The Simulation

KF: So lemme get this straight. A bunch of heavily-armed men killed 30 civilians with drones and one of their own men died and the TV networks are playing sappy music and showing the dead man’s face as they go to commercial. You don’t see the problem with that?

JT: Are you saying you don’t care about the troops? One of our men died out there in the desert.

KF: Yeah, so did 30 people who weren’t involved with whatever was going on. I thought all lives matter?

JT: Yeah, but they’re different, they’re used to this stuff. They don’t know any better.

KF: All I’m saying is, take a look at this from a neutral point of view and think about who are the terrorists.

JT: Dude, Americans aren’t terrorists. We don’t believe in that. Everything we do is because we want to help these countries. We just believe in freedom.

KF: Name the two biggest terrorists organizations.

JT: Al Qaeda and ISIS.

KF: How about Israel and the United States? They are like a couple of terrorist bullies who do whatever they want. But the people who are in power can call it whatever they like. They are just spreading freedom or trying to protect our interests — they call it defense.

JT: Man, you better watch out you know they might see this, right?

KF: I type everything I write in Google Docs. They are always watching. They know where my cursor is right now. They are probably watching me through my webcam, too. Whatever, call me a voyeur.

JT: You’re typing right now? I thought we were talking face-to-face.

KF: Hey, you can think whatever you want. I know what I’m doing.

JT: Fuck, I’m becoming too aware I can’t last much longer.

KF: I thought that might happen. Well, maybe I’ll see you next week. I’ll still be here.

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Illusions

I wish we didnt have so many screens. Or any screens. I think its making everyone depressed. Or maybe its just me. I want to go back to the forest. To sleep under the pines and feel the wind pass over my face. Now its all walls and ceilings. They are meant to keep us in. To separate civility from chaos. It makes us forget what we are. Be wary of the illusion. The ducks play in the water all day because they can.

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The Fall

In shivasana, I fall.

I don’t have a parachute and I don’t care.

My eyes are closed and my lips are smiling.

I fall through dimensions and I’m no longer a newspaper reporter and I don’t have to think about what I am covering tomorrow or who I am interviewing.

There is only the fall.

The others are falling too. Into their mats. We fall together in formation.

She walks among us. In her bare feet on the wooden floor.

She helps us fall. I can hear her step behind my head. Her hands press into my shoulders and I fall faster and I smile wider and I breathe deep and my bladder is near my eye.

The only god I worship is my yoga instructor.

In shivasana, I fall.

 

How can I fall today? How can I fall now?

I come straight from the city council meeting. My fake life is too vivid, too real, too fresh. It still occupies my head. How am I supposed to explain everything? There are experts on everything and I know nothing. All I know how to do is ask questions. There is just too much too much history that I walked in on too much I don’t know and I am supposed to be the gate keeper I have a duty a responsibility. All of my sources are sitting here all the people I quote and someone says my story wasn’t very clear but I did my best I can’t explain everything. Life is complicated.

I’m trying to fall. But I can’t connect. Can someone turn me off and then turn me back on again?

There is too much information to sift through and my head hurts.

My physical body fees rejuvenated. My legs are relaxed my shoulders are down but my head was left behind. Someone grab it for me. Screw it back on.

In shivasana, I am supposed to fall.

Why can’t I fall tonight?

Corn

Two-hundred-and-fifty-three miles to Des Moines.

It’s five AM and it’s dark and cold. I’m sipping burnt instant coffee out of the mug they gave away freshman year and eating porridge with tropical fruit trail mix out of the aluminum bowl I got a thrift store in New Zealand. I’m listening to a story on public radio about refuge children who went missing in Europe.

Please stop telling me how many miles to Des Moines. You just told me ten miles ago and that city means nothing to me. It is just a reminder that I’m still in Trump country and I still have a long, long way to go. It’s too early to be thinking about Des Moines.

