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.
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.
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.
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...
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.