Tag Archives: struggle

How to: mental upgrades 


Today’s routine: Wake up and walk to a bay side coffee shop for breakfast and to work on photography stuff.. After that I will head around town picking up various items that make my life more complete, mostly car parts. Later in the afternoon I will head to the YMCA to pump the guns and then shower before I go and work with kids at an after school programme. What will happen tonight I never know. Last night I dropped in at the Seattle fire collective to watch humans play with fire and to meet the folk that put on these events. It’s a movement and I love to celebrate with these types of people. The connects that can be made are out of this world alien level shit sometimes.

At other times I go to events don’t connect with anyone. Where are you from is something I avidly try and avoid asking and yet find myself in the same conversation more than I am willing to admit. On occasion vast stretches of time are spent in a mindset that can’t come up with conversation other than the standard questions that everyone has heard a million times before. Where are you from? What do you do? What part of town do you live? Would you mind shooting me in the head right now?

It was less than a month ago that I got reawakened to the communication path I desire to be on. I remember the night that the awakening happened. I back at my old college town bar scene talking with anyone that wanted to talk. Then the remarkable happened. One of the conversations turned into something meaningful. I can’t say exactly how anything comes to from not having meaning to have meaning but somehow a stranger and I saw eye to eye. The conversation was simple. We talked about our lives and the experiences that had brought us to the present moment and then gradually we built into something truly inspirational with the catchphrase of “I just make myself into a person with a cando attitude” climaxing out short talk. I felt like I had learned something and it felt good.

I do not believe that the man I was talking with was trying to improve my life; instead felt the stimulation caused by something that means something and so, like the good human he is, plugged himself in and talked away. At that moment I did not know how much my life had been changed. All I know was that I felt good and that I wanted to go out and spread the good vibes, and so I did. It’s easy to talk with anyone when you feel light and happy. The conversation flows from a free place inside and what feels like anything is possible. It would be hard to sum up what I had learned from this man with logic or a catchphrase. It was subtle click and it changed the game.

“Lift up your hearts, my brothers, high, higher! And do not forget your legs either. Lift us your legs, too, you good dancers; and better yet, stand on your heads.” -Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche

One of the main function of the brain is adaptability. What amazes me is just how much can change with nothing more than information. While it seems that we continue to learn from all situations, life is not a constant climb upwards. There are times when we sink and must go backwards before we can go forwards once again. My questions are; What are the things that change our perspective and change the way we react to the world? Can we design a life to safeguard against pitfalls and thus cling to the power we have acquired? No one can say when or where the next upgrade will come from. It’s like a hunt where you go into the unknown in order to retrieve the treasure. In my experience there are great monsters found in the unknown that can wreck your day. Strategic planning and responsibility are key on the journey to finding wisdom. The game is necessarily dangerous but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

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Seattle in a truck 


I arrived in Seattle less than two weeks ago and thus far I have a job, friends, and a car to sleep in. The job I got on my second day in town, my best friend is the first person I met in town, and the car in my friends car. The car is a lifted truck by which I have made a bedding in the bed and sleep fine. I don’t have any forms of identification and going from a non-identified person to an identified person is not easy to do in the US and aside from all the tedious amount of running around to different government buildings, I am doing fairly fucking awesome. I know almost nothing about this city which makes a large part of my experience completely novel and so I am like a baby that has learned how to use the bus system. It’s kinda fucking great.

The first thing I did after getting off the bus in Seattle was to head down to the pedicab garage to get a job. I have worked pedicabs all across the country and know how easy it can be to get a job. In most cities there is a licensing process and maybe a letter of hire, but here in Seattle it was a process of getting on a bike and going out to make money. All anyone would have to do would be to find the manager and you got yourself a job. The first weekend of working cabs we worked a Huskies football game. There was quite a bit of bitching about how cabbers did not make enough money but we all bought beer and got drunk that night. I was tired but happy that night.

