Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver’

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

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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…..

After asking around I found out I was right near the ferry to Nanaimo which I could catch and hitch down to Victoria tomorrow.  I stood at the side of the road, shivering in the setting sun and glancing at my watch, unsure how far of a drive it was and sure the last ferry was at nine.  A taxi van pulled the bend with it’s four way flashers on and I pulled out my wallet and waved it in the air.

The driver was a beturbaned middle eastern dude.  He said how he’d seen me on his first pass and radioed someone to pick me up and saw me still there on his way back.  He was talking on his radio in his own language and I thought about how different the sounds of the words were from english.  I think it uses less sharp sounds.  It makes me think of how much people that get frustrated by people with accents makes me sick.

He said it would be about $40 but it was only $20.  Still, my poor visa.

I made it to the last ferry with a few minutes to spare.

Just when you thought it was over.

You’d think I’d be used to that good feeling every town has when you arrive but nope.  It fades after the first day.  I lay awake last night in the Same Sun Hostel listening to the sound of buskers and hustlers in the streets calling out in the night and thought twice about living in the city.  Today I checked out a few slums that weren’t bad until I checked out this one way out of town.  The whole way there I was like, “No I can’t live here.  It’s too far from everything.” but the view was beautiful and the area was peaceful.

The guy didn’t seem to want me there, eyeing the guitar on my back for fear it would disturb his peaceful little household.  I told him I’d think about it then walked off with no money for the bus to get back into town.  Having no money to get somewhere seemed like a silly problem after getting here from Ontario without paying for rides.  I came to the sudden decision to go to Victoria and back on the road I was.

It didn’t take long.  Roger pulled up, sipping a beer and sweeping the garbage off the seat with his arm.  He offered me the choice of cd and I picked Cake which we grooved down the road to.  He took me to North Vancouver and was like, “Dude!  I think I just took you way out of your way.”  He showed me on my map where we were and where to catch the ferry to Victoria and they were pretty much opposite sides of the map.  He said he’d like to help me out but he had to go fight with his girlfriend.  So he left me at a gas station across from a KFC.

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

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.

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 first honest trucker I’ve met.  As far as his job goes anyway.  Kept his hours regularly and his cargo weight in check.  Nothing against the ones that cheated (they were more interesting to talk to).  He was an old guy and had a few good cheating death stories like beating cancer.

He bought me soup at a stop.  That’s what he offered so that’s what I ordered even though he ordered soup and a cheeseburger.  The girl brought his soup in an app bowl and didn’t bring mine until after his burger and then it was an entrée bowl.  He was done his burger and I tipped the bowl to my mouth to catch up.

I was nodding off for awhile, unable to see the mountains in the dark, when he stopped, saying,”I’m gonna find a place to turn in so I’ll let you out here”.  I was planning on riding to Vancouver with him but I guess not.  I got out, grabbed my stuff and watched him drive off.  Then, looking around at a few stores and lights in the dark around midnight I wondered “Where am I?”

Would it help me out to get a ride to Lake Louise?  Sure, why not?

Cool guy in a suped up Hyundai Swift, if that’s a car.  He gunned it and shot right up to 160 at least.

“I’d drive you all the way to Vancouver and we could party it up if I didn’t have a girlfriend”

Well, that would’ve been cool but looking at it retrospectively I would’ve missed a lot (about 17 rides)