I stood on the side of the road with my big bristol board sign yelling “Van City, Baby!!”  at the top of my lungs to the no one that was around and then laughing about it to myself.  It was a tough spot with fast traffic but I didn’t have to wait to long.  A girl named Alyssa picked me up on her way back from partying in Kelowna for the weekend.  She’s from Vancouver so she drove me all the way there.

She started out with a kind of psychic link with the cars in front of us (telling them calmly to get out of her way and they’d actually move) which turned into road rage the closer we got to the city.  We got honked at a few times, honked at a few people, got the finger, gave the finger, passed some cars via the shoulder, made great time I think.

We talked about music and bands and she said I should go to the Cobalt for Metal Wednesdays which sounds cool.  Last bar I was at that would play metal is closed down now (Traffic.  Barrie.  Goodtimes. *tear*)  She knows a lot of musicians and plays the keyboards herself.  I told her how I sang in a heavy band for awhile and now I was just writing my own stuff.  I shared a clever line that I had which she laughed at but I then ruined by laughing too much myself.  I made sure to get her email as she dropped me off at the hostel so we could jam some time.  I can’t wait to play in a band again.  Gotta make it happen.

Maybe it’s because I fixed it as my destination in my head or maybe because I’m sick of not having a home base but walking around here it feels like it’d be a comfortable place to live.  Feels like home.

Distance despite deterioration

Determination despite distraction

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Vince, who I based the Van City Baby lyric on;  He didn’t drive to Penticton and I didn’t try to convince him to.  And I didn’t make any cash at Strickler’s.  But Strickler’s is in Penticton and I do need to get to Van City fast.

Vince only drove me to Peachland which I actually could’ve ridden the right bus to but it’s the thought that counts.  He was a christian and a young guy.  20 something probably.  He asked me about my religious orientation and I told him I grew up christian and my parents are big christians.  He gave me a god bless as he dropped me off and said he’d pray for me.  I told him my parents had been praying for me plenty and I’ve had good luck so far.

I don’t believe.  I think an open mind is wiser.  Christianity puts a lot of pressure on your condition when you die so that it’s better to die young and innocent.  I can’t buy into that.

We were at Stricklers Grape Orchard in Penticton hoping to make some money for the weekend but apparently the checks don’t get cut until Monday and a $30 advance is out of the question.

So me and this guy Peter who I walked up to the Orchard with were offered a ride to Kelowna from an old guy named Brian (different Brian, different Peter.  Strange patterns of names on this trip:  I met two Eleanors and a Rebecca in Regina and two Lauras and a Rebecca in Calgary and now another set of Brian and Peter.  I wonder what that’s supposed to mean)

Brian was a ‘you should’ve been there’ smoker.  An old hippie with some traveling stories of his own.  He told me how he got stuck in the rain hitchhiking one night so he went off the side of the road to sleep, wrapped in a few garbage bags to stay dry, and woke up to an ambulance and some guys coming down with a stretcher.  Apparently there had been about 4 calls that night about a dead body stashed on the side of the road.

Brian and Peter were both very eccentric, going off on individual tangents that would end them up talking about completely different things by time the listened to each other, frustrating and confusing both of them and thoroughly entertaining me.

We picked apples in Kelowna for a middle eastern family who didn’t speak english very well, frustrating and aggravating Brian to no end.  I refered him to an apple farmer I had worked for earlier in the week who was very friendly and white and didn’t pay as much but is probably who Brian will go work for on Mon.  He’d been off the sauce for 10 days and counting and was very indecisive causing Peter, who was very opinionated and outspoken, to lose it at every snap decision.

Another night a the Kelown hostel..

47 Rides – Interlude

Posted: March 20, 2012 in 47 Rides
Tags: ,

I’m nearing the end now.  This time for real I swear…  Maybe straight to Vancouver from here but I’d imagine no longer than a week at the very most.  I’m hoping for some great finale..

Big Al!  Save my life.  I thought I’d never get out of Peachland with the sunset and all.  Or at least to the hostel in time for check in.  Big Al had a smooth, relaxing voice that raised in pitch mid sentence making a calming tone.  The door handles inside where missing and the wind whistled past the door crack the whole ride which I didn’t bother fixing.  He knew the guy working at the hostel that night and actually had travelled to Victoria with him.  I think I’ll live in Victoria instead of Vancouver.  I got the member discount for coming with Big Al.  Cool Shit!

1)This town is burning down

now exit as directed

Made a sound when it hit the ground

though the damage was deceptive

The people flee in anarchy

there seems to be no sanity

Lets get these stubborn souls some safety quickly

2) Surprised to find

the fine line

between the hippies

and the hustlers

The decision came abruptly and almost epiphanously as I grit my teeth to put up with Brian’s mouth running with his brain parked at the question mark that ended all his sentences.  I was going to West Bank, where I had stashed my gear with a buddy of Brian’s, to bring back to the hostel which we could afford after picking apples at an orchard all day.  I did some lucrative busking out front of the liquor store too.  What a great way to make money.   As I was leaving I joked, “Maybe I’ll just grab my stuff and take off.”  The idea was so appealing I barely considered any other course of action after the words left my mouth.  Carrying everything you own on your back is a lot like living on a house boat.  If you don’t like your neighbours you just pick up and leave.  It’s real freedom, not the kind of freedom you hear people up in arms about all the time.  Real freedom is not having a closet full of junk you hold onto because it might be useful someday.