Downtown Seattle you can find me on the waterfront most of the time. There are only a few bars that card regularly and without i.d. I am unable to join the mainstream of people that frequent the weekend barseen but I still frequently go out for drinks and explore the old brick buildings that remind me of St. Paul. Got punched in the head the other night in a mosh pit at a punk rock show. It was awesome. Dude Juicy Karkass rocked all of our worlds. Other than that it’s been city car adventures and hanging out with the dudes.

In the evening there is a regular crowd of dudes drinking beer outside the pedicab garage. We are talking about 5-10 pedicabbers who are in their mid thirties and just like talking. Most of them live out of a truck or van and I found myself at home on the first night. We trade a lot of stories and it’s fun to hang out with them and get drunk but no chicks gets old quick and so I am working on branching out and doing my own thing a lot of the time.

Apparently Seattle has one of the largest populations of people that live out of their vehicles. This is exactly what I am looking to do. I found a great deal on a Subaru Outback and will buy it as soon as I have enough money. The weird part about having enough money is that I do have enough money but the bank won’t let me access all of it without i.d. so at the moment I am withdrawing 300 a day until I have enough. It should be by the end of the week.

Back to the beginning; moments after getting into Seattle I met a guy that is working on a bus. After a bit of chit chat through a window he invites me up and shows me his projected home. This guy buys busses and then lives on then while he does the seats, tile flooring, cedar ceiling, a kitchen, bathroom, the works. After he finishes the bus he lives and tours out of it until he finds a buyer. This is the guy that is turning into my best friend here in Seattle and constantly he is making me want to buy my own bus. It’s a tricky situation at this point for the reason of me not really know what I want to do with my life…

We all could feel the first day of fall two days ago. Most of the cabbers are not fond of Seattle winters and the back of the truck is getting cold at night which makes me wonder what I will want to do for this coming winter. I have two options in mind that I will lay out before you. I want to hear what y’all think.

1. Live in Seattle for a few months then sell the Subaru and dip out to Australia like I had originally planned. Australian adventure!

2. Stay in the states. Buy a bus. Prepare for pedicabbing the festival season this coming season. Build a bus, build a cab, start stocking up on the deemsters, get connected with the pedicabbers in charge of the festivals.

Life is great. We can manifest anything we choose. It takes work but with goals so grand can’t really do anything but be compelled into action. Almost like something greater has taken control of our bodies and, like puppets we guided to sacred places. 

Side quests 

It has been a dream and still is my dream to live and love in Australia. As some of you may know I had purchased a plane ticket for the 11th of september to fly from Seattle to Sydney where I could then buy a car and figure things out from there. By flying out of Seattle I could save 200+ on airfare and I could visit a new city; all I had to do was get from Denver to Seattle.I started the trip by finding a Craigslist rideshare to Bozeman Montana with an older guy that was heading back to school. He was great to talk with and we got to know each other well enough that I feel like texting him right now to see how he is doing. Anyways, on the first night of my trip I was able to get to the Bozeman hot springs. I spend the evening talking with mostly college freshman and soaking in the hot water. After the hot spring it was time to look for a camp spot. I do not like paying for a place to sleep, ever, and so I will usually just pitch a hammock between two trees that are secluded enough to not get woken up by anyone in the morning. This night was different. Behind the hot springs I found an abandoned camper truck, unlocked, and ready to be slept in with mattress and all. I must admit there was some old old chicken in the sink and junk on the floor, but the mattress was clean and I was able to lock the door and thus got a fairly fucking decent night of sleep.


The next morning I woke up with the sun, put my large pack on my back, my small pack on my front and started hiking to the highway by which I could throw up the thumb. It’s a 200 mile journey from the hot springs to Missoula. It took me three rides and most of the day to make the trip. The first guy picked me up on the side of the road and sent me off about three miles down the road. The second ride was with a lady that made her daughter sit in the back so that she could give me a ride a few more miles down the road. Sweet of her to be able to trust a hitch hiker even with her children present. The third ride got me to the Missoula off ramp and was with one of the more interesting persons that I have met in a long time. The guy looked like he was in his early thirties but turned out to be ott 45. He was driving from South Carolina to go camping with a few friends in Idaho. He told me of his train hopping days that lasted from a mid teen all the way through his mid thirties. Through dumpster diving and knowledge of the forest he was able to go for years without needing money of any kind. He was able to cross the American borders without a passport. Now he has his “sweety” and a son that he is raising on a farm/commune in SC. When he dropped me off in Missoula I thanked him for his stories and the ride

