Monday, October 27, 2003

Writing 121

I am alone.
Most people would consider me homeless, but I would not consider myself as such, per se. You see, the Earth is my home, and wherever I go, there I am. So I am at home everywhere I go. I have been to cities and towns all over the United States of America, and Canada. I do not have the inclination to go to Mexico, it’s too sunny, although I would love to head over to Europe and am saving my dough for the airline ticket. I like to stay in a city until it becomes familiar, then I move on. I love the disconcerting experience of being in a new place, surrounded by fresh scenery and strange accents. The bigger the city, the more areas there are to explore, the longer I stay.

I originally come from a small town near Portland, Oregon, called St. Helens. This town has railroad tracks running right through the center of it. My friends and I every so often would meet a vagrant, a rail rider, who would stop off in our little town for a day or two while passing through to bigger, more opportune cities. During prime mushroom season, early autumn of my seventeenth year of life, I was at a friend’s apartment. We had been smoking pot and hanging out, typical small town teenage entertainment, when another pal came a-knocking on her door. He had with him a threadbare vagrant of a grandfatherly sort, fresh off the trains, and they had recently been magic mushroom hunting. They brought their bounty into the kitchen, and my friend’s mother made us some magic mushroom tea. I have never had an affinity for mushrooms. I choked down as much of it as I could, but it was, quite frankly, nasty. It didn’t get me high either. We all stayed up late into the night hanging out and making art. Gramps told us he would be hopping a train to Seattle the next day, and he invited any of us to join him. I decided that night to embark on an adventure, just for the thrill of the experience. I snuck home in the wee early morning hours, packed my backpack full of clothes, grabbed my violin in its case, put my cat, Purrsia, on a leash, and left my mom a note. I pointed out that I was almost 18 and told her I was going on a journey to find myself. I said I would call her in a week to let her know I was okay and have some kind of plan. With my bank card in my wallet and twenty dollars in my sock, I headed north.

We spent a few weeks in Seattle. Gramps had a nephew, Bill, who lived in a small town just outside Seattle, and I was able to shower at his house on a weekly basis. Just after my weekly scrubbing during our 3rd week in Seattle, I opened the back door to step onto the porch and smoke a cigarette. Sparkling under a layer of rain ignited by sunshine, an old 5 speed bicycle tilted it’s handlebars to me in a solemn salute. A bicycle! What a perfect idea. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? The glass porch door slid open and Bill walked out. I told him it was a beautiful bike, and he said it had belonged to his deceased wife. She told him once that if anything happened to her to make sure it went to someone who would appreciate it. I asked him what he wanted for it, and he said that the first day we met I had somehow reminded him of the bike. He told me I could have it for the pleasure it brought him to give it to me, and if the opportunity ever arose to pass it to another who will appreciate it, to do so. Of course, I promised him that I would.

Suddenly Seattle seemed much smaller. In another week I told Gramps I would be heading down to San Francisco. He gave me a switchblade and some marijuana, and advised me to be careful, suggesting I get a dog. I found some baskets and a little trailer for my bicycle. Purrsia discovered the basket on the front of the bike was just the right size to curl up in, and I had plenty of room in the trailer for my few belongings. I bought a little two man tent, a pot, a mug, a spoon, some oatmeal and soup, covered it all with tarps, and went in search of a dog.

At the third pound, I found who I was looking for. A medium sized, young adult solid black male of mixed breeding. He appeared to me as a cross between a wolf and a blue heeler. His ears were as soft as rabbit fur and were two quizzical triangles standing straight up as he cocked his head and looked me in the eye. I was smitten. He looked to be about a year old and was already neutered. I knelt down and he came up to me, friendly, and without any fear. I scratched his back and he sidled up into my arms, licking my face. He left the pound with a green harness and leash, and a new name - Stalker.

My pets and I have been traveling from city to city since then. I bike when I can but sometimes it is more realistic to bus, or, if I do particularly well in a city, go by train. I try to stick with cities of temperate weather as biking in the heat can get very sticky, and if you don’t know where your next shower is coming from, you do better to avoid stickiness. My favorite places to bathe are county fairgrounds. Usually when I get to a city I find the nearest fairgrounds and check out their equestrian facilities. There is often a bathroom with a shower, and the bathrooms are sometimes heated in the winter. The best part is the privacy! Most of the time these bathrooms are empty. If I cannot find adequate bathing facilities at a fairground or campground I will visit a mission with this purpose. I generally try to avoid visiting these types of places as they can be very dangerous. So many vagrants looking out only for their number one can lead to rough situations. Usually when I reach a city, I will locate all of the missions and other homeless gathering places, and check them out. I like to see what kind of facilities are available should the need arise. I also like to schmooze the homeless crowds, to get information and current news about the city I am in, and to get a connection for drugs. In general though, I prefer to be alone with my thoughts and my mammal friends.

The city I am in today is called Vancouver, located in British Columbia, Canada. It is early autumn, the air is cool and the leaves have started to turn. I‘ve been here for 3 weeks, spending my nights in Stanley Park and exploring the city during the day. When I want to make a few bucks, I head into high population density areas and pull out my violin. Trendy streets lined with restaurants often yield a decent wage to a passionate violinist. I love to play my violin, and I think I communicate it well to my audience. When the bow slides over the strings, the feeling sends a shiver down my spine. I usually play for the lunch crowds, out entertaining themselves by spending money in the hip little shops and boutiques sandwiched between the restaurants. I look forward to the Christmas season in another five weeks, when consumerism runs rampant leaving everyone in a jovial mood. I usually make a killing on the good humor of these happy spenders, and repay them by playing every Christmas carol I know.

