This is a true and gripping tale about a quick-witted young man from Alaska who has been hitchhiking from the age of seven and battling his inner demons ever since. His volatile lifestyle of violence and impulsivity has strained his closest relationships and brought a stigma to his presence. After losing his girlfriend, he’s sent spiraling into depression and leaves everything he knows behind to seek out unknown adventure. Thinking that a new city will give him the clean slate he desperately craves, he hitchhikes down to Boulder CO to start over, but when he brings all his same issues right along with him, he walks away from his life again to follow the whim of the road.
Fueled by addiction and desire, step inside the dark uncensored mind of Justin Sturn as he navigates you through a cataclysmic cross-country hitchhiking trip of self-discovery. You’ll meet prostitutes, drug dealers, hippies, the ultra-rich, and men who want super gay sex. No one has stories like this, and you never know where they’re going to lead you next.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was always told I was a good writer by my teachers in school. In reality, I don't think I was as good of a writer as I was a story teller, but as I got older I knew I wanted to write a book. I also wanted to become a journalist and was actually accepted by a few colleges, but then I was suddenly diagnosed with a heart condition, and in fear of suddenly dying while trying to make something of myself. I skipped out on college to hitchhike around the country in an attempt to gain as many life stories as I could. Well, I'm still alive, and the book is a collection of that time in my life.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I kept a journal while I was on the road and I took as many pictures of the people that picked me up as I could. This helped me to replicate conversations and their mannerisms.
I was beginning to make a scene at the airport security checkpoint, but after stepping
forward in my tighty whitey’s that I wear on special occasions like this. I felt the canister of weed
I had deeply tucked away begin to dig into my genitals, and I reluctantly settled down. I’m good
at that. Making a scene that is. Especially when I’m drunk, which I was.
Mandy, one of my best friends, had just dropped me off at the airport after treating round
upon round of Jack and Coke’s at a nearby bar. She was always doing that. Treating me.
Always there to rescue me from my follies. Allowing me to stay and recover at her house after
surgery when I was homeless. Willing to foot the $40 cab fare I brought with me after calling
from a payphone drunk, broke, and destitute. Again on my birthday when I boisterously ordered
six shots of Wild Turkey, only to realize that I’d already spent all my money. Mandy, one of my
last unwavering friends. Sad to see me leave. Hoping for the best, although, perhaps a little
piece of her pleasantly relieved by my departure.
The reason for my recent displeasure was that I just learned after handing my ticket to
the TSA agent, that I would be placed through an additional screening process. One where I
would be patted down. I wasn’t worried. I’d been padded down with weed on me before, and I
was in no desperate rush. So, why was I angered?
The selection for secondary screening is supposedly done at random, but lining up with
this band of misfits. Even a child could see that it was biased. The punk rocker with the green
hair was actually wearing a Misfits T-shirt. The black one with the picture of the skeleton face on
Mentally, I began sizing them up, branding each individual with his or her appropriate
contraband. The misfit? Definitely pills. Xani- bars lining the cuffs of his jeans. The slutty coke
whore? No doubt had coke wedged between her slit and her see-through panties. The older
strung out man with bad acne? Meth, of course, and he probably went the extra mile of capping
it in his false teeth, but what about the goth kid dressed in the color of death? What would he
have? Nothing of concern most likely. Maybe some black eyeliner shoved up his ass, or
possibly a bottle of his own tears.
Waiting off to the side like culprits as more productive looking members of society went
on their merry way. We glanced at each other in unison, and although our silent mouths
admitted nothing, our nodding of heads with crooked smiles gave the telltale signs that we all
knew the drill, and had taken preventative measures in securing our loads. Hence the tighty
Preferring to be last on the plane, I sat down around the outskirts of the gate next to a
well-dressed black woman. A professional of some sort. Gray business suit, white blouse with
wide starched collar accentuating her unblemished skin tone. She was very beautiful, and I had
to talk to her. Hmm, how to open?
“I remember hearing Tyra Banks once say that any black woman with long hair is
wearing a weave. Is that true?” No, bad icebreaker. “Are you getting on this plane?” I asked
instead. She nodded affirmatively, and I, unprompted, began reciting to her my strategies on
flying. “I make it a policy to be last on the plane. That way you can look at the available seating
and choose accordingly. Your assigned seat might not be a good one. They may have you
sandwiched right between two fat guys, and who wants to sit next to a baby? Personally, I look
for the most attractive woman on the plane. Then, pretending to examine my ticket, I say, ‘C 23,
that’s me. Looks like I’ll be sitting next to you today’.”
