Lately, faces don’t make sense to me. It’s like my mind can’t process them. I’m looking for you daily, among the faces. And when it’s not you, I feel detached like I can rip the chord from out of the walls.
Life can be very long; I’m trying to enjoy as much of it as I can -especially the waiting. I dance in line. I admire the clouds. I sing to you in my car. And when my mind is turbulent, I write until I’m exhausted.
I consulted a magic 8 ball in a hipster vintage clothing store and it didn’t give me the answer I wanted.
I am a man who cannot be swayed. I have a vision and I know it takes time and effort. I am strong enough to endure the pain. To paraphrase Nietzsche, those with strong wills risk the danger of being stupid because they close their ears to counter arguments.
A Fateful Trip:
I had a good feeling about the trip when I saw this in the first place we went into. Coffee wasn’t great but the cigarette was.
It was one hell of a trip. We talked to so many strangers, and we actually hanged out with a lot of them. It never hurts to ask: ask and you shall receive. Our driver Victoria gave us a bunch of weed, so we wanted to invite her get donuts with us. “This is making my day!” She said laughing. She was kind enough to meet us three hours later after Spencer realized he lost his earphones in her car.
We were running on three hours of sleep, but we made it a goal to stay out. We walked around the city, exploring. I bought you a gift from the Saturday Market because I thought you’d like it. I know I might never get to give it you, but fuck it. The rain had cleared away the day we arrived, but it was still rather cold. Walter and Joe invited us to their clothing shop to chill and talk. They showed us a bunch of different places. We then wandered around the largest book store in America, when Spencer realized he had lost the tin case I gave him from France that held the caramels you got me. All good though. We trek across town with this angry Russian Driver, when we pick up Scott. The fight is that night, and I’m very excited to watch so Scott, Russian Guy, and I discuss.
Turns out we were too late. Our friendly waitress had already thrown the tin away. “I’m willing to dumpster dive for that tin.” The waitress, her manager, and the group eating are impressed by my conviction to retrieve it, but rules and shit. They don’t let us. We get back to downtown where we chill at a bar. Cigarette after cigarette, we find ourselves in a haze. Shannon and Alyssa, from the bar next door, talk to us about their lives in Portland. We order some sandwiches and decide to stream the fight.
We meet Liz, our host. Turns out she’s this amazing person. She’s a doctor who helps kids correct their speech problems. But she’s also endured a great loss. She’s widowed. I didn’t think too much about it at first, but it almost seemed like we were meant to meet her. She was able to give Spencer new perspective on his loss. She also tells me about abuse, depression, and pain being a part of the human condition when I shared my story. More on this later… We smoked cigs until our lungs hurt. I rolled a shit joint so none of us got high.
Next day, it’s raining. We get a lyft out to the forest, where we zipline from trees rising 150ft tall. It wasn’t as exciting as bungee, but it was cool flying from treetop to treetop with the misty clouds and drizzle. Turns out, no cars go out there. Luckily we befriended a couple from Utah during ziplining. So we drive out to get burgers at a local tavern. “I don’t get country music.” They show me some songs, but I don’t know if I’ll ever understand country music. Thank you Jarren and Brayden for saving our asses from walking an hour in the rain. Happy to have met you guys.
We meet Liz in downtown for the best pastrami sandwich I’ve eaten. At this point, I feel an inexplicable longing for you. They’re drinking and I’m happy to have their company. We end up in this strange hippie hipster part of town where we walked through a giant vintage clothing store. That’s when I found the magic 8 ball. You can imagine how distraught I was. But we consulted it about Liz’s new boyfriend and Spencer’s job prospective. Things are looking good for them! We’re at a bar now, where this dog has grown fond of me. I stood outside in the drizzle with my cigarette. Liz and Spencer seem to have picked up that I’m a little bummed. We head back where we meet Travis, a spiritual healer, who’s also staying at the home.
He teaches me to roll a joint. And we find out this guy is pretty amazing. He advocates for 23 and me, which analyzes DNA. He then makes sense of the results, and then prescribes vitamins, herbs, or food to better regulate people’s bodies and moods. The way he talked about happiness baffled me like shit is my depression really that avoidable that I could have just eaten some of this and that and I’m good? This guy fought through cancer by traveling the world, studying with shamans, healers, and all sorts of interesting people. His whole family had cancer because their town was poisoned. All four of us chill outside with blankets, high out of our minds. It was the Portland experience I needed. Strippers make me sad anyways.
