Thursday, November 22, 2012


one by one they load up and onto the bus.  As all the passengers finish getting on I look out my window and for a brief moment I think I see a great friend whose voice I haven't heard in what seems like too long.  I become overwhelmed with the urge to talk with her but this is a big bus and...yep she comes walking right by my seat, the bus is fairly full, and she's trying to find a spot to sit.  I (probably a little to lively) offer up the seat next to me and with the quickness she shakes her head and pushes on to the back of the bus.  The only reaction that tumbles out of me is a roar of laughter and it's probably for the best we didn't sit together.  I have much to reflect upon, even more to write, and I still haven't been able to get a hold of anyone in ATL.....showtay (however they say it).

Miles slink away and I plug away with great haste at the past 48 hours of my life.  I greatly appreciate the rest from my bag and blast a variety of great music into my headphones.  I had started up a small conversation with the young lady sitting across the aisle from before departure and I lean again to ask her for three words.  With those I construct a piece of poetry, pass it through the aisle and watch her grow a brilliant smile through the shadows the bus creates.  I tell her that usually I ask people to offer up something to trade if they'd like to keep it but in her case I'd be willing to part with it for the use of her cellphone.  She's more then happy to let me reach out to my brother and friend Rocky.  I try more then a few times but no connections can be made.

At the half way point, that mysterious young lady comes walking by me, and I attempt to inform her I'm not your average creeper.  To which she laughs and sits down at the back of the bus enjoying some chinese food she just picked up.  Into the night we ride, until all to soon the lights of atlanta illuminate our bus.  I step off and on the way start chatting with this mysterious young lady.  These days I go off feelings, a lot, I check in with my intuition hourly, and it's definitely pulled me to some unique settings.  She has tucked away in her purse a book on reading energy fields and this seems like the perfect conversation starter.  The bus unloads, drives off, and for twenty minutes we are standing in the same place spinning our wheels like old friends.  We chat about love, how easily it over takes us, and the wonder involved with at first site.  We try to seek out eats at a hospital but it's closed so we end up back out by the bus stop. Soon enough her chariot approaches, the sign says, Orlando via Gainsville, and I'm starting to think tricky.  Haven't heard from anyone still, here seems an easy chance to cut on down to Orlando and visit some great friends.  The week previous TMY and I just walked on the bus with out even having our reservations checked.  My new found friend tells me to try and sneak on...worse that can happen is a NO!  Which after the past few days I'm no stranger to that and I decide to try my jedi mind powers.  They half buy my story but soon seek validation from an outside worker and quickly I'm sunk.

The bus pulls out of view, my friend and I waving good-bye, till another life line aligns.  I'm now in Atlanta, alone, and not really sure what to do next.  For some reason I have the overwhelming urge to try and find a dope spot to dance at.  So I stash my lead weight in a shadowy area where no one else can see it and try to seek out free wifi.  Some blocks away there is a Best Western and the clerk behind the desk is nice enough to grant me access to their wifi password.  I do some searching for Drum and Bass in Atlanta and come up with some really old pages.  The only thing electronically charged is a great walking distance from where I'm currently at but I have no where else to be and greatly would love to create some dancing memories while in ATL.

The walk is nice, less hilly then Nashville, and I'm noticing far less traffic then what would be going on in Chicago for a Friday night.  After about a 1/2 an hour I make it to the spot, they want 20$ for entry, the music sounds like vomit in a prada bag bouncing around a dryer machine and the people aren't to far from that analogy.  Club kids!  Grrrr!  We swap looks of disgust and I walk away graciously.  I bounce from spot to spot since I'm in the area and all I hear is Trap music.  I see many shades of thugERY and get the sinking feeling I don't belong.  I find a half way descent spot, only a five dollar cover, and I figure I walked all this way for something so let's see what happens.  That is when a foHawk with an ear piece informs me I can't wear my hat inside.  I take to my losses and start to march back towards where my bag has been stashed.  Along the walk back I end up stumbling into a lounge, it's playing some deep minimal beats, and I decide to give some digits a go.  The evening is almost over, most there are smashed slurring with the company they've found through out the night or paying their tabs to head out.  I stay for some tracks but eventually the fatigue of the past few days catches up to me and sluggishly I'm walking back to my bag.

I pick up my pack and inhale deep.  There is no escaping it, I'll be crashing in a park tonight, and I must use what wits I have in me to secure a safe spot.  A couple of blocks away, I find a nice enough little park, I carve out a corner, no one can sneak up from the sides or the rear, and I lay down on a marble slab.  Looking up at some dark bark, lush yellow leaves, and taking to slumber in a few blinks.  Not sure how long I'm out for but all I remember hearing are the quick crunching of leaves.  I dart up like a cartoon rake that has just been stepped on and lock eyes freezing two very suspicious hobo's.
"What's Up?!?!" I spit out in the sternest tone possible.
"uhh nothing...sorry..." they eek out as the shuffle out of the park (no not like that Jenna)
It's about then that I realize, the little back pack I was lugging around last night is gone, I've been using it when I don't want to carry around the green bag, but it's gone now.  I panic for a second and think those two must have scooped it.  Then I remember taking it off at the lounge and in a moment of exhaustion forgetting to put it back on before departing.  I hope it will be there in the morning, what little I have, need, for this trip was put in it and that would be an ugly blow to what has otherwise been a great experience so far.
I'm up now, heart racing, and re-thinking my place of rest.  I decide to pick up my pack and wander on.  Soon enough I come across Atlanta's Marta system and I scale over the security (one steel rail) to access the lower level.  It's empty, I feel safe, and decide to hole up here until the trains start running.  Soon enough the subway station is crawling with homeless folk and the first one asks me...
"Hey! The cops haven't given you shit about being down here?"
My response is not yet and usually that's my general rule of thumb.  You can usually get one, especially if you aren't doing anything to major and are from another city.  Again a roving cloud of unpredictable energy keeps me from slumber and I wait paitently for the trains to start running.  It's funny, I step onto the train, first am instantly visited by the last time i was on this train, she fell asleep on my shoulder and this time I fall asleep on my bag.  I come in and out of consciousness through the various stops.  Then I wake up at some point, the train is stopped and I'm at the Atlanta airport.  I caught 3 hours or so of sleep and decide now is as good as any to get up.  I wander about the airport, try calling my brother, no response, Rocky, no response, and I decide to head up towards the USO office.  I ask to use their phones, show them my veterans card but due to the fact that I'm not active or retired I'm not allowed access to their services.  The women behind the desk is nice enough to gift me two phone cards and I'm extremely grateful.