But anyway, I walked to the last set of lights leaving West Bank, Kelowna and got a ride to the first turnoff in Peachland.  10 minute ride tops.  This guy wants to learn how to play the guitar.  Good for him (sorry I’m so cynical).

These damned “no hitchiking. Pickup is illegal” signs!  So after a good long walk down the highway (away from the sign only to end up in front of another and have to continue)  we’re picked up in an unexpected spot where the shoulder is shy but apparently sufficient.

I’m getting tired of Brian telling everyone he’s been hitching with me since Kenora ON.  It screws up my stories and degrades my accomplishments but I guess it’s better for him than saying he just got out of jail.  We’re starting to get our stories straight but I don’t think we need to pitch it to anyone unless it comes up.

This guy that drove us to the skirts of Kelowna was real friendly and clean cut.  Still a long ways from town but it sure beats the side of the highway, in the middle of nowhere, beside a sign that says NO HITCHHIKING

I need to sleep for a week to really loathe being lazy

 This is a bit on a sidebar, some writings in a small cheap hotel in Saskatoon.

I guess if you wanna get your money’s worth you take mushrooms with an empty stomach and not half a roasted chicken.  I tried to jump start them with beer and hash but I think this is about as intense as they’re getting.  I have a feeling they’ll last a while though.  Although maybe there is no buzz and never was.  Not just now but ever.  Taking the intoxicant just triggers the memory of that state of mind.  There is definitely a variety of potency related to whatever is taken that is unrelated to the mind that it affects (or infects if you wanna be cynical..or paranoid with the preciousness of life)   Worried about the affect on the functional ability of one’self.  Untrusting of the infinity of the human spirit that only knows finity within the belief of such finity.  The human spirit is indomitable and is only defeat by itself.

The dilemma becomes the sense of purpose which is never in any sense universal to everyone.  Everyone has the path to walk or rather the forest to navigate.  The choice of path is subject to debate by the question of fate.  Fate asks the question:  “Is my path already chosen” for the comfort of being able to stumble forward into whatever life is to be lead, the comfort of a slave.

Within “time” the fate of the past IS already written and the “future” as well after the passing through of the moment.  But the moment is the miracle – of the chance happening or that stroke of luck.  Fate is not a dictator and does not even pertain to the future at all.  In fact the future does not even exist.  Never has, never will.  As soon as the future becomes the moment it ceases to exist or rather, never actually comes into being.  Thoughts of the future are completely futile compared to what one does with the moment.

The moment is all and not to be wasted planning for the next.  I find acting out a moment planned for makes me feel guilty for it’s redundancy.  Like seeing a funny part in a movie and laughing even though it was in the trailer and I saw it coming.  You cant help the mind fantasizing and wandering into the future but it must be resisted so not to ruin the surprise of  or get hopes up for the Moment.

The past makes me sad

The future makes me mad

Moment to moment

is all you ever have

So we had to leave Merritt because the guy that was generous enough to let us stay at his motel, Peter, lost his job.  I blame Brian.  It definitely wasn’t my fault ’cause I didn’t sleep in the motel that night.  I woke up in somebody’s backyard.  That’s when I lost my guitar.

The people whose yard it was were concerned for me having somewhere to sleep.  I dazily explained I was staying at the Double D Inn and made my way off their property.  I somehow found my way back to the DoubleD and slept about an hour before Peter came in and told us we had to go.  Apparently his boss was coming back into town and Brian had been knocking on peoples doors the night before.  Peter had two jobs and he lost both of them somehow, if that’s even possible.  Poor Peter.

So now I’m realizing I don’t have my guitar so we retrace our steps from the night before, if that’s even possible.  The bar we were at said I had it with me when they kicked us out.  Hopefully that’s a last call kind of kicking out but I’m afeared it wasn’t.  So now we’re looking for the house I woke up at when a van pulls up asking if I’m Trevor Porter.  I am and I’m reunited with my guitar to my extreme relief.

So today’s ride is a generalization of Merritt locals, Natives, fellow travelers and random friendlies, driving us to the fire camp and back.  But, yeah, the fires don’t need any more volunteers.  So here we are in Merritt with nowhere to stay and nowhere to go.  Both of us barely slept the night before and we’re exhausted.  We even went into the police station and asked if we could sleep in some cells.  Nope, we had to break the law.  We looked around for something illegal to do but everything was too much effort so we continued down the street out of town..

It started pouring so Brian and I took shelter under an overpass.  The wind was cold so we made a small fire between the lanes.

A lady and her quiet mother stopped way down the road and reversed back to us, to our relief.  We dashed through the downpour and hopped in.  She recommended the  llama ranch for work if the firefighting didn’t work out.

I wouldn’t recommend going to Merritt but I also wouldn’t miss the mad adventures I was thrust into there.