Episode 5 – Our Secret Tree House
Reading my posts, I realized that I don’t need to mention what is in the video to to much. In fact, I read one post after watching a video, just to see how it felt and it actual felt very condescending, as if you didn’t get what you were watching. Well, the films are Salvador Dali and the reading isn’t James Joyce, so I shall only add in the post, what is unseen. Plus, posts will be more frequent, as I have completed the another round, of the funnest standardized test that I know, the LSATS. Yes, my beloved followers, Ira wants a law degree, mainly to dress the part, and by the part, I mean the early 19th century English counterpart, with the white wigs and the black gowns and such. I am in it for the regality, the name on the door and the right to point at accused person and gesticulate brashly and upwardly.
My night in Aberdeen was wonderful. Couchsurfer Stephen met me at his place, a wonderful little apartment, that he had wallpapered with his favourite movie posters. I lover of the theatre and film, I knew we would have no problem making conversation. After a bit of a walk around Aberdeen’s core (one street with a few stores on it selling fun things like cowboy hats and skateboards, all, in one store), I was whisked away in Stephen’s auto to meet his friend’s a the local hangout: Denny’s. I had already eaten at The Lighthouse Drive Inn, so what could one more round of fast food do to my system that had not already been accomplished many times before from all the burgers I had eaten during that stint from when I was about 10 to about 25, and I was thought of myself as somewhat as a hamburger connoisseur. After a big ass hung off meat held prison by a glob of mayo and ridiculously thick kaiser, it was off to the bar.
I stared at Stephen, waiting for the question. One doesn’t usually say question before they ask a question, unless they are not sure if they should ask it. The air felt a tad tenser.
“You’re queerer than a three dollar bill, aren’t you?”
I shook my head, no. I asked him where he got that assumption from, brushing a wisp of flush off my skinny jeans with my fingerless purple striped gloves. He told me that in Aberdeen if you were into theatre, like me, you were automatically gay and if you played sports, you were straight. I was amazed by how stereotypical this notion of America was actually playing out in real time. Men were still masogynstic pigs who enjoyed red meat and shooting guns into the air and women were still men’s good little wives and nurses. Stepping into the sticky black and white, red lit bar, I realized I was in Moe’s Tavern, Aberdeen style. A drunk sat at the bar, burping to himself and laughing at his own sorry state that he could see in the metallic faucet in the sink at the back of the bar. A woman, in leopard print, too old and far gone to realize her kids have all grown up and moved to the fringes of the landmass to keep their distances, sings a wordless, flat tune. The bar and streets reminded me that this town once had it, the children, the future, the lumber, the jobs, the cash, but all wood things come to an end, and with the last cut, came the first cut, but not of bark or branch or rings anymore, but of livelihoods, of a good reason to stay sober on a Wednesday. But I was in good spirits, I think, cuz like those kids who saw the impending doom and scurried away, I saw it too, in Vancouver and that’s why I was where I was right now. In a bar, drinking Red Stripe, attempting to play shuffleboard, proud not because I had good accuracy or aim, just that I did not once hurl the disk off the table, setting off a chain of events, that would end in a Dukes of Hazard style car chase, minus the voice overs and freeze frames.
The next morning was a sloooooow start. Sweet things always throws me off course, kind of like dogs and tennis balls. So Stephen inviting me to his favourite bakery to meet a friend who may want to fund my future film travel endeavours was double sweet. I don’t remember exactly what I munched on, but I remember the coffee was great and something I needed on this grey sky morning. After a bit of regaling with Stephen’s friends, I bid adieu, and started to pedal Klalita onwards to South Bend.
To answer Shakespeare, in a name, sometimes, there is letdown. A town named Cosmopolis sounded pretty cool. And yet, much to my chagrin, it was not. Not even remotely cool. And in fact, bad things had happened in this George Jetson theme named town. An act between the Natives and the Americans was signed here, with, to no surprise, forcing the Natives off their land, onto reserves, into reform schools later on. Rather than to create a memorial for this dark moment in American history, they commemorate it. It’s almost like that uncle that everyone hated, and yet in his eulogy, he sounds like a saint…or more closely related to jaded Americana, Vietnam. And even the commemoration is all wrong. Not a statue, not an imposing arch or a colonnaded structure or building….no…a depiction of the event and an explanation are painted on the side of rusting water tower, which looks like was commissioned to an elementary school to complete. Thumbs up, major, major thumbs up to Miss Wilma’s art class.
Through mountain passes, forests, nothingness, and a lot of deep, self motivated conversations, I finally made it to Raymond/South Bend, home of the world famous carriage museum and resident artist who makes wild life 2d statues in sheet metal and places them all around town, to scare the shit out of you. Worse than lawn gnomes…possible yes. At least gnomes are 3D and aren’t just shadow representations of themselves. Animal shadows are just creepy, especially when they pop up in the middle of meridian on unsuspecting drivers or cyclists. Not cool sheet metal moose, not cool at all.
By the time I rolled into town the rain had drenched my soul, my clothing and my feet. The streets were empty. People huddled in their homes and chimneys belted out black and white smoke signals, screaming to the skies to stop, stop, please stop, to no avail. A small cafe on the corner, with frilly red and white checkered curtains looked inviting. I entered, looking like a drenched animal. They were closing, but after a second look at me, they opened the kitchen up and placed me beside a large, industrial strength heater. Feeling in my feet slowly returned. I ate quickly and without taste. I paid with cash and merciful thank yous. I may have even bowed once.
And there I was. A new couch surfing experience. A film screening for the locals. An odd lady screeching at me, claiming to want to be Jewish and how was she suppose to get in my “club”. A regular day on the road.