No where to go, no one to be, but some hunger has been arising inside my gut and I decide to head back towards the city.  I start to remember seeing a continental breakfast area at the best western and I wonder if I might be able to ninja some eats.  I get off the train, start walking, and soon enough I come in contact with the start of a massive veterans parade.  I approach the hotel and it's overun with people.  I see an opening, the women behind the desk is more then distracted, and I take to my best impression of the wind.  I'm in!  I set my bag down and instantly start going to town.  Eggs, hashbrowns and sausage patty to start.  I then decide to try my hand at a delcious waffle but while it's cooking I eat a tasty bagel.  My wifi access is still good from the night before so I try to reach out to those I know in the area as I polish off my waffle.  I was doing good and then I went for the Frosted Flakes.  All to soon the front desk clerk is on me, asking me for my room number, and with a mouthful of flakes I try to spin something about needing to get it from my friends parents that are already outside at the parade.  Goatee dotted with milk, belly on full, and authority miffed I head back out onto city streets.

I realize I've been going non stop for the past few days and haven't really taken much time to reflect.  I walk a good distance from all the parade peoples and come upon a really tranquil scene.  A giant copper wheel in the center of the grass, soft breeze, and all those endearing shades of fall I've been marveling the past couple days.  I take to meditating for sometime in the center of the circle and after that I just kick back.  Try to free my being of all worries, urges, and really relish the amazing oppurtunity I'm head first in.  The clouds dance by me as I take in songs, smile full and wild.  After sometime I start to wonder if that lounge from last night might be open, they looked like they had a kitchen, giving me the feeling that they probably serve lunch, and I get up to head over there.

Still rocking the new P.O.S album (free listen here) and slanging shapes as I walk to my destination.  With that little recharge session I'm feeling hyped again and I get the urge to find somewhere to dance this evening.  I know a few poppers in the area but much like everyone I've attempted to get a hold of it's turned up with goose eggs.  I make it to the lounge as the bartender is flipping over chairs and setting up for the day.  Describe the bag and he points to the end of the bar where it waits patiently for me.  Collect my things and while at the location use their wifi to check my email.  I get a message from Rocky telling me to call a little later in the day and if I haven't gotten in contact with my brother by then he will come scoop me up.  Then I get an email from my brother telling me it wouldn't be a good idea for us to hang out, he has to study for a test all weekend, and hopefully we can do something next time.  Yeah! Next time I'm back packing through the city of Atlanta.  I leave him a sarcastic email about "if" he happens to stop studying at any point to eat food maybe we can consume a meal together but you know how easily sarcasm get's lost in text.  I don't hear from him again through out my time in Atlanta and can't wait to give him a severe charlie horse when I see him next month for our fathers Bday bash.

Thank Goodness for Rocky!  In a lot of ways!  He's a really great guy I've gotten to know over these past five years because of the dance forum Floasis I use to help with.  We set up a meeting time for later this evening and I set out to explore the other side of Downtown Atlanta.  Aside from a few nice parks, I get the sense that ATL is the city that time forgot, and as you walk the streets it seems post apocolyptic.  ESPECIALLY THE LIBRARY!!!  Whoa!  Paint peeling, mandatory pat downs, creeky old elevators, and various stenches for each floor.  I walk around, end up going down the worlds largest escalator, maybe not, certainly the largest one I've ever been on and when I turn around to come back up I half expect to greeted by somone named peter.

I rove, walk through some failed experiment known as underground Atlanta, and my distaste for this city continually increases.  I decide to head back towards where I'm suppose to meet Rocky in a few and possibly take a rest.  I've been doing a ton of walking and you know what they say about dogs a barking.  Along the way I throw out my poetry pitch to three beautiful black girls and we make a little street corner magic together.  I collect my three dollar tip and dip into this fancy pants hyatt.  It seems there is a large body building convention going on, I buy myself an orange julius, take a seat, and let the hilarity begin.  All I keep getting reminded of is Napolean Dynamite and Starla.  Orange skinned, leathered faced, a torso that seems like at any moment could topple the waist and I sip my delicious drink in the background.  I see an opening at one of the couch areas and I quickly move to take over a seat.  I do my best to blend in...heh.  I plug my phone into charge, check my email, Rocky has some delays and I decide to just catch a nap in the lobby.  So I drift off to the sweet sounds of suplement gossip and flashing lights grazing burnt orange skin.