In Missoula I was able to meet up with an old friend who gave me a place to sleep, a shower, and endless conversation. Missoula this time of year is smoked out by forest fire to the point of not being able to see the sun. Breathing in the air makes it feel as if you’re coming down with a hard sickness and I had to leave.

For the last part of my trip I decided to take the night bus. It would get me to downtown Seattle and I could sleep for the entire ride there. I remember talking with a lady during one of our stops. We got into chit chat and I learned that this was a lady in a terrible place. She had drug problems and was being taken away from her kids. I told her, at least it can’t get any worse. She said- I beg to differ. At the next rest station it’s something like 3 in the morning and the entire bus is emptied into some random bus station. We are zombies when I hear some shouting and see an old guy get slashed in the face with a knife. The culprit dominates the bus station brandishing the knife shouting about injustice for about three minutes before an officer shows up with a fully automatic weapon and the man is put to the ground in cuffs. I see the lady I had talked with earlier who whispers- still think this day can’t get any worse. Little did I know at the time that my day was to get a whole lot worse.

The next rest station it must be something like 4 in the morning when they make us get off the bus again so that we can fill up on gas. I am half asleep when they announce that its time to get back on the bus. What I think I hear is that it’s time to get back on a bus that’s not my bus and so I stay where I am, half asleep. Minutes later I realize that my bus has left without me. I call Greyhound and they tell me that I can wait where I am at for the next bus which comes in 12 hours. I spend the rest of the night asking people if they are going to Seattle and getting what sleep can be got out of gas station bench. I end up buying a new bus ticket with a different bus company the rest of the way to Seattle.

I get to Seattle. First thing that hits me is how beautiful the stone buildings next to the water look. It strangely reminds me of St. Paul. I go to the Greyhound bus station where they give me my large pack that was checked under the bus. No one can find the smaller pack that I had carried on with me when I boarded the bus. I go through the blurry ass camera footage to see something that looks like what might be someone walking away with my pack. They tell me that Greyhound is not responsible for carry ons shoe me out the door. It’s Friday, my plane leaves on Monday; my passport, drivers license, birth certificate, and social security card were all in the pack. I’m fucked. Expedited passports are about 500 which is too much for me to spend and then expect to make a responsible start in Australia. It looks as if I will be staying in Seattle for a while.

Putting the large pack on my back I head to the pedicab garage downtown. On the way to the garage I meet two guys who are working on a school bus. They yell some sort of nonsense at me through the window and invite me aboard. Inside is covered with tools and supplies by which these guys are flooring it out so that they live in style and avoid paying rent. They give me a beer and we smoke some weed. The one guy works at the same cab company that I plan on working for. He lets me sleep on the bus with him that night and then in the back of this truck the following night. Over the weekend I make money and friends on the rickshaw. Looking to buy a subaru later today by which I can live, love, and save up some money for a trip to Australia. It’s a definite setback but I really do love my life. Seattle is beautiful and now I have time to explore. Today I interview for bartender and then will jump on the cab to get some exploring in. I currently don’t have any identification but have not yet been carded even though I frequent the bars in town. Looking forward to the Seattle jungle and have plans to visit the forest with another forest dwelling creature from Minnesota. Starting fresh in a new city is one of my favorite things to do. I feel like a baby on a mission. Everything is so new and there is so much to do. Now, it’s time to build.

