(Interlude) Re: Consistency

Most travelers concern themselves with the immediate issues that arise between destinations. Issues from how much money they have in their budget, where to stay, where to eat – these are entirely relevant concerns, mostly from a tourist’s viewpoint. However, the purpose of this journey is not entirely based on leisure; rather, its purpose is to spread awareness to a seemingly endless array of topics.
It is a difficult task at best. I admit, there are days wherein I actively pursue activities to better provide evidence and research to subjects abroad; other days, I find myself trying to find the time to reflect, despite the time and money constraints regarding vacational and temporary stays.

The most important issue I address is where on earth I’m about to head off to next. One could argue that my priorities are often misplaced – for example, I should be more conservative about how many calories I’m taking in, the amount of nicotine I partake every day. I would not wish to trouble anyone regarding the state of my own welfare but in that I’m still writing, albeit irregularly, should be testament to my health.

The three major factors regarding the process of this journey, the most immediate factors even, are based entirely off my capacity to write and reflect, eat and sleep, and plan schedules on a whim.

I haven’t managed to carefully maintain these three factors for a varying degree of reasons.

When it comes to interacting with others, back in the day there’s been a lot of difficult in communication, if only due to the fact that I’m quite an introvert. Often times I hesitate expressing myself like anybody else, due perhaps to that familiar notion of not wishing to offend anyone. However, that has since become a gradual improvement – based on the current circumstances, my time is fairly open to anybody willing to speak with me.

There is one slight problem, however, and it is an entirely human problem; a person, regardless of their background, remains intact towards their thoughts and emotions. Not everybody has the mood or patience to express themselves, let alone take in the varying degrees of information that they alone can absorb. Admittedly I had thought my capacity to detach myself regarding more serious conversations would be unwavering – in hindsight, this experience has enabled me to merely become more adept towards handling them.

Alone, without nearby support, surrounding by strangers in an unfamliar environment, traveling elsewhere is certainly a test of inner strength and will. Often times in solidarity, a person is able to reflect, but I believe mostly from the subconscious awareness of possessing some form of immediate security – say, their apartment, savings and friends within contact. Kept away from these things, the only security that is left is based entirely from self-preservaton and wits.
Similarly that same isolation provides ample time for reflection yet that time period is strictly limited by more pressing factors such as the length of stay, food and rest. It is a pressing series that systematically creates a cycle of micro management. It isn’t easy, I’ll give you that.

On a long enough basis, I’ve since began to eat less and less, sleep roughly between hours, and at times leave my belongings scattered in disarray. One thought leads to another, confusing the otherwise set direction of approach to my writing; the methodical pattern of expression becomes frustrating, troubling and most of all cause for an unadulterated nicotine binge.

It isn’t easy, I’ll give you this, listening to someone recount about rape, abuse, starvation, depravity and unimaginable hardship without so much as a blink of an eye. These stories come from people within and outside of the scene, which is even more revealin in that everybody has so much in common, be it in suffering or outside of that.

I mean, sure, you could filter out the weight of these stories from time to time, focus on other things, but damned if it isn’t hard to absorb – not once – but multiple times in increasing amounts and volumes throughout random locations, at random moments.

There’s been more than one occasion where I couldn’t help but stop and remind myself, that like many things that take place in the scene, this venture is purely by choice and free will. That same notion has kept me, alongside a strictly honorable principle, from turning back; however, the primary factor that motivates my every step, against such harsh moments, is simply from the support of everyone I’ve since met – strangers one and all – that similarly understand, accept, and encourage that process.

This, of course, isn’t a cry for help or a desperate attempt at grabbing for attenton. There’s been a few messages of concern regarding how things are lately. Its the least I can do to try and respond to these well intended messages, but frankly I won’t try to hide the truth either.

I must’ve left my laundry alone for a week before stuffing everything inside the crummy basement of my hotel in Denver, furiously scrubbing out all the food stains over a sink.

I must’ve ate roughly a single meal a day in Vegas. Hell, I’ve stared at the buffet and barely touched it, thinking about the unspoken (as of yet) encounters with starving men and women in San Francisco. Voluntarily I’ve gone a few days without eating, trying to understand what it means to hungry, but shit, thats a stupid and irresponsible thing to do.

I must’ve slept roughly four hours on a king sized bed in Utah. The sounds outside of North Hollywood at night, that hostel in San Francisco, giving me reason to keep my doors bolted; that one night at the Greyhound I was forced to spend, hiding from the random screamers that swung fists at invisible opponents, masked beneath dimmed street lights.

But damned before I leave without touching my plate, stuff the remains into my satchel, and hand them out to the starving hungry folk.

But damned before I leave people alone to cry after they tell me these things.

But damned before I lay down without first making an effort to express myself, remembering the purpose of this quest, and forfeit my task.

I’ve walked too far, cried too often, and smoked too much to try and pretend these things never happened.

For your patience and your continued support, whomever you may be, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Words could not express the length of my gratitude. Thank you for understanding about the difficulties at hand.

I’m hungry. Going to get some food and try to write again. Figures I’d keep everyone updated as to how things are going.

P.S.
There’s this neat little calzone place nearby the Ramada in Denver, CO. Its by Colfax, called D.P. Dough and frankly its the best calzones I’ve ever had in my life. For about $7, you can get a double-fist sized calzone with garlic stuffed mozzarella fresh off the grill.

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2 Responses to (Interlude) Re: Consistency

  1. dierdre1952 says:

    Please take proper care of yourself, sweet man
    You cannot tell the stories if you are ill treated and fall ill — or worse, dead. Know that folks care for and about you.

  2. marcerickson says:

    One thing to remember when people are telling you their stories – it’s human to become hardened to stories of abuse and thus not give them the attention they deserve.

    Remember they chose to share that with you. I regard that as a gift they give me – and in sharing their pain, hopefully the pain is lessened.

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