I hoped perhaps that because I’d established a habit of moving around so frequently and often almost frenetically, it would never rain on me during the trip. Except maybe, and all clichéd like, on the day of my departure back to Oz. It really is only possible for it to never rain if you stay moving. Yes, of course I’m being metaphoric. There is a certain flow to it. Life. You’ve only got to try and keep pace with it. Just came up with that. Whaddya reckon? 🙂 Fire fighting vehicles constantly tearing around San Fran sounded, I swear, like screams. But not of terror; of ecstasy. Orgiastic bellows bouncing between buildings toward the Bay Bridge. “A drunkjury is not a miscarriage of justice (well, maybe sometimes). It’s an injury sustained while drinking, most likely from being drunk.” I must’ve tripped over something while holding a beer. “A lot of people think of sunsets and rises like they do of buying socks. The banal, natural and man-made. Remember the human created and especially the natural are infinitely more complex in their impact on your life than you may ever appreciate. One requires farming and an endless list of other processes such as people and goods travelling vast distances. The other originates from a super-heated, impossibly enormous ball of burning gas sitting millions of kilometres away at the centre of the solar system.” So I guess both are worthy of appreciation. “I feel like I’ve outgrown the awkwardness of my youth. It’s said that men finish adolescence at about 27 years old, while for women it’s about 23.” Marco the Italian guy told me he’d bought new boots, for cheap, then stuck them on the table for me to scrutinise. They had looked pretty awesome. An Italian cowboy. He spoke of having just had a shower after a day spent walking around in the rain and scoring weed at Golden Gate Park. Strange dude. I was feeling much better. Felt confident I would recall the specifics of my conversations with that long-haired wise beyond his years 22 year old. I cannot. But I really hope to run into him again one day. Unlikely. On Tuesday the savage bite of fatigue on the outsides of my slightly bow-legged calves returned with greater savagery. So finally headed to Kabuki Springs, a Japanese bathhouse, not-at-all oddly located on the fringe of Japantown. After a short steam, long sauna, short cold and then long warm bath, I was invigorated. It may have saved my life, or at least me from an overnight stay in hospital. Floated down Post Street, this time sober, but the hangover soon returned to scatter the rest of the day to the cold wind. My thoughts were not following a logical sequence, and that’s probably reflected in these notes. I hope you’re deriving some entertainment from them, regardless. I just bummed around the hostel, basically. Met a guy working there who’d been in SF for nine months. He’d been randomly punched a couple of nights ago out the front of the hostel.
“Colin?” he said upon meeting me. “Like Colin Farrell?”
“Yeah,” I replied. “But just with less money and female attention.”
“But no less happy, I think?” he queried, sagely.
Randomly met Marco a couple of streets over at a Jack in the Box burger joint. Strikes me as suspiciously randomly, now that I think about it. A couple of streets away from common ground in a big city is still a very coincidental place to run into someone you vaguely know. Who knows. He might have suspected I was the one following him. No Clara (French blue-eyed blonde) to be seen on my last night there, so other details apparently mattered little to me. Stoned again. And to bed early through the stormy seas ship hallway, again.
Woke up at 5am, eager to catch a coach to California’s capitol (sic) city Sacramento and pick up a Wicked Camper generously supplied by its marketing manager, Mr Dudgeon. Following that pickup proceeded a journey which has already been extensively, and you might argue controversially, detailed here: https://wordjourneyer.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/the-dragon-part-one/ “Freedom is of the mind, which is capable of finding freedom anywhere.” Fuck that though. I was quite literally about to find freedom on the road through the US Pacific north-west in a massive Chevrolet campervan. Managed to scam a free bottle opener from the hostel while checking out, by “checking in” on Facebook. An arduous and melancholy walk to the San Fran Greyhound bus depot followed. I checked in, then crossed back over Market Street to a tobacconist. And finally bought a decent camera. In a risky move, I caught up on some sleep at the depot while surrounded quite probably by at least some people who had just been let out of prison. The trip north-east was quite featureless when it came to natural scenery, but I was joined by a bubbly, probably gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that) Asian-American who’d just got back from visiting South Korea. He was heading back to his parents’ place in Reno – just inside Nevada to the north-east. Making up the momentary trio I’d found myself part of was a loud, heavily tattooed but malnourished and possibly just out of the clink Yank who hassled the Korean for music to listen to on the trip. Of all the things this testosterone-imbalanced bastard could have asked for: Evanescence. Jesus. WordWeb eDictionary defines “evanescence” as: the event of fading and gradually vanishing from sight. I’m not going to offend your eyes with my definition of Evanescence the music group. But it was exactly what I and the Korean silently wished the American would do (fade and gradually vanish from sight). Which he thankfully did after the bus driver yelled at him to shut up. A not bad looking chick behind me was clearly stoned off the planet, so chatting her up was not an option. Such a freak show of a bus. After disembarking it, I jumped into a cab whose driver promptly pulled over to jump start another cabbie with a flat battery. After that God awful $60 back-track to Davis, a few miles west of Sacramento, I stood in front of The Dragon, keys in hand. And several thousands of kilometres laid out as if only for me.
As mentioned above, please visit this link if you’d like to read about the trip’s next three weeks: https://wordjourneyer.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/the-dragon-part-one/ (after which I’ll pick the narrative back up again in Las Vegas).