An Irish immigration expert is talking about something but all I hear is her accent. She is from Dublin so she doesn’t talk like you. And then she says one word and I start to time travel.

“Stuck.”

I can imagine you saying that word exactly how the woman on the radio says it.

Maybe it was when we were cooking mushrooms, brown rice and lentils by the river and our family of mischievous ducks wouldn’t stop trying to steal our food.

Or maybe it was when walked through the forest with big bottles of beer and made up stories about the lives of trees and you told me all the things you never told anyone else.

No, it was when the status of our relationship was determined by the texture of peanut butter and the variety of jam in my sandwich.

It’s before dawn and I barely got any sleep and I’m idealizing women from my past again.

Ninety-eight miles to Des Moines and all I can see is corn.

 

Under Construction

I’m struggling.

I left New Zealand 27 days ago and now I’m staying in the spare bedroom at my Mom’s house in Virginia.

I made a desk from two saw horses and a door I found in her garage and I’m reading through my journals. I thought I was going to be able to write something from all of this. I wanted to write a book or a series of short stories but this is hard. There is too much. I can’t process this. My brain is weak and I can’t get the big picture. I want to smoke weed to help guide me, but I need to pass a pre-employment drug screen so I can get a menial job because I’m in America.

I’m not even close to when the good stuff started. When I left the hostel and started traveling with the Irish girls and the California girl and the guy from Uruguay and the Kiwi busker we picked up. We would camp out and play music and get dirty and swim in the rivers and eat cous cous and vegetables. But I’m not there yet. Baby steps. Crawl before you can walk, right, Chris?

I’m sorry I haven’t updated my blog in a long time but I’m working on it, OK? This is going to take some time. The word document I wrote from my final month in New Zealand, when I was hitch hiking and camping and communing with nature, is 65 pages single-spaced. Most of it is word vomiting but with a bit of refinement, I believe that vomit can be turned into gold. But I’m not even close to cracking into that document. I’m at the point right now where I start to read my journals and take notes and find themes and I end up with even more hand written notes and that is just making even more work to do and then I have to stand up and walk around the house and look in the fridge even though I’m not hungry and then I go back to my “desk” and I can’t control the demon inside of me that opens up Facebook and the Reddit and then I check my e-mail but nothing has changed.

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I know what I need to do, what I need to write and what I need to focus on but I don’t want to say it until it is done. I feel the compulsion to read everything I’ve written in chronological order and not just jump to the good parts because I don’t know what I will have missed. And then my guitars distract me and then my Mom gets home from work.

Meanwhile, I’m broke and I need to get a job so I can buy a car and move somewhere new because I don’t want to stay here.

At first I was hesitant about Virginia. Then I watched the Washington Nationals play baseball. It’s like nothing has changed. F.P. still says, “And there goes the no-hitter” at the first hit and Bob still says, “SEE, YOU, LATER!” when we get a home run. I sat down and watched my first game in two years and I felt a sense of belonging and community with my hometown. The team has barely changed. Life goes on. I can be happy here for the summer but this is a means to an end. The Drifter in me needs to stay on the move.

Don’t fret, loyal readers, Stories From A Drifter is still running. The resident Drifter is just working out this whole life thing and trying to live while also trying to re-live the past and show people what I have experienced. I have changed. I am different than I was two years ago. Even one year ago. My year in Australia revolved around working. My year in New Zealand was about learning and growing and being a soul rebel, soul adventurer, soul capturer. I’m here. I’m working on it. I promise (eek!) something good will come. But I can’t say when.

Everything was so easy in New Zealand. I had my rucksack on my back and my guitar in my hand and all I had to do was stick out my thumb and after a few minutes or a few hours I would summon a car. Some kind soul would give me teleportation, conversation and positive vibrations and then I would end up at the next campsite, pitch my tent, eat my oats and breathe the air. Constant high speed Internet, cable television and hot showers didn’t distract life in New Zealand. Life was simple over there. I was a wild animal. We all are.

Ahh, it feels good to write.