Posts Tagged ‘continuing’

They stopped on top a hill just outside Espanola. The car was packed with stuff but they squeezed me in anyway. They had started at Wisconsin and had just been hitchhiking themselves, across Newfoundland.  Apparently they acquired a car (I didn’t inquire) and were headed for Winnipeg.

The girl seemed tired but they guy was really friendly. Maybe too friendly, were they fighting?

There was a lot of stops at construction sites and I nodded off a few times.  The radio was droning away in a monotone, half AM talk-show half static, that no one was paying attention to, so I offered some tapes for them to choose from.  The girl chose my Mr. Bungle tape because the other side of it was labeled “Make Your Momma Puke Mix”, a mix tape a friend had made for me back in Barrie.  We listened to the whole Mr. Bungle side and they decided it was too weird for them.  I tried to explain the other side was a completely different style but they weren’t really listening due to their stop and go construction malaise.

As the grateful passenger I offered up full control of the music, my scissored and taped Pot o’ Gold chocolate box I’d fashioned into a compact, space efficient tape case and packed with used cassettes at a hock shop in Sudbury (I discovered I could fit in more by crammin them in upside down on the rightside up ones).  They chose Cypress Hill and played it side to side about five times until the machine inevitably ate the tape as we rolled into Sault Ste. Marie.  They apologized profusely but I didn’t really care.  I still had Billy Idol.  I offered the silver lining “Hey, now I got room for a NEW tape”.  They dropped me downtown Sault where I walked to a hostel as they went for dinner.  I ran into them leaving town as I strolled out of the hostel, baggage free-what a luxury.  Maybe I’ll run into them in Winnipeg……

This I wrote in Sault Ste. Marie:

Walkin down the Street

in my bare feet

Left my boots at home to cool down ’cause they were hurtin’ me

Hope you caught the irony

it’s what inspired me

To write a song about

the walk down to the

beach and back in agony

I found that hitchhiking out here by myself really taught me was how to be myself.  No one who picks you up knows what your normally like, leaving you free to be whoever you like and ultimately leading to learning how you act when not obligated to fit into someone’s perception of you.

He picked me up on the entrance to the 400 as I sat playing guitar with a sheet of paper saying ‘Perry Sound’.  The conversation flowed steady for a good hour or two.  He was headed to the Yukon to hold an Indie Film presentation.  He recommended some good indie movies I said I’d check out but forgot about.  He also played in a punk band in T.O.  He gave me some tips having hitchhiked himself.  He dropped me off at the YMCA in Sudbury.  He even got out and made sure I got in alright.

As I wandered around in Sudbury I came to a park on a hill looking over the town.  I’m always writing lyrics to make into songs and this is what I wrote there:

On a road in nowhere

I sit and stare

to catch a glimpse of what I missed and come to grips

that I don’t care

I was so sad to let it go

but here with open hands I know

the sweetness wasn’t having it held

It was breathing it in a blowing it out

Perfected a futilely flawless routine

inevitably becoming monotony

Had no idea what to do, to do better

so I started my story on a fresh piece of paper

Now following the flow

in the unknown

I listen to the rhythms I’m given

to guide, to decide my direction

The passion is pursuit, not possession, of perfection

I spent the whole weekend, my bags already packed, everything I owned on my back, at Freedomfest, a festival near Barrie for local bands.  My old band Settle For Less had played there previous years but we were defunct now.  That was one reason not to stay.

Also I’d moved so many times in the past year that my belongings had been whittled down to just a few things anyway so fitting everything I need in a backpack, rucksack and guitar case wasn’t too difficult.  People think freedom is being able to buy everything but it’s actually not owning anything.

Everyone was there, it was perfect.  It was very sneaky of me to make it my goodbye party.  It was a weekend long party with lots of great bands, some of which I knew and some not.  It was a great time for music in Barrie.

I got a ride from my old guitarist Dave’s drummer from his new band Junior (later to be renamed Fight Like Gentlemen).  They dropped me off on the TransCanada highway, said goodbye and drove off.  I wonder if everyone was expecting to see me back in town the next week.  I sat there, not even accustomed to hitchhiking at all, wondering if I’d get picked up and thinking about this being my last opportunity to waffle and just go back to Barrie.  But I couldn’t.  There was nothing left for me there…

Awake. Blue.

Shit, that’s a lot of smoke! As I pull on my boots the grass right in front of me bursts into flames.  After some good stomping it was back down to the water then back up the mountain again.  Mental note, next time build the fire closer to the water.  What a terrible trip to lay on someone on about an hours sleep in three days, sexually frustrated and full of booze.

We spent the morning in the girls’ truck, getting out of some light rain.  A little too light to ease my mind..