“Is that why you came and sat next to me?”
She said this jokingly, but taking a brief inventory of my surroundings. I confided that,
“yes, as a matter of fact it is.”
A few minutes later I found out that Veronica was a doctor. A doctor leaving to attend a
medical conference on an all-expenses-paid business trip. “And what is your reason for
boarding this plan may I ask?”
“Friends and family in Seattle, and then I’m hitchhiking to Boulder Colorado.”
“Hitchhiking?” She asked, perplexed yet intrigued. “Why are you hitchhiking?”
“It’s what I do. I hitchhike. I like hitchhiking. I get to meet people. It’s also free, and I’m
thinking of writing a book about my travels.”
“So you’ve hitchhiked before?”
“All the time. I was seven years old when I started.”
“Seven?” She squealed. “Who would pick up a seven-year-old?”
“I think a better question would be, who wouldn’t pick up a seven-year-old? There must
be some sort of moral obligation to make sure they’re all right.”
“And what were you doing hitchhiking at seven?” She asked, adding emphasis to the
age. “It’s dangerous. Didn’t your parents warn you about taking rides from strangers?”
“They did, and the obvious answer would be that I needed to get home, but, I don’t
know. I guess I’ve always had a fascination with hitchhikers. I’d see them at intersections,
standing there all cool with their thumbs out. Look at that guy, I’d think. I wonder where he is
going? ‘Can we give him a ride mom,’ I’d ask. Only to receive your same answer of ‘No, it’s too
dangerous’. Well, what does dangerous mean to a kid? Excitement right? Going fast is
dangerous, but when I was that age, you couldn’t get me out of a shoe store without inquiring,
‘Mom, are these fast shoes?’ ‘oh yeah sweetie,’ she’d say. ‘They’re real fast!’ So maybe that’s
why I did it, the appeal of danger, but the real reason is that I needed to get home for my hockey
game, and fast. I was walking home from my friend Jonny’s house. Jonny, that’s who I’m going
to live with in Boulder. I was late, or, I was going to be late, and in fear of getting in trouble. I
stuck out my thumb.”
“Who picked you up?”
“An older woman in a truck. I remember it was red. It was also the first vehicle to drive
by. See, moral obligation.”
“And did she ask what you were doing hitchhiking at such a young age?”
“Of course, and I told her the truth. That I needed to get home for my hockey game.”
“Did she tell your parents? I would have.”
“No, she didn’t come to the door or anything, just dropped me off in the driveway, but
later I told my father. He did one of those stuttering double takes when I said it. ‘What? You did
what?’ I imagine he was mad at me, but when your seven-year-old son says he made such a
drastic move because he was afraid of getting in trouble. You can’t really go about spanking
him, can you?”
The line boarding the plane started to dwindle, and keeping even pace, we stepped to
the back of it.
“So, what seat are you in?”
“Oh, I’m in first class,” she said without heirs. “My company purchased it for me.”
“Well that was nice of them, but I was enjoying talking to you.”
“I know,” she said smiling. “I wanted to hear more about these hitchhiking adventures.”
Then, the idea just popped into my mind. “I tell you what, I’ll come sit with you in first
class.” I do this a lot. Make spur of the moment decisions without mitigating the consequences.
She just stood there staring at me like, you’re kidding right? “Would you mind?” I asked.
“I’d love for you to, but I don’t want you to get in trouble.” This was her way of gracefully
telling me that she didn’t want me to, but I insisted.
“It will be fine,” I assured. “Just act normal.”
We kept talking as we moved forward, and I’m not sure if she thought I would follow
through with my latest escapade, but I could tell the possibility was making her more and more
nervous with each step closer we became.
It didn’t take long to find her seat. First one on the right, row of three. I took up the one
next to her. “You’re crazy,” she whispered, shooting me a surreptitious smile.
“I know,” I whispered back.
Soon enough the stewardess was instructing us on how to fasten our seatbelts, and
sitting in my plush leather chair with more legroom than I could dispose of, I began to relish my
decision. I had always wanted to sit in first class, and now here I was, doing it with an extremely
beautiful woman. She wasn’t wearing a ring either. Not that I had a shot. I wasn’t even trying.
She was 15 years my elder. A matter that would never deter me as I’m into older women, but
she was also a doctor for Christ’s sake. Way out of my league. What did I have to offer her?
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