I awake from my power nap, head down to the corner, and set up shop for sometime.  Rocky and I make arrangements to meet up on the Corner by the Hard Rock Cafe.  I wait outside, bugging people out by doing the robot, and all the while I people watch.  Lot's of flashy dressing, loud cars, and a couple horse drawn carriages.  I'm ready to launch out of this city and don't know that I'll ever be rushing back to it.  Rocky pulls up and we begin to cruise out of the city an hour in the opposite direction I'm suppose to be heading.  Exhausted, smelly, slap happy, and extremely grateful I surrender the evenings plans to my friend.  It's a wonderous sight, as we leave the city behind us, Rocky starts doing some hand flow as he pilots the automobile swiftly.  Some of you reading might know what that is, other's should click here, and everyone get them fingers moving.

On our way to his place, he informs me of a popping jam that is going on, and asks if I want to go.  I ask if he says...
"I'm already out this way, it would be nice to stop by and check out."
I'm in the passenger seat in a lot of different ways these days and really enjoying going with it all.  As stated above, exhausted, smelly, slap happy, and extremely grateful.  I say "FUCK YEAH!" and we head to the jam.  Walking through the mall we spot these...
...yeah buddy!  Walking through the mall trying to find where it is, I start to get a surge of energy, and really start to feel like I want to battle.  As we pass through the doors of the venue that urge spikes to an extremely high pitch and I'm instantly asking if there is still anything I can sign up for.  I'm told they have a spot left in the 2vs2 All styles comp, I tell them I don't have a partner, and after a long pause they decide to let me in so as to even out the bracket.  I instantly begin stretching, studying, and attempting to focus the center of my energy.  What follows is below...

At the start of the day there was no chance you'd have been able to tell me at some point I would walk into a dance competition and win.  Let alone, that I would go into a 2 on 2 and win by myself.  Rocky and I walk out the venue a bit later then he anticipated but I have some extra money to help with my journey and a boat load of amazing dancers to collaborate with in the years to come.  An extreme highlight for me though came from being able to reconnect with the dancer "ChiBi", we met some years back, and has he's been an inspirations to me these past couple years.  So it made me feel great to hear him say "That was extremely entertaining".  Weeks previous, I was sitting with my good chum TMY and telling him how I really am looking forward to taking a large break from dancing.  Seems like life, as per usual has other plans, and continues to surprise me at every turn.  I greatly appreciated the chance to compete, represent my city, my self, and the various dance forms I practice.  I was shown a lot of love and I hope I gave that love right back.  Definitely hope to be coming through again soon and spreading my jam "No Excuses" to Georgia.  Way past slap happy, extremely grateful to my southern chauffer, we pile into the ride and head to his homestead.  We stop off at some golden arches, I grab a large fry, a shake, and Rocky gets a sweet tea to go along with some piping hot fries. Soon enough I'm stretched out on a leather chair, snoring loudly, and counting every blessing possible.  It's hard to imagine I only set out four days ago and even harder still to comprehend that there is no end date in sight.  Still not sure why they call it HotLanta but I'm glad I finally got to fully explore it and definitely glad to not be out in the elements trying to catch a few hours of sleep.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

a muse in the Music city

Walking around Nashville, taking in the sites and figuring out what to do before day becomes night.  The city is very hilly, a unique mixture of old and new.  At a glance it looks like a place I could spend a lot of time in and I'm very much looking forward to exploring.  After last nights bout with the cold I decide to seek shelter and on the quick because night is approaching a lot faster these days.  Ymca seemed like a great place to start in Louisville and turns out to be a great resource in Nashville.  I'm given a sheet of paper that has lists of hostels, shelters, and places to shower.  I then ask the young women behind the desk if they have pingpong tables.  She informs me they have one and my heart explodes!!!  This is the third YMCA I've been to in a week and the only one that has a table.  She quickly informs me that as a non-member it's 15$ dollars to play and with that I'm out the door.

I get to see some beautiful sites, more hills, and all to soon I'm walking through the doors of the Nashville rescue mission.  I sit through a fairly painless series of questions by a man with the last name tater.  I'm assigned a bed, told the rules, and already get the feeling that I have no idea what I'm exactly in for.  Passing through a metal detector I'm met by gloved hands that pat me down and store my bag in a safe area.  I'm allowed a small see through plastic bag with me in the shelter but everything else has to stay tucked into a locker I can only get access to once a day.  They tell me to grab some food and then come back to meet with the chaplin I've been assigned.

I shuffle into an active line of various men, there are some interesting smells, and even more sites.  The pale yellow bricking surrounds the hall and slowly with slinking into the cafeteria.  Everywhere is tension, loud shouts, and very few smiles.  A tray is handed to me, it has some sort of shredded chicken pieces in watery rice, a dinner roll, stale pita bread, and a stale doughnut.  I grab a glass of water and head to the back of the cafeteria.  I take it all in, the swirling energy, the various tables, and all the angst.  Some men trade desserts, other try to buy full trays of food for loose cigerettes, and a various cast of characters you wouldn't want angry with you.  I don't engage anyone, eat my food, and put my tray in its appropriate place.

I decide to visit the chaplin, get situated, and find out when I might beable to finally catch a few steady hours of rest.  I meet a short black man, with gold teeth, and a focused demeanor.  He juggles all the chaos around him with a hearty smile and helps me secure my bags for the evening.  Then instructs me to be in the chapel before 8 p.m. for the nightly service.  After that the dorms open up and I've already been assigned a bed number.  I walk through the building, find the chapel, find a good seat, and begin to write.  The past 24 hours have been jam packed and I"m trying to get down as many thoughts as possible.  Soon enough a tall slendor man comes in and asks for any military veterans to come be interviewed in the other room.  I get the feeling in my gut to go and next thing I know I'm looking down the barrel of an extremely impressive camera.  We are interviewed for nearly an hour and I make sure to let my own recorder run as well.  The reporter informs me the piece will run on Sunday as part of a Veterans day special.  He say's he can forward the link to my email and I think him.