The rain stopped and some sun came out and the girls decided to leave.  We took some pictures together and exchanged emails.  Me and Dylan decided to go for one last hike in the woods.  We made our way back around the the campsite.  There was some smoke..

“Shit!  This dead tree’s about to go right up!” He’s right!

“You watch it, I’ll get water!”  Down I go, back up, find the fire again.  You know the drill.  We both made certain it was out this time, digging up any parts around that looked iffy.  It had been burrowing under the big rock we built it by, spreading through the moss and popping up in unexpected places.  We cut it off at every end and left it for good.  It would be ironic if I started a forest fire when I came out here with the idea of helping out with the forest fires.  Maybe I can put this on my resume?

Dylan hung around ’til 4:20 and left me at the hostel.  I slept.

So I wake up.  Black.  Where am I?  Saskatoon?  Gotta get back to the hostel..  Oh wait, I remember.  I’m camping.

Shouldn’t the fire be inside the circle?  I should do something about that.  Stomp Stomp.  That’s not working.  Water?  No?  This is serious..  Beer?  Tears roll down my cheeks as the heavenly liquid screams and evaporates on the embers.  Still some heaters left..no more liquids…?  Well maybe one.  Zzip.

That should do it..

So I wake up.  Dark blue.  Uh-oh.  That’s spreading.  Water in the car GO.  Up the mountain.  Locked door. Locked door.  Open door!  Sweet.  I tried not to wake up the girls, who were sleeping in their truck next to Dylan’s car, but I couldn’t get the door shut so I had to slam it a few times and eventually leave it which the girls later said they thought was someone trying to break in.  So I’m barrelin down the mountain with empty water bottles to the lake at the bottom.

On my way up I lost track of the campsite.  Can’t find the fire.  Can’t find the fire.  There it is!  With the water and some stomping with a rock – with one to my finger that blood-blistered my fingertip and bruised the nail – it was out.  Pretty much..

I awoke to a horn beeping somewhere behind me.  I pulled myself off the tar of the highway and dragged my stuff to the car.

I remember watching the cars go by for a good couple hours before my vision started to blur.  I mulled over the look of the pavement, thinking of lying down but deciding it looked too hot.  After a while I decided “fuck it”

Dylan was a party guy for sure.  After that hour’s sleep I was right back full of energy shootin the shit and smoking some joints.  We drove by this turnoff to somewhere I forget the name of and he was like, “That’s my turnoff but I’m gonna go to Banff with you and we’ll party it up tonight!”

The plan was set:  We’d grab some beers, set up camp, go into town and pick up some hippie chicks, go to the bar then back to camp for beers, campfire and singalong parties.  It was a perfect plan….almost.

We set up a camp in the middle of the woods, on a relatively flat spot on the side of a mountain below where we parked.  We had the beer, a circle of rocks for the campfire and Dylan’s tent setup.  We walked around town for awhile, taking in the sights.  I don’t have to tell you what a beautiful town Banff is.

We were walking through a park and we see these two girls in white with dreadlocks.  Me and Dylan exchange a single nod and stroll on over.  Breanna, blond and pixyish, a real live wire; you could almost see the fairy dust fall off her, and Colby,  reddreads, sweet as hell; we let them in on the plan.

Now the night’s a bit of a blur.  There was beer, Jagermeister (note:  I thought it was spelt with a Y when this was written;-) wings and some dancing to a band.  The band wasn’t very good which didn’t matter at all.  I couldn’t remember if anyone else was dancing or if the band was even playing.  Yes, apparently the band was playing and No, apparently no one else was dancing.

I got everyone to haul back rocks for the fire pit but god knows how we carried them up that mountain as drunk as we were.  We sat around the fire having some drinks; I was playing guitar and we sang songs who know how well.

When the girls announced they were going to bed it was met with protests from Dylan and I that we needed cuddles.  “Cuddle with each other”, was the reply.  I decided I’d sleep by the fire…

This is a long ride so I’ll continue it this Wed.  You’ll wanna check it out ’cause I almost fuckin die!!!!

That got yer attention dinnit

To be continued……

Her name was Christine and she was going to be in BC next week so we should meet up.  She gave me her email which she says she doesn’t check very often so this is a real long shot.  Her “dude” didn’t seem to think he “wasn’t really her boyfriend” but he was real nice nonetheless.  They had a cool van full of a bed and sink and stuff.  One window was smashed in to prevent locking the keys inside.

They dropped me off at the hostel around 8 or so and I walked in right in time for pancakes.  I had one with a cup of coffee which is probably why I couldn’t sleep.  I’ve known myself to drink a coffee when I’m tired and pass right out only to wake up in an hour full of energy.  Not this time though.  I stared at the bunk above me for about half an hour and resolved myself to hittin the road.

