Don't Tell Me What To Do: A Spiritual Memoir
Just kill me now, LORD! I'd rather be dead than alive, because nothing I predicted is going to happen. – Jonah 4:3

Expatriate - 1970-1975

This is a preview to the chapter Expatriate - 1970-1975 from the book Don't Tell Me What To Do: A Spiritual Memoir by Ron Alexander.
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My father was probably now in New London, explaining away my demonstration as being trivial and meaningless as I drove back to Philly. My car barely makes. I limped into Philly discouraged and disillusioned, tired and hungry. Where to go, who to turn to, was the burning question I couldn't answer. Who loved me was as big of a mystery as the whereabouts of my alleged father, John Duffy. Perhaps he would love me if I only knew where to find him.

I pulled my car up to Mama's house where the engine gave out one last gasp and died. I did a lot of pretending with her on this day, acting like I had been away on a long and important journey. She was not so easily fooled.

I felt encouraged when I took stock of the one asset I had left. I still had a valid drivers’ license I needed to get another car. I decided to get a job at a parking garage. That's where the cars were.

After getting a good meal and a full night’s sleep, I took the bus downtown to a parking garage. I was hired on the spot. I reported to work later in the night to work the eleven to seven shift. Before my shift ended, I pocketed the keys of a Lincoln Town Car. I could be three states away before the car was reported stolen. Leaving work at 7 am, I was able to drive the car out of the garage without being seen. I also stole the money I was supposed to turn in after my shift, then drove to my grandmother’s home, snatched up my clothes, and hit the highway.

My destination was Amherst, Massachusetts. I didn't know a soul there, but had read about all of the colleges in Amherst. I reasoned that I could become invisible by blending in with the students

* * *

I drove all morning into the afternoon, eating lightly to conserve money, stopping only when I needed to gas up. I took my time. I was in no hurry. I passed through New York into Connecticut when a news bulletin came over the radio. Nine members of the New Haven chapter of the Black Panther Party had been arrested and charged with the murder of Alex Rackley, a twenty-three-year-old New York Black Panther. He had been kidnapped, tortured and shot to death because they believed him to be a police informant.
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