
Florida's nice for a vacation, but let me tell you, the people there are
assholes. No offense if you happen to be from Florida of course.
Well, I realized about 20 miles later that I was doing it, I was really
doing it you know? Traffic was so thick still that it had taken me a good
thirty to forty minutes to get that far and there was no way I could
explain that to my wife. So I decided to go for it. It was that simple. I
wasn't going to let life break me any longer.
So then you started planning?
Sort of. I got my head back if that's what you're asking. I knew that I
needed money and that since my checkbook was at home my only means was my
ATM card. But I also knew that my ATM card could be tracked and if my wife
was determined to find me, she could use the trail of purchases to find me
like a homing beacon.
So, I figured while I was close to the city, I'd hit an ATM and take
out what I could. So I found the nearest one and tried to withdraw a
thousand, but of course the ATM would only let me get five hundred. I
guess I wasn't completely clear at the time after all.
Anyway, I figured I had that, the forty dollars I had before I started
the day and my watch, which could be sold if needed. But beyond that I had
no clothes except for the ones on my back and my gym clothes, no food and
about a half a tank of gas.
Sounds pretty rough. Were you scared?
I should have been, but I was exhilarated. For the first time in years
I felt truly free. I didn't know where I was going, what I was doing or
anything, but I loved it and I jumped right back in my car and kept going
I had no idea what was going to happen next, but I knew it was going to