( (there is an interview video you can watch too))

The whole interviewing process was a large span of emotions.  For myself, it really made me value the choices I've made since seperating from service, helped me value the strong people who've come and gone through out my life, but most importantly it humbled me to my own idea's of how we suffer through out this great experience.  To think for every one great war hero story you hear in this country, I'm willing to bet there are hundreds burried behind the scene's, and no one will ever know.

I make my way to the dorm I've been assigned, I walk in and there are 30 some sets of eyes looking at me and I start to think sleep might not be as easy as I had hoped.  Then someone asks me what bunk I'm in and I tell them "one".  That's when some chuckles start to circulate the room and a handle bar mustache with a packers hat says.  "Oh!  Yep, I had that bed, good luck getting any sleep."  The bed I've been given is the first one by the door and over head is a blaring light.  I ask when is lights out, they say all the lights that are suppose to be off are...sorry.  The next few hours are a struggle, people come in and out quite frequently, I'm on the top bunk so my face is probably 4ft from the light, and this room is filled with inevitable theft.  These factors all combine for a grand total of who the hell knows how many minutes of sleep and I'm not complaining.  I had shelter from the cold snap that ate me up rather fast the night before and I was afforded a truly unique look into a place most of us won't even offer up time to help at.

They wake the rest of my room up at 5:45 and everyone is to be out of the dorm rooms by 6.  The guy next to me had his phone stolen while he was sleeping and now tying my things to my person last night doesn't seem so crazy.  I value many things about myself, I challenge you to pick out favorites in yourself, and celebrate those things in various ways.  One things I value these days above everything else is my instincts and how they seem to get sharper over the years.  I know in the coming months I will call on them to guide me through a variety of scenarios.  Some how I'm able to find a secluded table in the corner of the building where no one else is and get to work on the book I'm witing.  It becomes tuffer to really get this story off my chest but I have the feeling as I work through it I'll find my flow at some point and that's when the years will pour out like sweet aged Irish whiskey.

All to soon I'm eating runny eggs with suspicious looking green peppers and onions mixed in, a still frozen peach fruit cup, two cookies, and a glass of milk.  Food is and goes.  As I'm finishing up my "meal" one of the veterans from yesterday comes up and takes a seat next to me.  His name is Rob and we arrived at the shelter about 20 minutes apart.  I offer him a cookie and start to get more of the low down on his life.  He's struggling from a sever opiates addiction (Hooray Pharmacology!) that he picked up while in the military and all his bridge burning has landed him here.  He feels he has no other choice and will be entering a year long rehabilitation program.  It will cut him off from the outside world, no phone, no internet, and whole heap of Jesus as your only savior.  He tells me about his rise and fall as one of the larger X dealers in the city.  The love he's lost, the shame that won't leave him alone at night, and how fucke it all is.  I offer perspective where I can, share my story, and really start to drill at what he's good at.  After some dancing, denying, and deluting he mumbles out something about drawing.  This sends a lightbulb off in my brain and tell him before I leave today I've got a special something for him.

I try to plan my next move, I'd really like to fully explore the city, and I'm told I can leave my bag in lock up.  That's when a very exciteable younger man tells me about 11 dollar bus tickets to Atlanta.  A train of thought takes off in my brain and feels right.  My brother has recently switched over into a monday through friday job.  So if I can make it to Atlanta by tonight we should get a solid chance to spend time with one another.  We rarely see the other and this trip seems like a perfect chance for us to create some unique memories.  Plus as I start to map what would be me hitching out of Nashville it starts to look less then favorable.  There are many different interstates, a lot of crossing, and no one straight shot to get down there on foot.  It would probably take many different rides and from what I gather I'm in the "Deep South", wrong turn land, and other urban myth omen paranoia palooza.  I decide that when the library opens up I'm gona check it out and see what is the what.  I have time to kill and end up in the recreation room of the mission.  I sit with an older man named Glen, I ask if he'd like to play a game of chess, and we lock horns quickly.  I can tell some of the lessons Jeff and Johnny were passing onto have greatly enhanced my game.  The momentum of it goes back and forth but towards the end I catch him looking.  Take full advantage and then just play the patiences piece...I think more chess is needed in my life.

I finish up the game, get my bag out of storage and plant myself next to Rob.  After some scrounging through I dig up one of the two blank moleskins I was gifted by my great friend Ryun.  She dropped them in my possesion a few days before I set out on the road and I planned to fill them.  Now though, I get the calling to give one to a person who seems to need a bit more hope then me and who knows how it'll find it's way back into my experience.  We sit outside the shelter, he smokes what will be one of his last cigerettes, and swap life.  I tell him to fill this bad boy up over the year, take time with each page, go over, add dimensions and filter out all that doesn't serve his life anymore.  The past for a lot of us can linger like a wound that continually scabs, never scars, and ofcourse we just keep picking at it.  I share my story of liberation, the rebuilding of bridges I thought burnt, and how every lesson learned is forgiveness earned.  With that we share a strong hug and I leave him ways to contact me if he needs a life line over the next year. 

I waddle off, weighted green C-bag, and hoping I can find the library.  All to soon I'm marching through the street with a masoganistic gypsy and he can't tell me how I might get to the library.  Nope, he has to show me, and have a hilarious lude dialog with me about womens proper role in the world.  I take his comments lightly and within five seconds of being led to the library I lose track of him with the swiftness. AHHHHHHHHHH!  Seriously!  If you want to travel, please check them out, deals for days, and with advanced notice you can catch a ticket for some long distances on the extremely cheap side.  I find a good deal but don't have a credit card.  Bah Bah Bah Duh DUN!!!  Annie to the rescue!!!  She purchases the ticket for me and I make plans to mail her the cash back when I get to Tampa in the coming week.

