last minute plans are the best.
erick had a life change / move to make and i was invited along. (or did i invite myself?)
either way – with just weeks to spare and a fog of research papers to put behind me, i booked the wild west tour.
amtrack to seattle. birthday love with ryan burr and many new beautiful friends.
sunday flight to LA and a reunion dinner with nori and frank – nori and i micromanaging the kitchen and ourselves and pretending to engage with the patrons. hmmm. delicious potato leek soup and sausages and krought. GO GERMAN. FUCK VEGAN.
monday morning, the 4 day adventure across america started.
the following is a rough interpretation of my “bumpy road” notes taken daily from the passenger seat of a lovely 2001 kia spectra. 149,000 miles. some broken parts. check engine light on. and laughter used as a fuel injector>>>>>>>
mar 27, 2012.
how was it raining my one day in LA? POURING? the one day i am there.
the next day: perfect and sunny in venice beach
“THIS IS A TOTAL SCAM”, i announced, realizing the sun and palm trees seemed real, but for all i knew we could have been on a soundstage on a lot somewhere in burbank. which is which in this town?
we left LA behind us.
and they replaced us before we hit palm springs.
we knew it was the right move when the christian dinosaurs and pee wee relics came out of the abyss.
raining in la? we.are.OUT!
the REAL film set that pee wee ran from large marge into… only to meet his french lady!
when traveling the country… who needs a speedometer anyway?
check my engine? WHY DON’T YOU CHECK YOUR ENGINE GUY?!
“which road did you take to get here?”
“um, we don’t know – the windy one.”
and nobody ever seemed to know what we were talking about.
its the 5 million dollar road that nobody ever drives on.
is this tundra? prairie? how come i can’t remember 4th grade?
erick: “if we get a window seat at subway we can assure that no one will break into the car and take our t shirts.”
nobody ever told erick that arizona wasn’t flat. it is not.
“whats ganna change if i don’t change something?” – marc maron
there were endless OPEN signs. OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN. EXIT HERE. OPEN OPEN
IT WAS CLOSED. very closed. and after peeing behind the van, we were nearly locked in by the night security guard.
Mar 28, 2012 – Prescott, AZ > Santa Fe, NM
do YOU know the way to santa fe?
we’re wondering a few hours from santa fe. will there be dreadlocks there? turquoise? black people?
(turns out: none of those things.)
erick buys 4, $5 navajo blankets, (made in mexico) and we plan to distribute them to the masses. next trip, we will invest in a trailer to fill with cheap native blankets. such americana! mexicana? we’ll buy THOUSANDS!!
hitch hiker count: 002
truck-in ditch-counter: 001
car smoking on the side of the road: 009 (not us yet!)
“in life, you learn quickly to maneuver gracefully away from rubber tires rolling down the freeway”
(and where the fuck do they come from, GOD?)
Mar 29, wednesday – ROUTE 3 (erick’s favorite) is the longest, windiest, no cell phone reception road we’d ever encountered. beautiful “downtown” villanueva, NM. population: US
erick: WHERE’S A FUCKING STARBUCKS?
facebooking the whole way across the country, i came up with a great new play title:
“checking-in at mcdonalds”
those who eat mcdonalds everyday also follow mcdonalds-sponsered sporting events that i am undoubtfully unaware of.
when you eat at mcdonalds everyday and two hip guys walk in, you must approach them and find out where they are from and tell them your life story. your brother did WHAT? cousin? your your own cousin?? say whaaa?
“shoooot, ya’ll already here in arkansas” (um, we are in new mexico.)
motel 6. wifi password is… TELEVISION (did she think we were gay? tv writers? both?)
the cowgirl bar. no cowgirls, but many cow-lesbians.
we are recommended the MATADOR – santa fe’s “safe dive bar”
it’s where we belonged – is it like silverlake?
“no, these are REALLY-rediculous people, not PRETEND-rediculous people.”
the bar had no cell service and the bartender recommend that i “live in the moment”
a local patron said, “whats that?”
password is: TELEVISION. and drunk at 2 am, we watch our friends on television.
the concierge KNEW we were somewhat famous.
she knew that if WE turn on the motel cable, we’ll probably know a few of the actors and writers on the screen.
on the disney channel anyway.
next we’re entering the texas panhandle, where EVERYONE watching two and a half men.
(and we hate them for it).
mid day wednesday, passing through texas quickly, we remember why erick has a scar on his face.
he jumped into bushes.
and i dashed on my beer tab at the matador (matador, I WILL RETURN ONE DAY AND I WILL PAY FOR THAT BEER!)
thinking about: on any given day, how many cars on this road are people changing their lives? you see an oregon car full of crap in northern texas. lots of failed “california” plates. where are they leaving?going? you can tell when someone is “car-moving”. if we are one of the cars. and one of a few others, does that mean, everyday about ten people are on any given highway in any given state, leaving one life and starting another?
just a few hours in texas. felt flat and pointless. all of a sudden you get far enough east and the landscape literally. feels. POINTLESS!
cadillac ranch! our refuge! after that we got lost in a mall praking lot. applebeers, the guitar center, WE JUST WANT A COLD DRINK! (maybe we’ll win the 600 million dollar textas mega bucks and burn this mall down!)
eager for chicago. it’s so close. no, not really.
erick: “everyone says chicago is SO cold. uh, we have heaters. we go in houses.”
oklahoma. SIGH! guess where they haven’t started using YELP. OKLAHOMA! can we have dinner AND a beer, or is that illegal? seemingly illegal.
“benchwarmers sports grill”. look it up. don’t go there. i probably should have put on a hat and not carried my laptop and totebag and iphone in with me. are we different? yes.do they stare at us? yes.
“guys, look at those hipsters(fags), artists(fags), actors(fags), city folks FAGS”. they only threw a peanut or 2 at us.
i was just merely pretending to watch sports television.
i was never sure how i felt about those trashy restaurants that allow you to throw peanut shells on the floor.
NOW I AM.
as we were noticed as foreigners, the food came a flying.
across the room, a father seemingly felt up his teenage daughter during her waitressing break. public molestation? oklahoma – draw your own conclusions.
was somebody killed and chopped up in suitcases during our stay at the OK City motel 6 – well, draw your own conclusions.
AH, CHICAGO! Friday!
how trendy IS wicker park?
“you guys want some free beer?”
ericks face is not a reflection of the pain he’s experiencing getting his first tattoo. it is a reflection of his distaste with me for conning him into getting a tattoo with me, both found on google image, minutes prior. elephant, girls foot, page 1. sea horse, picassso style, page 3. we are SO.UH.ARTISTIC. and had only had one beer. SO.UH.LAME.
later, we had too much tasty food and tequila in boystown. we had too much of something else (i forget what) back in wicker park. we met girls. and we went home with sober cab drivers who were glad we weren’t from around there.
ps. dunkin doughnuts coffe, not what its cracked up to be. just saying.
pss. erick, thank you for friendship and humor and your shitty car. and THANKS FOR DRIVING!