The late afternoon heat makes breathing difficult. The air has a water quality to it and condenses in my lungs. By this point in the day it’s too late to leave for Irvine, I more-less expected it to slip away on me. I make a lap through the carnival section of the Poage Landing Days. The dings and whistles are tiring. I’m told to throw a dart for a chance at “winning” a piece of garbage in the shape of a plastic alien. I just flash the peace sign and continue to my vehicle. I don’t think I’m going to stay for Travis Tritt tomorrow but am going to spend the night tonight. The heat is making decision making more difficult than usual. I’m hungry but have let perishables parish in the heat of the cooler. A bag of carrots turned to mush, hummas hot and overpowering, strangely my last Walmart tomato is not only cool but rock hard. I come to the conclusion it isn’t a tomato and garbage it along with the other spoiled goods.
The Starbucks has become an unexpected place of Zen and its air conditioning is comfortable if prepared for. I put on my jean jacket and root around for my Rebel T2i owners manual. I’ve avoided this part of my learning, relying on the easy of the iPhone. Boisterous Big Pharma and his skite side-kick have vacated the Starbucks premises – I return to nobody having experienced the earlier drama. I’m board by my reading material and make for a Contigo supper. Requesting hot water, my barista counteracts the offer with decaf coffee, I lie and say sometimes I just like to drink hot water. A free Contigo full of hot water and a make my way back to the van. Pouring a little out I break a bag of Itchiban noodles in half, and place one half on top the other in the mug – a save a small chunk to eat raw. Add half the seasoning, twist the lid on and let sit. Sprinkle a touch of the flavouring on the raw chuck and crunch on it 90’s style. I let the vehicle run to cool it down and listen to Mojo Nixon hype up Farm Aid. No hyping needed – it’s Willie and Neil. John and Dave. Sturgill, Nathaniel, Jamey, Margo, Lukas. Holy Shit, when is this. Tomorrow.
A mega line-up, four-hundred and ten miles east of Ashland in Bristow, Viginia. I’m going. I have to. Six hours, that’s nothing. Margo Price and Nathaniel Rateliff – how could I pass that up. They’ve each become two of my favourite artists this year. I’ve never seen Neil. Done. I’m on a high waiting for my noodles to cook in the vacuum-container. The broth is my favourite. The noodles are cooked perfect. Quick supper fix.
I can’t sleep in the Starbucks parking lot. So I go up the street to the Bob Evans parking lot. A restaurant chain with decent evening lighting. The sky moves from clarity to cloudy. A hot sun is replaced by a hidden moon. A hidden harvest moon. The last one for the next eight years. Since being more vocal with spirituality through my online mediums I’ve attracted and reacquainted with friends of similar experiences. One being an old Medicine Hat golf course co-worker, Jessi. She’s guided me through changes and shown support in areas that I felt relatively alone in. Even if completely psychologically based, I’ll keep a couple rocks around for good measure. The van holds an orange calcite. My jean jacket pocket, a rose quartz, breast pocket a citrine. They were gifts with good intention. My friend, Megan Nash suggested a blue kyanite for throat blockage – sure, I tense up when I sing, why not?
I reach for my calcite, it accompanied my Guy Vanderhaeghe book from Melanie before leaving.
I lay on my back, stripped for comfort and fall asleep.
I isn’t a dream. It’s of a lucidity that I’ve experienced very few times in life, if ever. It more of a memory playing out or ridding itself. It doesn’t even completely feel like my memory. I’m of the opposite sex and confused. Hovering as if floating on water, two densities, in to one and back into the other. It isn’t pleasant. I’m back into the heavier density and in a room, walking to overlook the space from the top of a stairwell.
Awake. The moon as clear as a bell cutting through the open window. What in the living shit did I just experience. I’m shaken and stay up for another hour or so reading. I slip under again into a dream world – Unlike the last experience this is clearly a dream and I’m myself. Wild sexual escapade. One that brings me to a 5:30 am wake-up.
It’s raining outside. I skipped out on the baby-wipes last night so begin the four napkin process. One for my face…wait. It’s raining.
Barefoot, shirt off, jean cut-offs. I open the side door and stand in the downfall. This is more than just a cleaning. I can feel every drop on my scalp, shoulders, back, tops of my feet. I just stand there with my head hung, water running off my nose. The early morning work commute watches from a red light. Bob Evans breakfast staff pull into the lot. I undo the button on my jeans to allow water flow, subtle move. The moon has shifted in the dark morning sky as the rain continues. It lets up. I give thanks. And feel one last single driving drop of rain.
I use the towel my aunt gave me and dry off in the drivers seat. One more Starbucks coffee before bidding farewell. A quick Facebook fix lets me know today would have been Hank Williams’ 93rd birthday. I wonder how Ethan is doing.
One, one-dollar refill, slightly salty from last night’s supper. I map out my route to Farm Aid.