I have 6 hours to explore the city but I still have the nagging problem of the bag.  So I put that menacing muscle of mine to good use and figure out how to leave my bag in the library.  Pull out a book, set up some pens, my water bottle, drape one of my jackets around the chair, all to make the most convincing work station I can.  Then I head over to the table closest to mine, ask for three words, and whip up a delcious poem for the two undergrads working on a report about the first World War.  I spit it, we share in some laughter, and with that I take off leaving everything out in the open.  I'm told it's best place to hide...

I set out through the various streets, sit in some parks, take in the wonderful fall weather, and feel a sense of freedom I'd only previously dreamed.  At some point a bag lady comes wandering by me with her rig, she sits on the bench next to me and begins talking about her theories.  Mid sentence a guy walks up, hands her a dollar, and then gives me one too.  HA!  I guess I'm starting to look the part, definitely been feeling it but that about seals the deal for me.  I'm not use to strangers handing me money on the streets, I'm just usually miming, dancing, doing poetry, or something for it.  I take in a few more jibberings about the complex delusions of someone much further around that bend most of my loved ones have watched me stroll thess past few years and decide to get on with the afternoon.

I head down onto broadway and I'm blown away by all the various musicians on the streets.  There was a full blue grass band on one corner and if it wasn't musicians on the street you could hear them playing in various eateries.  Sweet smells of BBQ plug my nose and I push through the urge to get some good ole southern eats.  I come across some amazing street art, this beautiful mural...

...and also some people, I approach hopeful they might want to play my super fun poetry game but alas I meet rejection.  It's been a while since I've done this so I expect to meet some defeat.  About an hour later, walking near the capitol building, I meet an older couple seeing the sites, and they seem really intrigued by the idea.  So they give me some lovely words and I take to weaving a sentimental peice about love, longing, and learning.  I'm met with a question about if I'm addicted to drugs.  I have to laugh, I wonder how many dope fiends can string together an impromtu piece of poetry, and then perform it with pristine purpose.  This goes on internally, externally I give a simple no sir, and he smiles.
"Just had to ask."
He hands me a twenty dollar bill and take the piece of poetry.  We all end up hugging and swapping some football hopes for the season before parting ways.  I'm over joyed!  Twenty bucks can go a long way on my travels and I don't really have that many resources to begin with.  It's also nice to see that I still got it, after all these months, and keeps me hopeful about the months to come.  After getting the tip I decide to not push my lucks anymore and head back to where I left my things.  I end up in an elevator with two highschool girls, there is an odd silence, I meow, they can't tell it's me, we begin to look around, I meow again and still they can't tell.  As we get off the elevator, I tell the people to becareful because I think there is a cat somewhere in the elevator.  To which the two young ladies walk off laughing hysterically.

I make it back to my things, everything is as I left it, except for one thing has changed and I'm pleasently surprised.  The two students who were working on their research paper and left me a heart warming note in their place.  I pack up, strap on (gross), and hobble to where the bus is suppose to pick us up from.  I grab a bagel from a panera across the street and as I'm refilling my water bottle I'm jolted alive by a table full of loud Highschoolers.  They are being hilarious, not a care in the world, perverse, and no regaurd for anyone else.  So I lean over their table, take off my hat (to show my age :D), and take a very serious demeanor.
"You all are being way to loud, perverse, course, and wildly inappropriate..."
There is a pause and then one of them goes to say sorry but I cut him off with...
"Keep that shit up you rowdy mother fuckers!!!"
and the high fives exit is to the sound of sharp laughter and "oh my god did that just happen."

Soon enough, I'm on the megabus, and settling in for what will be a large unknown.  Still haven't been able to get a hold of anyone that I know in Atlanta but I'm going with the flow and so far the results have been amazing.



Friday, November 9, 2012

Holy southern hospitality Batman!

My restlessness didn't let me stay in louisville for very long.  I grab a salad and eat it on a street corner.  A homeless guy trys to trade me two loose cig's for it and when I decline ups his wager to a dollar?  Yeah, I could write a mighty long rant about the tradeable worth of cig's in america but there are miles to document.
So I start walking down I65 with the city at my back, thumb up from time to time, but all around are passing headlights then black.  My expectations for catching a ride at night are low but I decide to give it a go.  After about an hour I walk off to a shell gas station, ninja my cell phone charger to the outlet the atm runs off of, and kick it outside scouting for possible rides.  I also come across this gem...

...I have a very loud chuckle with some petro purchasing kentucks but no lucks on the ride.  So I flip open the tiny digital notebook, start working on the book, and all the while hoping someone with florida plates might come through.  I rest for a good while and get the feeling ill be hoofing it till my toesies can't toes anymore.
I get a few more hours down the road and am just exhausted.  So I find a nice spot to bunker in for the evening, can't see me from any angles, and I start to drift away.  All to soon I'm awake, freezing, and doing my best to mental my way through it.  I give it 30minutes but the temperature has severly plunged and doesn't seem to be letting further down.  In the distance I see something neon and yellow.  Very sore, cold, and a little agitated I treck towards the yellow neon hoping it isn't Mcdonalds.  After 4 or 5 songs I can make out that I'm heading towards a waffle house.  I can't recall a time ever in my life where I was happy to be heading towards a waffle house but with every fridged step my heart filled with joy.

I walk through the red roof in parking lot, back track, scope out the hotel, seeing if I could maybe crash out in the lobby for a few but wth no luck everything is locked up and they just have the gas station in the hood bullet proof attendent window deal.  So I scurry back through the lot and into the well lit southern diner.  Grab a seat in a booth, some hot water, a menu, and a few moments of gratitude.


