Ironic Isolation

Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
Trip End Sep 01, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, June 21, 2010

        DAY TWO: I'm leaning back on two bear-proof containers, my right elbow on the handle of a mini-fridge, my feet propped on an empty case of durian mochi and granola, as I sit on our spare tire with Shmark’s deck shoes in my face.  He’s face down on the storage box, either sleeping or playing solitaire on his phone.  The Beard is jumping out to fiddle with the electrical underbelly, as we forgot to do before departure, while Cornbread waits stoically at the wheel and Master Filigree is perhaps sleeping with his eyes open in a strikingly creepy manner.  Were he awake, he’d be standing attentively, ready to help clear or direct or pass or enunciate, for he, unlike the four of us, is not aboard for the entire journey and therefore feels not the sense of entitlement that tends to exude from Shmark and his shmarky face.  Things are good on this, Day Two Aboard.
         Department of Eagles is playing through the bus as the green of California’s great north whooshes past.  Often, the icy blues and slimy olives of the marshes, bays, rivulets and oceans of this Great Redwood National Park fill our windows, and we all agree that the beauty might just be greater from behind their panorama.  Shmark jokes of his remembered inability to open such frames when aboard the school buses of his youth, and I must admit that being in here surrounded by so, so much forcibly blends nostalgia and progression.  The sheet weight of this bus is both tangible and symbolic as we eek, groaning, up basic grades, hippies flashing peace signs at us from the side of the road.         

        We have our piano hopping up and down, bolted to the dented wall, stringed instruments and tuners and books pointing thataway, no thataway, leaving a narrow, pleasantly treacherous path to the driver.  Shmark and I, on keys and uke/vocals respectively were working out John Lennon’s Isolation, and with The Beard on guitar and Antonio on cajon, we belted out a suitable version of the song as we slowed through Eureka, and in truth, it was the most appropriate of names, playing together, glancing between verses out at the passing cowboy town – its Kmart Shopping Centers and its saloon-style storefronts – feeling fleeter and lighter and more energized than any time in recent memory.  From taking a brief and shocking bath in the river at the break of morning, to finally knowing the thrill of being in time and spirit with your friends as you all play one of your favorite songs, everything has been, for the dearth of a superior term, a revelation.

            We’re now chugging toward the border, toward Crescent City and Eugene and Portland and beyond.  We have eight days to get to Vancouver, have perhaps three covers in our repertoire, and the only issue at the moment seems to be in the views I’m missing while staring at the computer screen (not to mention the lack of a toilet on the bus.  Oops.).  Looking so forward to Portland, to music, to life.  May it continue, and wish our faithful bus the strength and determination she requires to push onward, onward, onward!
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Brian Gosney on

You are crazy. I can't believe you and your buddies pulled this off. If you are still in Crescent City give me a call. My roommate is from there and he should be there now.

nearhelsinki on

Sorry I missed your message, BGos, but thanks for leaving it. We drove up in that area and I did think of you (I saw a sign that said Lassen County on it). Are you still going to Europe this summer? Anyway, thanks for trying to hook us up with your to you soon.

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