Banff bound, I packed up everything, strapped it on my back and hoofed it to the bus stop

Music

A ride to the bar is a ride nonetheless, though I had no idea how far it would take me.  It started with a movie.  Riding In Cars With Boys.  “We wont pick out a chick flick”,  claimed these two girls I’d been hanging out with.  We’d gone to Cowboys the night before for $1 draft which sounds good but they were, like, dixie cups and rancid.  One of the girls got food poisoning.  At any rate, Cowboys was huge and crazy and tonight we were taking it easy.

The movie was funny for what I saw but I left around where it started getting to the serious part, mainly because this dude we were watching the movie with was heading out to the bar with these two other girls that wanted to get going.

Adam was his name.  He was thinking about checking out a couple of underground type DJs that were supposed to be playing but the girls wanted to go to “The Palace”.  You’ve been there.  It’s your standard hootchie bar, choking with perfume and Axe deodorant.

The lineup stretched halfway down the block so we left the girls to find out where the DJs were playing.  It took searching the town to the point of abandoning all hope to end up at The Underground at 1 am.  Looking for the silver lining I figured I wouldn’t spend much if I was only drinking for an hour.  $12 cover!  MuthrFuckr!  Oh well, beers must be cheap.  Lets try a Grasshopper.  $5.25!  Shit.  Well, here I am.  Might as well enjoy the situation.

Adam tells me a few things to lighten the situation.  Things like:  “I just heard it’s open til 7 am here” and “this place makes me wanna do E”.  We found two Blue Mushroom pills were supposedly heavy with speed.  I knew I was feeling the effects when I asked the girl standing across from me how she was doing.  It was her first time here in 12 years.  “How old are you?”, “How old do you think?”, “26” lowballing even though it didn’t make sense with the 12 years thing, “30, how old are you?”, “22”, “Hahahahaha”.  She reminds me of someone I don’t remember but would have gone for Hallowe’en as a sexy kitty-cat.  I gave up on her after awhile whether because of lack of focus from me or interest from her.

I wound up dancing with this Quebecois chick with a Sailor Moon hairdo and some dude she said “wasn’t really her boyfriend”.  I literally danced non-stop all night until 7 in the morning when even the DJ was surprised there was so many of us still there.  Adam left with a girl some time earlier so I got a ride back to the hostel with the french chick and her guy..

Before I even got bored of standing there:  I saw a wave from another hitchhiker – headed the other ways toward a funeral – toward the top of the on ramp to the TransCanada, where I was considering to be a better vantage for hitching.  I nodded, “Yeah, I probably will have a better chance there” and turned, only to find a truck already stopped.

“I’VE BEEN DRIVING SINCE 12 LAST NIGHT AND I NEED SOMEONE TO RAP WITH SO I CAN MAKE IT TO SASKATOON BY THIS AFTERNOON!”

“Great!”

Now conversation.  I was pretty beat from being up all night fending off the wind and rain at the Regina drive-in I slept at.  I woke up in the middle of the night (relatively speaking.  A few hours after the movies)  to thunder and lightning and I whipped the tarp out of my backpack and tied it to the fence before it started to pour.  It was then I realized I was in a patch of thistles.

I stayed on the ball with him, if not contributing much to the conversation, I was at least able to follow what he was saying and he was in no way short on filling the space I left him.  He had a fairly confusing web of ex-wives, girl-friends and “future” wives.  He was headed to Malta at some point, either to see his daughter  or ex or with his girlfriend or to meet a girl or something like that.  He had a daughter my age but his hair was still fully red.

I told him how I spent my time in Regina with these two English chicks and an Aussie girl and he was shocked and saddened that I didn’t sleep with any of them.  Making these fleeting acquaintances more intimate seems a little pointless and inappropriate.  I’m just having a good time.

I like truckers.  More specifically I like riding in the the trucks and I like how they always take me real far.  This one was a cool old dude.

Old-timer, always talking about something thing that happened in ’59 or ’73 or telling clever little jokes like “I spilled spot remover on my dog and he dissappeared.”  He said it’s nice to have someone to ride with:  “I tell myself jokes but I’ve heard most of them.”  I like that he said ‘most’:)

We stopped for coffee in Whiteriver(?)  We told jokes and chatted away.  It was alot easier to talk in the diner.  The A/C in the truck was broken so all the windows were open and it was hard to hear.

Good man.  Nice friendly down to earth guy.  Just what I need after the last few crazy dayz…

We got to Regina but not before watching the skyscrapers fade right out of the sky way before we were even close to it.  I guess that’s the thing about it being totally flat out here