I order two waffles, they come to the table super fast, and I house them sons like Charles Tillman and any reciever he's up against this year. (Go bears!!!) With a fully belly I begin to knod off and the waitress let's me know I can doze off for a few hours till next shift arrives.  Probably within 47.3 seconds after she gives me permission I'm drooling all over the table and hopefully not talking in my sleep.  All to fast shift change comes and I awake to my bill.  The new server on asks me if I need anything else, to which I let her know a moment to gather myself, and that's it.
As I pay my bill she meets me at the front of the house and says.
"I had a room last night @ the red roof, they gave it to me for almost free, there is an extra bed if you'd like to crash for a few more hours..."
Jaw=dropped !BLAM!
I say, Yes, Thank you, and oh my god I love you!
She informs me her boyfriend just got off of work and is in the first bed.  To which I let her know I don't mind and am extremely grateful.  I'm led to the room and quickly faceplanting into a comfy matress.  Oddly enough, as I drift to sleep this time its way to fucking hot! Hahahah!  I'm not complaining though, I'm able to catch a few winks and rest my body.
Later that morning, I wander to a nice field next to the highway and go through some various yoga posess and then find a nice patch of grass to meditate on.  I set my intentions for the day, thank mother for all the amazing blessings bestowed upon me so far and once clear I begin walking down I65 again.  After a little while I look back and can barely make out the louisville skyline anymore and all the soreness I'm feeling makes a lot more sense.
Splashes of sunshine, wooshing of automobiles, colors cuddling me, and frank turner songs soaking my steps.  It's a little sad, sometimes really sad, all the litter along the road and I wonder at what level of maturity most people find themselves at.  I believe it was around 8 years old that I understood littering was wrong, from there it took a few more reminders but after that its been reflex to not litter.  DON'T DO IT STUPIDS!!!  And don't think I won't pull your card in public, no grizlee bear needed :)>
I'm crossing over an exit and that's when I see a fully un opened box of mini blue berry muffins...the snack size variety double sealed...yes I'm justifying eating food found along the highway...but they were free! And delicious!  Judge away.  As I stand up from grabbing the box I look over the right to see a truck pulled over waving me over.  I do my silly scurry swiftly cutting two lanes in a blink. 
His name is Johnny, he saw me hitching, pulled off, back tracked and then scooped me up.  His home is 5 minutes away but he wants to take me to Elizabethtown, which is roughly 40 miles from where we are at the moment and I tell him I'm grateful for every mile but feel weird with it not being on the way.  He tells me how he wishes he had the balls to do what I'm doing and that he's had buddies who have done it.

We ride for a bit get 1/2 way to Etown and he realizes gas is needed.  As we pull off he asks if I'm hungry, I tell him I can usually always eat but I have food in my bag to save money.  He suggest getting us some taco's and I say sure.  Then as we pull into the gas station he gets struck with the idea of driving me all the way down to Nashville and making it into a road trip.
For the 2nd time in less then 12 hours the lower part of my mouth is located on the ground.  I let him know that is definitely not needed and maybe he should see how he feels once we get to Etown.  He agree's, we fill up, get taco's and press on ward.  It takes about 10 more minutes before he informs me that I'm a good guy and he's just gona make sure I get to Nashville.
Don't know if you lovely people reading along at home can comprehend this.  He is essentially driving 155 miles away from where he needs to be and then after dropping me off turning around to do the same.  O.o----(melted)

He's recently quit smoking and is feverishly gnawing on tooth picks to calm the beast.  On the floor of the truck are some Obama posters.  He just spent some time up in Ohio trying to help with that swing state, making sure degenerates like myself got out and did their civic duty.  He teaches me a lot!!!
For the 2nd time in under a week I'm getting an advanced lesson in Chess strategies and my menace grows larger (looking at you kevin, tommy, and kyle).  From there I get a course in gambling, odd's, risk reward, and how to spot the worthy long haul as a gambler.  Topics also range from perfect pitch to a women using google maps on her smart phone to show how the road use to be set up thus making it o.k. to clip his back left panel and of course everyones favorite topic self destruction.
I don't know what it is about man but we sure do love making our lives as difficult as possible.  Maybe, spice things up and see what happens.  The beast at hand we start discussing is alcohol and I'm all to familiar with that demon.  Some how we get on the topic of giving credit where and when its due to yourself.  Because its not hard enough battling your vices but then the way our brain boxes work, when we do make any progress our first instinct (a lot of us) is to ridicule and judge ourselves for the past.  So we both agree to pat ourselves on the back more and realize we've definitely made a lot of progress over the past few years.
The hard part of our talk came when he discussed giving up on playing the piano.  I struggle with giving up on things all the time but for some stubborn reason push on.  I urge him to pick it back up some day but what I forget to tell him is about the vast growing world of EDM and how a person of his extreme talents could probably do really well for himself
So...Johnny...if you read this.
youtube/google/bing (ha!)
Ronald Jenks
Virtual boy
And my personal favorite
All amazing pianist who are producing, touring, and spreading their gifts to the masses.
Holy smokes gang, all to soon we reach Nashville, and what do I see.  That big ole stadiums the Titans play at and I began cracking up with an overwhelming laughter.  The ass whooping the bears put on them last Sunday can be seen all over the city and yes I'm still wearing the jersey I wore when I watched it.  It was one of the most amazing defensive perfomances I've ever seen in football.
We part ways and I'm realy excited to hear what comes next in Johnny's life.  People like that just don't grow on tree's and I'm the fortunate one to have had my thumb out at the right time.  I wander into a new city,with a grin eating grin :D