The next day, we get breakfast with Liz and part ways. It almost felt like Spencer and I were meant to meet Liz and Travis. We were both in pain, and interestingly they were both healers/helpers in a way. I shared my thoughts with Spencer and he seemed intrigued by my rather romanticized perspective.
We fly to Vegas for a layover, where we ride the Roller Coaster from New York New York. That shit was horrifying. Worse, my glasses almost flew off my face during the spiral. Worst, I lost Jack’s lucky lighter -best of luck to you, Jack, wherever you are and to whatever you’re doing now. Thankfully, I still have another lighter from him… We eat shake shack, and I’m reminded of the times we came. I miss you, but I try not let the thoughts bog me down. We get home at 12 midnight, meeting a few more people along the way. Thanks for the travels, and happy birthday, Spencer. Glad you’re my brother.
Smoking Weed with A Spiritual Healer:
“Yeah, do you know the movie Erin Brockovich. It’s basically that.”
“How are you not just this completely angry person after all that? You’re so mellow.”
“I was angry. I didn’t understand why people could be so careless, maybe even evil. But I realized my anger wasn’t getting me anywhere. I had to let it go. Anger is useless.”
“Sometimes people don’t realize we’re all reaching the same destination on the top of the mountain. One person may be walking through an area with a bunch of trees. And then another person might be standing in pouring rain on the other side. We’re all walking different paths, but we’re a lot more connected than we think.”
“The thing about karmic energy is that you don’t always see the results of it. Your good will sets off a chain of good will that you might not experience immediately, but somehow it reaches you in some way.”
“But how do you know if your actions are even good? Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing a good deed for the sake of doing a good deed or I’m just trying to convince myself I’m a good person.”
“I like that. The fact that you question if you’re doing good is good enough. Maybe in the long run, your good deed isn’t good after all. But that doesn’t take away the good it brought. Someone will still benefit from it. Someone might suffer. I think heaven and hell is right here. All we can do is try to bring more of heaven here.”
“I always wanted to learn some more about chakra, qigong, and energy. I learned a bit from a yogi.”
I think my face lit up. I was so excited I could offer this guy anything. “Yooooo! I learned some qigong when I learned wing chung. I don’t remember most of it, but maybe I can show you something”
“That’d be awesome.”
“Dude I just remembered this one is called Heaven and Earth.”
“Haha dude that’s awesome.”
“This one is like bow and arrow.”
“I feel something about this one.”
“I really have to ask you about something. I was abusive to my ex. I hated myself for it, I burned my hand.”
“Oh let me see.” He laughs. “That’s good. That you can see anytime.”
“Yeah that was the idea.” We laugh together. “What I’m getting from your stories is that sometimes you just have to surrender to your situation. My personality is also that I want to fight for things I believe in. But at the same time, you’re saying that feelings and emotions guide us and they should be listened to. So I’m a little confused. If I think about what’s best for her objectively I think I should stop wanting her and let her live a happy life. But at the same time, I can’t shake these really powerful feelings. So do I surrender or do I act?” I searched for the rain sounds. It felt like my ears were stung and inflamed. I was high out of my mind.
“That’s a good question. I think there’s a way you can do both. You have to act and surrender. You can tell her your feelings. That’s acting. Tell her you still love her. That way you’re honest with your emotions. But you also have to surrender to the possibility she might not come back. But as long as you tell her you’re open to loving her and that you’re committed to change then maybe karma will reward you. I think you’ll be tested for your anger. Maybe it’ll be something completely irrelevant like some guy cuts you off in traffic. Or maybe you’ll encounter a man being abusive to his girlfriend, and you’ll have to convince him by saying ‘look i know what you’re feeling. It’s not worth it. there’s another way.’ Or maybe one day you two do get together and she hits you. And you’ll have to endure it. You’ll have to say, ‘I understand, and I’m not angry.’ I think you’ll be tested. And if you pass, and you’ve truly change, maybe the universe will reward you. Who knows it might be another relationship with someone completely different too. But maybe you two were never meant to be. Whatever happens, happens. But for now, it’s a matter of time.”
I fell into a deep, restful sleep that night.