Sales

Life on Maui has been one of the most wonderful experiences that I have ever had in my life. Woohoohoo I feel blessed. The guys that I work with are of a different sort than I am used to and the process of becoming a member of the team was extremely stressful. Before living with a sales team I was living in New Orleans and hanging out on the street. Its a different mindset. On the streets of New Orleans you will find the most interesting and diverse group of people in the USA if not the world. For a group like that to come together and be peaceful (for the most part) it requires everyone to have an open and accepting mindset. Here on Maui I am teamed with a group who views themselves as an elite class with elite skills and in many ways they are. The team on Maui is highly educated and comes from wealthy families who are well connected. After being accepted by elite class of people I can finally feel secure and now question if this is the place that I would like to be.

New Orleans, though beautiful and desperately alive, was desperately fragile. There was something forever savage and primitive there, something that threatened the exotic and sophisticated life both from within and without. Every stone in the streets and every brick of the french houses had been bought from the fierce wilderness that forever surrounded the city, ready to engulf it. Hurricanes, floods, fevers, disease, and the damp of the Louisiana climate itself worked tirelessly on every hewn plank or stone facade, so that New Orleans seemed at all times like a dream held intact by her striving, unconscious population.

The island of Maui had been forcefully taken from its native people who even after 100 years still harbored a vengeful unaccepting nature to the haole (white foreigner) that seems as an impassable barrier barring me from the true nature of the island. There is a different type of person who chooses to venture to the most beautiful and remote places on earth. While I would not refer to these other people as the beautiful people I will say that there is much to learn from their arrogance. An arrogance that can only be gained through great achievement in life and therefor at least grounded in a skill of some sort. Only in Maui have I been able to blend with this arrogant type of person which has given me a strange sense of satisfaction. My soul however, does not feel the same.

There are many options ahead of me and the unknown is of great importance.

Pedicabs

A biker taxi they called themselves, or pedicabs as the name assigned to them by the men they worked for. These brave men and women who worked as pedicab drivers would scour the streets of the downtowns looking for a tired footstep or a group of party people who might be in need of a scoop and a shoot along whatever road they travel. The people paid well and the work was sweet. Biking a surplus of 40 miles a day has a way of making one sleep harder and taste the food more, but it’s a dead end job that only ever serves to pays the bills.

One night a young boy pedicab driver picked up a wicked elderly man off the sidewalk. The man demanded to be taken to the other side of town. He promised to pay well and the boy agreed. Along the way the man jeered and yelled at the boy to go faster and work harder. The boy was innocent and tried his best to meet the man’s requests.

When the boy and man were in the midst of climbing the steepest hill the old man called out to a bystander “Hop in, there is enough room for the both of us.” With a cackle like the devil another fully grown man hopped in the cart. The boy was in his lowest gear, peddling as hard as he could and still the cart would hardly move. “Another!” The man cried out pointing a young female who had stopped to watch. She eagerly jumped on the laps of the two men in the cart as they continued to climb.

The riders cackled with excitement seeing the boy struggle to climb the hill and in time a crowd gathered. Windows where opening to investigate the commotion the riders were causing. Encouraged by the first man’s enthusiasm the crowd joined in with the jeering. Strangers started jumping into the cart uninvited. Slower and slower the boy climbed the hill. “We will break him!” Cried another man jumping into the cart. The cart had become too heavy for the boy and finally he could climb no further.

Cackles came from the first man and shrieks of laughter came from the crown. “A stick!” someone cried out handing the first man a small piece of wood. “What do we pay you for!” said the first man who began whipping the boy with his new tool. As much as the boy struggled he could not move the cart which by this time was filled with newcomers who had joined in the fun.

A young child and his mother stood a distance off watching the scene unfold. Seeing the struggle the child hugged his mother’s leg and asked “Why are they doing this mommy? Don’t they see that he can go no further?”
“Let’s go sweaty.” His mother softly replied and took her child away from the biker and his spectators.

“Grab some more sticks!” Cried a woman from a second story window, and three men with what resembled more of a log than a stick began beating the boy who rolled off his bike to the ground where he curled up like a dead spider.

Like Hyenas who have had their fill the passengers began getting out of the cart. Putting arms around one another, laughing they walked away into the night and the crowd dispersed leaving the boy lying on the ground.

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