I use drugs judiciously. I believe that anything used in moderation can have a positive, rather than negative impact on a person’s psyche. I stay away from “dirty” drugs, like crystal meth and crank. Marijuana is my drug of choice, but often when I reach a city I like to take some acid before I explore it. Being in completely unfamiliar surroundings intensifies the strangeness of the trip. I have used other synthetic drugs – heroin, ketamine, ecstasy – but I reserve alcohol for those cold winter nights when I have only my sleeping bag and my pets for warmth. I don’t drink to get drunk because usually when that happens I end up feeling like hell for up to a day after. That makes bicycle transport much more unpleasant and as such, reduces my mobility. I do not smoke cigarettes for the same reason (that, and because it is not very intelligent to pay a corporation for your own death), and I do not struggle with addiction to one single drug.

I suppose if I am addicted to anything it is to my freedom. I am the mistress of my situation, the cause and effect, and I am my own way into and out of every position. I do not have any responsibilities other than my pets and myself, and this affords me an unparalleled sense of liberty.
Dream Your Own Twin Peaks Adventure! its not dated, but is from spring/summer of 2003

ill start off from where I remember the dream from, since starting from anytime before that is just impossible.

So, Tim and I are walking and scooting around Portland neighborhoods. I’m not wearing my scooter helmet, I am wearing my horse riding helmet. We come upon a miniature horse stud, tied near the sidewalk. We stop and I pet him. He's adorable, dark chocolate brown with some white overo markings. His owner, some younger man, comes out and starts bitching that we are going to give his little stud some disease by petting him. I pointed out that if he doesn’t want people stopping and petting the little horse, he shouldn’t tie him on the sidewalk, and we leave.

We come up to a white house with the front door set below the sidewalk so that you have to go down 5 stairs to reach it. On either side of the stairs, thick vegetation darkens and quiets the light and noise from the street, so it is like walking into another world. There are white columns at either side of the entrance, which creates a sort of covered porch area, overgrown with thick wisteria bushes, and the door itself is made of oak and glass, with full length windows on either side. We rush down the stairs and peek in - there is some kind of an entrance hall made of white marble, with a curved white marble staircase set back about 10 feet from the door. Inside there is a man (who turns and looks at us) talking to 3 adults and 1 child. I want to sing and listen to my voice echo through the marble halls. I reach for the door handle, realize I’m about to walk into someone’s home without permission, and turn away.

We keep wandering the city until we go into our home to go to bed. I wake up and am hot, so go into the bathroom and run a cold shower. As the cold water rushes over my overheated body, I hear someone come in. I open the shower curtain and my ex boyfriend’s mom, Karen, is standing there. She asks why I am taking a shower at 2 in the morning. I explain. She leaves.

Suddenly, Tim and I are in Vancouver, BC, with Audrey Horn (of Twin Peaks). Her father Ben Horn is after us - he wants to kill us because he had picked out some music that he wanted Audrey to sing to, and she hated it so brought it to timothy, who mastered it. Mr. Horn catches Audrey and I. I am trying to plot our escape, without Audrey’s help, when in comes Mr. Horn demanding to know where to find Timothy. He plays the two cd's he has, and asks what the difference is. Audrey points out that one is mastered, and Ben says "A-HA!! TO THE STUDIO!! WE WILL FIND HIM THERE!" I’m going “shit shit shit we gotta get outta here and save Timothy, Audrey why the fuck did you blab!!! “ we manage a daring escape out the window and we are running through downtown Vancouver to get to Tim’s studio and warn him before Mr. Horn gets there.

Unfortunately, we all arrive at the same time and are caught again. We are taken back to Ben Horns building, Timothy with us this time. Audrey and I are once again plotting to escape while Timothy is being interrogated. When the "guard" brings timothy back into the room with us, we surprise him, hit him over the head, and make a run for it. As we are running through downtown again, making many left and right turns, trying to ditch our pursuers, Karen hands Timothy a post it note with instructions on where to go. She will help us escape. He sticks it in his pocket, and, thinking we had lost our pursuers, we slow to a walk. Suddenly we see them behind us, and we jump behind some bushes to hide, but they had spotted us and quickly caught us. They take us back to the building.

The next time we have an opportunity to escape, we are all alone with Mr. Horn, and Audrey hits him in the head repeatedly with a shovel, like the truly faithful daughter she is. "I think he’s dead" she said. "I hated him anyways. Prick." We are once again running, knowing that now we have killed the boss man, they will be even more desperate to find us. Timothy looks at the post it note which Karen gave him last time we escaped. we have one day to get on some kind of ferry, which will take us to another country, where we will then find our way to the meeting place and she will get us out of there.

As we are riding on the ferry, an announcement is made to "keep an eye out for a young Englishman," (we are on a boat full of Irishmen), "in his mid twenties." This is Timothy. Timothy didn’t hear this announcement, although I did, and set out to find him to warn him to stay in hiding. Timothy is in a dark recreation room lit only by lamps in the corners, with couches, video games and a jukebox. Demons walk in and start shooting up the place, throwing people and furniture around, looking for the Englishman. Of course they couldn’t tell the nationality of anyone until they heard the accent. The boat docks, and Audrey is caught by the demons. Timothy and I, who are now the same person, go running down the ramp full speed ahead, demons following. It’s too bad we don’t have any sort of vehicle to get away in. We spy some motorcycles and are considering just taking one, when up drives a light blue mini car with a blonde driving. She tells tim/me to hop in and we do so, speeding away, demons on motorcycles hot on our tail. She begins laying out our escape plan, explains where we will be going, and then she is singing "are you the one that I’ve been waiting for" in nick caves voice, backed by the bad seeds. This being my alarm, I am gradually and reluctantly brought back to reality.