Good night moon

On some
On my lonesome
Only son
Chasing the flickering love
Of the sun
To the east
I lay this beast
To sleep
And to the west
I fully accept
The failures of his test
Sleeping as traffic roars by
Under a beautiful starry night sky
These interstates will stitch together my allibys
No more wants and no more why's?
No more because truly I tried
No more lies
To you, her, them, and most of all me
This is where the dream becomes so obscene
It becomes hard to breath
This is where again I begin to believe

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

3rd times the charm

I wake on an extremely nice leather couch, a large furry dog licking my face, and instantly my spirit gives haste.  My friend annie was nice enough to let me stay with her and I go about. leaving various surprises for her to find in my absense.
I enjoy random acts of kindess, I guess at this point they aren't so random in my world, but I hope those that find them are pleasently surprised.
I get down into the loop, walk to the south shore line, hop the train and not to long I find myself in the land that time forgot...Hammond.  Soon enough flowington pulls up and we are on our way to route i65.
Drum and bass splashes through the speakers and not much is said.  Guess we've said it all through the insanity that has been this year.  We pull off on the first exit available and into the driveway of a psyhics house; no appointments needed.  I pass some white paint to one of the most insperational artist in my life and we hug swapping croissant crumbs from our jackets.
Hitch hiking is hilarious!
The first car that picks me up is a latino man and whati assume to be his mother.  First question.
"Are you a killer?"
To which I laugh and ask.
"Are you?"
We trott along the highway, the two of them share spanish sentences, and all to soon I'm being let off.  I get about 5 miles down the road and I'm happy.  Anything to get the pack off my back and miles are miles.  So we part ways and I smile.  I really start laughing when 10 minutes later he passes me again on the highway.  Sort of like "wtf?" But still laughing and marveling at why on earth he picked me up in th first place.
I do a bit more walking, when all of a sudden a car comes cruisin to the side.  They have a POW sticker and when I get in the car he's wearing a bears hat.  I'm wearing my military jacket and a bright orange bears hat so this ride makes sense.  What doesn't make sense is them dropping me off one mile down the road.  I just laugh loudly again and wonder how many cars I'll ride in through out my experiences.  He was chain smoking from what I could tell so I wasn't to hurt by being sidelined again.
Trecking on down the road, I have my sites set for this rather large truck stop that is supposedly a few miles down the road, and I walk.

All to soon a car pulls over and an extremely friendly fellow is waving me on. Steve and mike are attending a yearly conference in lousville, Kentucky, and they saw me earlier on the side of the road.  They stopped off to get coffee and I some how passed them so they decided to give me a lift.  This is by far the best car I could have been in.  Well...maybe Ac/Dc's tour van...but overall, realistically speaking :D
Both of them are fiery radicals, frothing at the mouth, and all three of us are truth seekers.  We swap life stories, philosophies, ad most importantly feelings on the divine.  They are part of a CTA (call to action) for church reformations, in specific, the roman catholic variety, and I get a sense they are good at what they do.  We cut through hours in a flash, stop to refuel some where outsde of the kentucky border.
They give me a delicious apple, bottle of water, and let me interview them about the things that matter most in my travels.  I plan on releasing many of the interviews I acquire along the road and who knows maybe a book.

This is all so thrilling for me! I'm over joyed at this moment!
Sitting at a ymca, wondering where to go next, and knowing no matter what I'll be a o.k.  so blessed, so grateful, and glad to share with the likes of you.  Three cars, three rides, but clearly the 3rd ones the charm.  This road bends and never ends.  Mike told me as I was getting out of the car that I was searching for something.  I said something along the lines of "aren't we all".  To which he informed me, yes, but work can get in the way of that.  It dawned on me, since quitting my job this past winter, I've come to some amazing revelations in my life, and continually push towards the highest sense of completion.
Good night faithful friends and readers.  Thanks for validating my existense, keep reading, its going to get even more betterest from here on out.
Share and feel free to comment.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thumbs up and out

See ya!

Tomorrow I head out on the ole dusty trail, back pack, and a whole lot of what will be.  I'm so excited!  If I get a chance I'll post from he road where and when I can. 

End destination for this leg of my journey will be tampa.  Its my fathers 50th bday and what better present for him then an extremely dingy road torn son.  :D

Keep me in your thoughts, prayers, positive affirmations, and what have u's

See you on the flip <3

Nice to know ya Minnesnowta

Before I know it, back on the ole Megabus and heading towards the marvelous windy city.  I can't get over what a great city Minneapolis is, compact, but the arts just really seem to flourish nicely there.  It makes me wonder about my own city, I took notes, and hope to apply some of those amazing lessons in the various scenes I work through.

Meeting P.o.s, amidst all the health problems, this hip-hop Goliath does an in store performance, and then plays a sell out show.  I remember watching him rock a crowd of confused on lookers five years ago at the H.O.B here in Chicago.  It started off a quite hush but by the end of his show there were bodies just flying all around.  His new album "We Don't Even Live Here" is as gritty, well paced, and thought provoking as everything he's done to date.  All my positive hopes, thoughts, and feelings are definitely directed to his recovery.  I hope to be shaking his hand 25 years from now at a Doomtree Reunion show :D

Sitting watching the bears smash the Titans and glowing at the growing momentum of the only sports team I care to dream about.  Let's talk coincidence, I'll be passing through New Orleans, doing some street performing, as the Super bowl happens to be going on...I couldn't write it better myself...Not saying anything will happen but please believe I'll have a shit eating grin on Bourbon street if/when that all comes to be.

