Segregation in language

So I have been working in the US for several months.

As an outsider, I think the treatment of stranger/immigrant in USA is somehow peculiar. I feel that when you’re an immigrant here and you possess none WASP traits, you will never be a part of this nation. After 20 years in a country in an age of planes, Internet, global trades, you are for sure a new citizen of that nation. There is no way you can relate anymore to your country. I have been away from my home city for more or less 5 years and it doesn’t feel like home anymore. Things, stuff, buildings, stores, trends, people move at a uncontrollable pace.

I think that you can loose your identity even quicker in cities, but more on that later.

I once read you know when you immigrated to a new country when the commoner of your native country asks you where you’re from. Then you live in that weird place where you don’t belong anywhere.

I feel that on a daily basis, it’s part of my life now. Impossible to explain to friends. It’s the price to pay to be away, travel.

Back to America, I met Mexicans that have been here for 15 years and are still Mexicans. For me it’s a non-sense, maybe I have been in an inclusive society all my life.

Black people, Jesus, some of them have been longer in the country than what they call a pure race American.

At some point, with the riots, protest, King, the Black Panthers, they had to do something about it. Instead, they put the separation in the mainstream language, Afro-Americans.

A testimony through time

Have you ever had the chance to be molded through time by someone else?

Anything really.

An ever fascinating thing for me in this life is the legacy I would leave when my time comes. I always wondered what will remain through time of me. And bare with me, I’m not looking to get something.

It took me a while to write down these exactly for this reason. I don’t wish to leave remains and especially easy remains like a blog.

Life is a contradiction plus I don’t care.

The writer wants to be read anyway, by an audience or by their time changed oneself. The true purpose of writing.

Two months ago, I decided with some alcohol in my blood to donate a fair amount of money for a Kickstarter. The band needed money to record their new album. Yesterday, I received a message from one of the members that they were really thankful of the generous donation and that they were ready to give me my price.

I paid myself a personalize song.

Think about the most prestigious talk show you know, everybody have situated themselves getting into the seat of the interviewed. That’s about how I feel.

 

Lore #2: The Runaway

I met that weird dude once he was from my hometown, he decided to live the highest mountains of Canada. Mid 40, I felt like he was crazy enough to be a wanderer just like me. A night when the beer was good and the bar full, I asked him:

“I have a question for you.” (People always feel important when you say stuff like that.)

“When do people stop saying: travel while you’re young, it won’t be possible when you’re old like me. I mean when do they stop associating young with travel, I mean what age do I need to be .”

He said to me:

“They never stop. But at some point they just say you’re crazy.”

What a relief that was.

Always West

The car has been running for a long time. Like a one heavy long time. 2000 klits the first day, 18 hundreds the second. Still beat all my hitch record. Met that guy, from Gatineau he was. A bald eagle and a southern flag on the back, saying “Fuck you” to any black people of this planet. The guy got 3 years, for beating the crap out of couple cops. His friend wasn’t so lucky he went 15 years, for the seven bodies they found in his trunk. Do not ask me how you can fit 7 corpses in a trunk.

A 38 hundreds flying-by pieces of road journey, that is what it takes to go from the buzzy swamp of northern Ontario to the start of the Albertan nightmare, Edmonton. A black stain, in the mighty prairies.

This was it, the big boom, I was there, they say that you can tell an economy by the number of cranes piercing the skyline.  That day 21 of them were standing tall, but that was it. I heard about the Okanagan dream during my three days with the Oilers.

Got sick on wine and jerky, I took a cozy greyhound to reach Calgary and then I saw them. The wall was there. The Rockies do not announce themselves they pop in your vision. When the city has been all you’ve seen for 19 years, you don’t understand what you’re seeing at first, clouds or snow.

Descriptions are useless. I reached Kelowna, life was great met some anarchists and punks. Played guitar and ate a bunch of cherries. My money was running low, but I manage to do my first batch of wine on a vineyard I’ll never forget. I got a bottle of that somewhere that turned bad a half decade ago.

I still remember hurting an old lady from the Sunshine coast, damn I was arrogant and young. But she was special as fuck too. Anyway.

