There is a name for people like me…..many names in fact. We lurk in the shadows of discontentment dulled by domestication, till our senses set us free in blasts of abandoned feeling. People who don’t understand the feeling, call it running away to the circus. What they missed was that the circus is in our sweat, in the blisters of our hammer swinging hands, and the calluses on the well worn soul of our feet. When an outsider of this way of life looks at it they see us running away, and miss that we have arrived home again in who we are.
Our laptop batteries are dying and we desperately seek an outlet to plug into. A way for our voice to be heard in a dance of fingertips on keys like this right now. I like to call the people I’m referring to in a tone of voice saturated with admiration, ″Alaska!!″. Why? Because some of my best friends are this. Alaska to me, is the willingness to try anything, and in fact the pattern of doing just that. The Alaskans I know can fix anything with minimal tools, and less materials. They can lift your house up with a car jack, build you a home, drink you under the table, and get up earlier the next day to do it again. They are alive with willingness to pursue survival on the fine line… of maybe they might not…so they drink and smoke another one….and help their neighbor if they can.
Artist is another harmonic title of reverence I put in this box. They are the odd birds. The ones who don’t fit in, or in other words stand out. Not like a sore thumb, but as a soaring thumb. You can see them from afar. Their way of dressing doesn’t fit. They are the aliens at home. The weird. The strangers. The crazies. Without them, our cultures would be defined by a bunch of apes running around with rocks, hitting each other on the heads. With them at large we are not surprised to have the Taj Mahal.
We all go into churches. We see them as sanctuaries. We pray in them. We look for heaven in the most heavenly place we could create. The artists did this. They created the closest representation of human-made heaven we have to experience. They designed something so beautiful, toiled to make it happen, and went home happy to create again. If they could just get a haircut, take a shower, act normal, and follow the code of conduct to be accepted by society……?
What other title have I used to describe my friends? O yes…..Radical! These are the extremists. But do please keep in mind I don’t mean the fanatical kind. I prefer to hang out with people that know how to change the subject. Getting stuck on one thing is not my forte. I tend to bend and break under the rules of polarity. One way is not for me. I like two way streets and fast traffic. Going down a one way street the wrong way, right down the middle of the yellow broken line. Taking both lanes going contrary.
Fanatics are boring. Radicals are wild. They just might say exactly what you feel with so much passion that they cry with fury. When they tremble and quake shaking their fists in the air, pronouncing words like revolution, in way you’ve never heard before, you know you may have met one…..and you just did.
Here is an excerpt from my travels, a batch of words I pulled from my little black notebook, that I wrote right before the authorities locked me in a cold ass cell….as they waited to decide if they should say…..″Go away gypsy″:
Interesting to me how the system of immigration is designed to evaluate whether you intend to move in and stay, or just spend money. If it’s just the money, how much? Waiting for customs now….this type of waiting is enthralling. All of the temporary boundaries in this large room are set up to funnel people around like cows, so they can find one like me, to put in this seat. My bench is bolted to the floor. One opening as an exit is provided in this arrangement of furniture. It’s an exit that doesn’t look like one to me, as it goes straight into their control. The others are standing and walking, waiting to move forward, as I sit in limbo. Guess you could call this a success sort of….
About ten or twelve hours later (I lost count, as they took away all my clocks), a decision was made and on a one way ticket I was bound, straight out of their country. I never left the airport to see my waiting in desperation woman on the other side of the walls. She later told me that the flowers she brought to me were wilting and covered in tears, as she resigned herself to loneliness again.
A fascinating balancing act. How to define what is too strange, or boring enough to be normal and acceptable. How do you break out of the rules of thought, finding a new way to see the world and share it with others, without being ostracized by governments, communities, individuals, and institutions?
The best advice I can give you would be this: never put a question mark on a customs form. Have your answers figured out before they ask you to write it down, or you may be questioned. I still don’t have solid answers to most of the questions the official asked me. I still do to the first one. It’s still the biggest question in my life. It’s the thing that defines why I’m traveling. It proves to me why I’m changing, and sets me up to cry.
One would think that the British government would have an immigration clause for “I’m in love with a woman in your country, and I will have to break in illegally if you don’t let me come in, or she may just leave your cold ass shores like our ancestors did because you hamburgers suck so bad, and come to join me instead….We’re exchanging our pounds at the bank. Your currency is not something we wish to use. Should’ve let me come back in to get my stuff at least, I might’ve stayed and inspired you to work. Fuckers. Now I wanna go Robin Hood all up and down your systems ways…. just to pass the time.”
I bought one of your ten pound notes from a British art student after you sent me to NYC. Just wanted to have one in my hand again to feel in touch with my woman. I gave it away to a bum the next day though. Wish you had been there to hear what life is about for him. He could’ve taken your homeless population and turned it into a workforce with his message, so I gave him ten pounds. He said he might get himself a prostitute for his birthday with it. I told him how to exchange it for something with value in this country. Fuck you Britain.
We told your silliness’s to take a flying leap when you tried to get us to be like you a long time ago. This is me as a wild and free American…burning your white picket fence. A yard that doesn’t grow food and isn’t well tended, is called a yard. Gardens are for food or caring. Glad I’m eating fresh mangoes off the trees, and fish straight from the seas, instead of bending on my knees to do as you wish. I will continue to identify more with my Irish heritage than my English, because you keep proving to me how much you suck. Happy Saint Patty’s Day From Costa Rica. Where the people are warm, the food is outstanding, the weather is awesome, and you are not here!!!!
″Go awey gypsy….I am not drunk.″ -KO-