Hi. I'm Jay. Hey! look down here! Yeah, it's me. I'm a 'little person', otherwise known as a dwarf. I'm one of the lucky ones--I'm a proportional dwarf and don't look like a mutant with a mal-formed head or short little arms or legs tacked onto a full-sized torso. I'm two foot ten inches tall.
As soon as I got that piece of paper in my hand granting me all the rights and privileges of a high school graduate I headed for the west coast. To put a finer touch on it, the porn market on the west coast. Sex sells, and in porn the unusual sells even better. I made out like a bandit and socked away as much as I could. The San Fernando valley was a despicable place with even more despicable people running and working for the agencies there. I got out after ten years in the business and it scarred me for life. I could not form a normal relationship with a woman or sign onto anything long-term. I'll probably be a life-long bachelor.
I spent some time in Lexington at the University of Kentucky. Due to a brutal conflict that ended up in four fatalities a university mentor of mine attempted to sabotage my education, and thus my carreer. After discovering this I packed up and moved to Champaign-Urbana where I completed my education. Not only did I hone my skills to be a writer, but I took minors in cooking, European languages and mathematics. I felt that I had a healthy basis to work from in almost any endeavor that I cared to pursue and my height would allow.
After I was granted my degree I decided to take a vacation. I swear that I was so burned out that given notice of an imminent nuclear war I would have commented, "Yeah? So what."
I packed my VW Golf and headed for the nearest natural attraction--Bull Shoals in southern Missouri. I got the urge to utilize campsites rather than hotels. I bought a thirteen foot Scamp trailer with a fiberglass shell, and had a towing package added to my VW. I bought the thing loaded with almost every factory option to be had and had them weld another step on the door sill to allow me easier access. I then hung around the Ozark Plateau and south down to Texarkana, shifting between the campgrounds, learning to fish and writing articles for Field and Stream magazine. I seemed as often as not to find myself in a child's size beach chair noodling a fourteen foot bream pole out over the water, lying in wait for an unsuspecting fish.
I became quite dissapointed in the production quality of my VW (Yes, it was a piece of crap!) and traded it in on a 1994 Subaru Outback with the larger engine package and an automatic transmission. That was the first year they were offered. It was a large vehicle considering my size but would tow my trailer with impunity.
I spent the summer of '94 exploring northern Texas and the winter exploring the southern half. I toured Carlsbad Caverns in southern New Mexico. I took the time to walk down the path to the mezzanine floor. It was all paved in one continuous ramp so I had no problem with stairs. The views I observed once there had little in common with the fairy-lit photographs they had for sale at the concession stand. Professional advertising once more reached out its hoary hand and exaggerated the real. The elevator back to the surface seemed to take forever.
From Phoenix I headed north to Flagstaff, then west to Kingman then north once more to Las Vegas Nevada. There I took in a few shows and did a little gambling--nothing more than what I carried in my pockets. I met a few people there that I'd known in the valley. It was the sort of city that I felt comfortable walking about. The window shopping was amazing and the casino-supported buffet dinners were over the top. It was there that I bought a bulldog. I needed some company on the road and Daisy fit the bill. She was about four years old. She came from a pound. She didn't get car-sick and she seemed to enjoy my guitar playing. What more could I ask for? I made sure to keep her shot record up-to-date in case we crossed an international border.
There I indulged myself and took a couple courses in firearms training at Front Sight. Beforehand I did my research. I bought an H&K MP7-SF and had a professional gunsmith rebuild it for .22 mangum ammunition. That cartridge still had enough residual gas pressure to activate the ejection and reloading mechanism, but gave me a round I'd have much more luck finding over the counter without sacrificing much take-down power. The gel-block test returned a superior penetration profile and it didn't suffer in accuracy for the rebuild. The rifle fit my body nicely with the stock collapsed and the red-dot scope worked nearly as well as a laser, without the tell-tale reflexive illumination. The most difficult task was to re-engineer and mill a new receiver to accept .22 magnum magazines.
The staff at the training company were a bit put out at my choice of weapon, but after seeing me practice with it they considered my choice more than adequate in lieu of a traditional carbine rifle.
My route took me up to Tonopah then over to Reno where I spent several weeks. From there my travels took me south-west to Sacramento, then a bit further south-west to pick up the coastal highway system. Once out of California I followed the Rogue river north into Washington state. I spent some while in Olympia and up into the Olympic mountains, camping and writing. I bought a .22 magnum derringer. I had the grip modified to fit my hand and an aiming laser installed for speedy target acquisition.
If you can show need there aren't too many legal jurisdictions that won't grant a permit to carry a concealed weapon. D.C. is one of them. Cook county Illinois is another. Having once been in a fight to the death that was ruled a hate crime I qualified in spades. My little derringer rarely left my side. (Except when I travelled in Canada. That was another story!)
I came to the conclusion that my purchase of a tiny little mobile home was one of my better investments. I could go most anywhere I desired while towing it behind me. Even spending a night or two at a motel to enjoy a hot bath or a shower didn't throw anyone off as it was quite a bit smaller than most travel trailers. It didn't constipate either the parking lots or the managers. I ran into more difficulties with my dog than my trailer.
I mentioned that I was writing again. It was a total digression from my previous work. My working title was "There's something about her". It was virtually all dialog. I finally struck on a name for the second protagonist--Mary. After a final three edits I shopped it out to the film studios. Nobody bit right away but my previous successes kept it out of the trash bin.
Upon returning south from the mountains back to Olympia I filled in what I percieved to be something missing. I wanted, no, needed my research tools. I had my trailer's battery farm expanded, bought a small, quiet Honda generator to keep the batteries charged and added to my electronics. I bought a "Buffalo Box", a rather large-scale four drive data storage facility and a fast ethernet switch to link it to my computer. Then I indulged in buying an encyclopedia, a dictionary and a thesaurus, all in electronic versions. I spent over a week researching and downloading Project Gutenberg files to enhance my mobile library.
As fall came upon me I travelled north to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The climate was so temperate and the culture so welcoming that I wintered-over on the island. Property was fiendishly expensive and I ran into international ownership problems or I would have invested in a retirement property while there. Across the border and across the straight of Juan de Fuca lay more available property. If I was lucky enough to strike it rich with another lucrative titile then perhaps I could retire to a sea-side residence off of, say, diamond point. Four square miles of scrub and woodlands would fit me down to the bone. The cost of such a property gave me motivation to continue writing, which I desperately needed at the time.
Having noted the locale and the numbers of several listing services in the area I proceeded on my journeys.
I proceeded south to Portland where I picked up the 83 corridor east, then at Pasco I took a more northerly route to Spokane. My destination was Kalispell Montana. It was a short hop from there to Apgar where I found a site at their campground. It was pricey but you couldn't beat the landscape. I had a month to burn before the road would open at Logan Pass, the continental divide on Going-To-The-Sun road. The other campers had several kids, and being kids they ran around as a tribe and investigated anything unusual. I was found to be unusual enough to find myself thoroughly examined. The fact that I played my guitar for them didn't hurt. A couple were at the age where sexual exploration pretty well filled their world views but I discouraged it in my presence. Since I never had gone in for the young stuff they had nothing that attracted me and they had nothing to bring to the table to convince me to participate. If they had questions, however, I answered them; probably in a more honest form than they'd ever thought of receiving. I gave a few talks on birth control and venereal diseases that opened their eyes, for damned sure. I kept up my exercise regimen by attempting to pick up the rear end of my vehicle for nearly an hour daily, and running a course about the campground at speed.
.... There is more of this story ...