The money was good enough to pay myself a trip to San Francisco.

Spend 10 days there, strolling the streets, saying Hello to strangers, having conversations with people I will never see again, 15 minutes friends. Man when the cigarettes are shared and the eyes are high you can live an adventure everyday. Fucking Frisco.

I met one of the nicest girl there, Michelle, The Beatles wrote the song for her, no kidding look it up. A Colorado bum with a guitar and a leather jacket named Andy, went through Berkeley to find the finest mushrooms.

She told me she never been to the beach, dipped her feet in the ocean. I said: “I crossed a continent to see the Pacific, you live an hour away and you never…”

We took a fog tunnel to a beach (was it Stanton beach!?), visibility -20, 5 people in the daddy’s CRV. The beach was freezing, we put up a tent you would put in a living room for kids waited for the pro-life friend to go to bed and popped the caps.

I remember being in a small depression in the sand surrounded by several dunes, we had that single window to the ocean, the massive Pacific was just pounding and pounding the beach. No doubt I went running first thing soaking the lower part of my pants.

When the mushrooms kicked I was in the sand eyes closed, Andy’s guitar was ringing like a symphony. The liquid dream was going on, full on tie-dye HD. We discussed about life for a while and Michelle fell asleep her heart beating on my side, I fell that night but sleep never came.

I had to borrow money to leave California by plane. This was not the last time I would go to the Bay area. I later found out that Oakland was the home to the craziest black panthers protests, that Berkeley gave birth to Kerouac and Watts and that the Grateful Deads played in that huge park. I would also read a book that would changed my vision on underground culture, Ringolevio, his roaring fingers in the shape of a V for victory stamped on the walls of the Anarchist library of Haight (or was it Ashbury!?).

Once a Woodstock trooper told me how great the 60s were and that it will never be the same. My answer was: “I don’t think we visit the same place.”

I lost my freedom

This is it. This will be the memories. 29 years is ringing hard in my ears.

It’s upsetting to always be the young one in the eyes of the elders, but they never know what they are talking about. I do feel 3 decades on my body and it’s just a sign for what’s to come.

It started about 12 years ago, my friend and I went for a road trip, hitchhiking trip. After the 1000 km mark, when we finally reached a place called the end of the world, I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to live it with my oneself, the wild, the vast untamed uncontrolled Canada.

In my backpack:

  • a sleeping bag
  • 2 tarps
  • Way too much clothes
  • One hand axe (don’t get me started on this I know it was a bad idea)
  • Some food
  • Money (maybe a gran)
  • Rain pants and jacket

Find the mistake here, no tent, of course no tent, tents are useless. God knows it rains in Newfoundland. First night in Nova Scotia taught me a lesson, if you’re going for the tarp setup better grab 100′ of rope too. When it’s pouring in the forest you can’t sleep in between 2 layered tarps.

At least when it’s raining people don’t care too much about the 2 feet of hair bunch up behind your head. In the East, they pick you up. There ain’t no bad people there, 2 murders per year and one of them is a guy that thought it was nice to hang out close to the buck on mating season.

Talking of moose, I learned on that trip that when you pitch (even you’re non-tent) always check the earth for trails. On an island the size of Tennessee with 150,000 moose (yes plural has no “s”), you will probably have your encounter. Mine was ground vibration, noises in the dark, a restless night and a soaked sleeping bag. Money can’t help you with that.

On trips like that you have to meet decent people and you do.

Those three 50 years old that we’re living the Westfalia dreaming and taking shower in any campsite. The lady winked: “Being old isn’t always bad, people throw their thrust at you!”

The two ladies that were cycling the whole province with all the might a 25 years old can have. One was amazingly beautiful. Never saw them again. The paper with their phones (emails!?) got wet and discolored.

I’ll leave what happened to me in Tadoussac for another time, but to put it simply I learned that it was easy. Once the first step is through the door and you expose yourself to the world, the rest is easy.

If you ask me what pushed the 17 years old to do this, I could answer that I was a really stubborn kid. Stubborn with himself, the inside combat was hard at that time. One moment on the side of the road when the wind was good, the first enlightenment of my life, that was it. There were no turning back.

I lost my freedom.