Posts Tagged ‘personalities’

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

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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

Of all the strokes of luck!  I’m conversing about how I was looking for a nice place to rent and this guy (who was going all the way to Victoria. sweet) is looking to sublet his apartment in Vancouver for $650 which is more than I was looking to spend but it’s got a pool, hot tub, great view, nice neighbourhood on beach street and is actually supposed to be $800 a month but the guy wants to use the mailbox and parking space.  The apartment the next floor up is $1200 so it seems like a pretty sweet deal.  He says how he’s moving onto his houseboat to live year round for cheaper.  I got his number and I’m pretty sure I’ll take him up on his offer.

He seemed like a cool guy too.  I told him the weed story from earlier and he whipped out his pipe and we smoked some up.  Man did I get stoned.  I must have walked around Victoria in spirals for 5 hours.

So that’s it.  Now it’s seven years later and I’m still in Vancouver.  I only lasted in that beach ave. apartment a couple months before I got kicked out for “having a party” which was actually just me listening to music, actually I was writing lyrics to songs by this band I joined and didn’t stick with.  Anyway, the dude was pretty mad ’cause he wasn’t supposed to be subletting.  I got fired from The Doghouse, the restaurant I first worked at in Van, for unclear reasons besides that I was the youngest.  The manager said, usually he loves firing people but he hated to fire me.  That’s around when I wrote Oh Well.

But yeah, that’s all 47.  Although there is one more that’s relevant…..

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..

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.

After spending some days in the shelter in Kamloops, busking for money in front of liquor stores and supermarkets, I befriended some fellow shelter stayers and we decided to head to Merritt to help out with the forest fires (2003).  The good fight.  Helpin out the people in need.  Money.  It had it all.

Of everyone talking about going only Brian actually did and that was cool ’cause he reminded me of Hunter Thompson.  He had just gotten out of jail for pushing his sister’s asshole boyfriend down some stairs.

We had a sign made from 5 pieces of cardboard strung together the said Merritt Going TO FightFires Please.  A lady picked us up after a long uphill hike out of town and asked if she could take our picture.  She was a journalist in Kamloops and was working on stories about the FireFighters.  So she drove us to around Logan Lake and took our picture from a couple of angles.  So maybe we got our pictures in the paper..

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……

I was headed towards a division in the highway, pondering which way I’d end up taking, when a truck stopped and reversed back to me.  He was headed to Red Deer which is dead center between Edmonton and Calgary.  So I’m half way..(I’m fixin to make it to Calgary tonight)

He was running trucks from Red Deer to Edmonton and back.  Pickup trucks, not the big ones.  $5 an hour or something but he says it’s good work just driving around.

He was interested in motorcycle repair which I dig ever since reading Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance.  I’d originally thought of motorbiking this trip but couldn’t afford it (and I don’t really know how to ride a bike (motorbike that is…well I guess I’m not great at either).  This way’s more interesting anyway.  He tells me I should check out Adrenaline Crew on the internet, stunts on bikes.  He was rhyming off brands and models which makes me feel like I should bone up on my brand knowledge but I don’t need to and I won’t anyway.

He told me a disturbing story (not ghost story disturbing but unsettling) about how he was at a bar in Red Deer and he had 2 drinks and wound up in the drunk tank when the cops found him passed out at a stop light with his foot on the brake.  He had bruises from the bouncers kicking him out but doesn’t remember anything and figures he ended up with a drink with something slipped in it.  Tough Break.  It screws his insurance/suspends his license.  He pleaded not guilty but they can’t prove drugs so they’re gonna stick it to him.  I’m sure he’ll be fine.  He, evidently, still has a job.

So here I am at a diner on Gasoline Alley in Red Deer sippin coffee and writing away.  Guess I should get movin…

Not a long ride but definitely appreciated.  I think I was like half an hour out of town and to some small town type of place but more of a Safeway on the highway.  But I think there was a town back there somewhere.

He picked me up not long after I was dropped off.  This is good hitchin grounds out here.

I forget everything he said.

Alright!  3 rides before noon!  Well here’s the first..

Hoofin down the street in Edmonton, stoked to be moving forward again after a 4 day stay (Edmonton’s a pretty hep burg but I don’t think it’d ever be worth it to stick out a winter there) I walked it almost right out of town.  Well that’s not really true; I was still on the bus route so I stopped on a bench to catch a ride to the outskirts.

Waiting there, a guy came up to me and asked what it was like hitchin’.  He was headed to Peterborough tomorrow and was thinking of hitchhiking there.  We shot the shit for a while and as he got up to leave he offered me a ride to the outskirts (getting that karma collected).  He was doing about the same thing I was except in the opposite direction.

He was headed to meet a girl on a kind of open ended invite and to then prospectively head on afterwards.  It didn’t sound too promising for him.  I wished him luck although luck’s probably not the right word..

So he dropped me off on the ‘skirts and down the highway I walked…

… perspicacity?