The rest of my time in Minneapolis was spent labbing with some amazing dancers, intellectuals, and hitting up various open mics.

Dave Marcott (dancin Dave) has always been a rather large inspiration in my life and it was nice to finally spend some quality time with him.  He's taken a back seat from the popping community these days but still doesn't cease to amaze me.  His intellect revolving around current affairs, the grasp he has over economical systems, and his relentless service to troubled youth is nothing I've ever seen before.  We get into it...
Evolutions of the human soul...consciousness
And of course Justin Beiber

There we were (dave and I) fairly lit up from some delicious spiced whiskey and wandering around downtown Minneapolis.  All of a sudden we start to come into contact with way to many teeny boppers.  One walks by and on her face I could have sworn she had written "Beaver Fever" but after some shrewd investigating we come to find that my good friend Justin Beiber is in town doing a show at the Target Center.  This prompts me into a frenzy, screaming "BEVER FEVER" at every mother and teenage girl I cross paths with.  The hilarious part, they are all cheering me on, screaming with me, paying no mind to the fact that I'm talking about vagina's.  You know...FAGINA'S!!!  At some point we end up at the Beiber nexus, there are girls everywhere, high pitched screaming, and a really large tour bus.

Dave notices my buddy first...
"Hey, I think that's him, he's getting into the bus..."
Sure enough a whiplash of screams fills the block and dies down as he gets into the bus.  Then Dave makes another observation...
"Oh my god, I think that's him next to that window..."
Right! On IT!
I step out into the middle of the street 40ft from the bus and start screaming...
"You!  Ohhhhhh YOU, ya little CUTIEY PATooTEY...YOUUUU!"

and then the heavens split open, a white beam of light comes out, and Justin Beiber acknowledges me.  Out of a sea of crazed little girls, mothers whom are half in the bag protecting their kids from Cops on horse, and flashing camera's; HE CHOOSES ME.  Points out the window, tips his fingers to his forehead and then extends them towards me.  As into say...
"Tom, you are the one, the greatest, the ultimate, everything I'm working to be, and I hope that I'm making you proud."

You do Justin!  Every damn day!  I thank this country for creating a pop start sensation such as you.

Yeah, that was over all to soon and we got back down to things that really mattered.  Like "cakes" and some day finding an entire soaked in delicious cakeyness.  Attending games at the cakeasium and hoping of a cakepocolips to bring a soft, sweet, happy ending to it all.

My time with dave was great!  For once we weren't worried about dancing, teaching, or hosting.  Just two dudes, greatly worried about the current state of our country, and really getting down to what needs to be done.....and how Justin Beiber can help.

I spend a lot of time with Annie, while Charlie is out of state, and she breaks me into some new Yoga poses.  That women is a shining example of never give up, never surrender, and always gets better.  She's a b-girl, what was amazing to me though, was a few years back doctors told her she might not ever walk again, and definitely wouldn't dance.  Sitting on the wall of fame in their house is her large therapeutic brace, signed by friends, and inspiration through out dance.  We eat hummus talk about how silly doctors can be and how hopeless it is to try attempt living for someone else expectations.  I really appreciate her, the way she goes with the flow, the fact she warmly invited me into her house, and all the little ways she is trying to make the world a better place.

Time spent with the popping scene in the Twin cities was extremely interesting, they play games with one another to condition, and always battle the other.  They are an extremely tight nit group of dancers, watching the inside jokes splash around was amazing but after a few times of going I definitely started to feel like the outsider.  I'm not much of a popper in the first place but then to come into an established group...well...It reminded me of what I'm sure will become my "glory days".  When you just click with a group of dancers and hours melt away into leveling up.  I learned a lot, tried to share what I could, and couldn't have been happier to be allowed into their sessions.

All to soon though, I'm missing things, liquid, loud bass, and well Liquid.  Just as that is starting to really hit me, I'm walking through Minneapolis, oddly enough by this sign...

To meet Tommy at the Megabus station and bring him into the fold.  The fold being the struggle for control in "the FP" and I'm left wondering how can I stand up for myself when I don't have anyone to stand up for me.  If you haven't seen the movie "the FP", please, I BEG YOU, please check it out!  Don't research it, IMdb, or anything else...Netflix, search, GO!  Prepare to be dazzled and quoting some classy dialog.

Mr. Bill, whose Mr. Bill?  Click the name and find out!  Just
so happens to be playing Minneapolis when I'm there and I was able to secure an 18 dollar round trip ticket for some my tomahawk brada.  I had been training for the past few weeks and not really just getting down.  So all to soon I have that childlike grin on my face and am slinging shapes with the peoples champ.  It's great!  I definitely (especially during this time of year) get caught in the past but it's great to know that with at least some people things don't change.  We corner Mr. Bill in a stairwell, talk influences, possible future projects, snap photo's, and then head back to the boogie.  Butch Clancy was up next and definitely dropped a mixed bag.  Pulled an older Bare Noize track I love and this pleased the swatting gods.

The night before departing we toasted some spiced whiskey, danced, ate pizza, and harrassed the cats.  I was able to interview dave, hope to have it posted up here soon, and can't wait to start interviewing more people along the way.  Before Tommy and I get on the bus, Charlie lets me know, "You've always got family here", and after the past few years of my life thats good to know.

Next stop, Chicago, just a for a night or two, and then my friends it gets interesting!

I wanted to add pictures to this post but the notebook I'm using is SooooOOOOOooOo oooooOOooOOohhhh slow.  Jason can vouch for me :D  So once I get to a stationary PC device I'll update this post with all the wonderful pictures I've got.

Thanks for reading!

Send me those positive vibes!

and all those well wishes!

See you on the flip side <3 p="p">