Exactly where I was before
koleisfail
I got back home last Tuesday. The first day of our big road trip seems like a distant memory now. The excitement of waiting in the driveway with the rest of my things as Brian came to pick me up, hitting the road whilst it was still dark out, not stopping until we crossed into North Carolina where we had awkward tea/coffee with his parents at the bed and breakfast they were staying at for vacation. Actually spending time in the Smokeys when it was warm enough to camp out. Fucking Kentucky and how I shall never go back again, chased away by stupidity and wild boars. Returning back to our favorite campsite in the Ozark National Forrest. Driving like maniacs again, stopping at an over flow camp lot in Texas and from there driving all night until we finally got to the California desert. The heat didn't even matter, to finally be back in the desert, to drive into Hollywood and get drunk off whiskey the next night. Nights of sleeping in the car, finally making it up to Washington. As we walked in the woods finally hoping that this would be the time when we just stayed in the woods forever, like that happened, but the feeling of thinking it's possible is all worth it I suppose. We got to Yellowstone earlier than expected, spent a week there and in Grand Tetons National Park. Bought bikes in Jackson Hole and decided to take up mountain biking which led to a few days in Utah, etc. Buying baby chicks in Colorado just because we could and they were adorable and the random hippie people we met at the bar there. Apparently according to the 'shroom induced voices of the hippie medicine woman, I am a bear. Good to know I guess. A frustrated sweep back through Carlsbad. A night camping in Roswell. What felt like a mad rush through Texas on I-20 on the way home as we began to get frustrated with each other and picking up the dachshund puppy at a gas station. And just like that we were home again. It was nice though, not having the pressures of a relationship on a road trip, whenever I got frustrated with him, just thinking "well that's his girlfriend's problem now". Part of me wishes that the minute that Brian mentioned a road trip back in June, that I wouldn't have blown Beast off because of it, because I'll always marvel at the hobo adventures we could have had. But I'll never know now. Though the whole "free hotel breakfast" development though was nice, it never does say that you have to stay there to get the free breakfast.

I didn't know what to do when I arrived back. I had Brian drop me off in a grocery store parking lot with the few light weight camping essentials that I could carry on my back as the only things I took with me. I rode my bike around everywhere, until Vee insisted that I crash at her place. That was awkward, I slept in her sister's bedroom, I didn't feel right sleeping on the bed, besides her sister would wonder why her bed smelled like sweaty man. So I slept on the floor and threw a blanket over me. The next morning I left and spent the next day just riding my bike around and slept in the woods, at first I was a bit nervous to be sleeping in the woods alone but after awhile I drifted off to sleep. Beast and I used to talk about being hobos and I now agree that the most difficult part is boredom, figuring out what you will do with your day when you have so much free time. The next day I got my car from my mother's house, I figured being a car hobo would be much easier, since one can always park in a Walmart parking lot and there's less to worry about by sleeping in a car than the woods. This worked for a night. My family found out I was back home so I ended up crashing with them. My sister came down for the weekend, it was my grandma's birthday, everyone was around.

And then this evening, I sit here and realize, that I'm doing the same thing I was before. As if the road trip was just a brief interruption and nothing has changed. For fuck's sake something has got to change, there are no magical epiphanies out there other than the fact that I need to grow up and get my shit together. I don't have money to piss away on road trips that are just a distraction, no matter how much of a wonderful distraction they may be. I just need, I know what I need, I just need to find my "partner in crime" so to speak, someone who would live in the woods with me or do whatever just because we could and nothing else matters. I don't need someone to be madly in love with, just someone who gets me, who I don't fight with over useless things because we know the useless things don't matter. If I ever do get married someday, I want to marry someone who is my best friend, not someone I think I'm madly in love with, because all that love ultimately does is make us hurt each other. If I ever find that person want to propose to them at a plasma donation center, my sister finds this idea offensive as if it takes away the "sacredness" of marriage or whatever, I disagree. The only point of people's weddings and fancy proposals is to impress others, most people are too stupid to realize that love and money shouldn't be tied together. We're all too worried about power or being better than others to just live. I go back to work on Wednesday and I'm excited about going back, as I've said before, I love my job, the pay is just shit.

7 Hours!
koleisfail
Mom didn't handle things to well when I told her, said I should find a new place to live when I get home. I expected that as a worst-case scenario. Well hell, at least Bekka's back in town. I can always couch surf with her while starting a musical revolution with Vee as our manager. Work two jobs, live in total shit holes of places that reek of body odor and cigarette smoke, live off of ramen and drink cheap alcohol every weekend until the world around me falls into oblivion. Most people would say this is their worst nightmare. I would say it's everything I could have ever hoped for.
My grandma handled things much better. I love old people, their perspective on life is much more laid back. She told me just to be safe and told me how when she was my age she was already married and with a kid and wished she could've done something crazy like my road trip adventures when she was around my age. I see old friends getting married, starting families etc., but don't they know they're losing out on some of the best times of their lives by settling down? Things may end up sucking at times, but in the end, the best way to live is with no regrets. I will look back on this time in my life and never say "how fucking stupid of me I should have been working, saving for retirement, etc.", no I'll say "I'm glad I let myself go on such adventures, those were the best times". Hell I don't even know if I want children some day, they just annoy me. Sure the idea of passing down your DNA so a piece of you will live on forever (should your children and their children etc continue to procreate) is a bit intriguing, but I suppose I'm too selfish. It's too annoying when the dog tries to wake me up in the middle of the night to get let out to use the bathroom, so why would I ever want a kid? Maybe someday my opinions will change, but not any damn time soon. The one good thing about not being a heterosexual is never having to worry about unwanted babies.
7 Hours until Brian comes to pick me up, we packed the rest of the car this evening and everything is all set. Fucker even bought flares and the backseat is full of food. Good thing I purposefully got little sleep last night. Better sleep now while I still can.

Closer than when I said so close last time!
koleisfail
31 hours to go! Or maybe only 30, depending on how early we decide to leave. I love how "let's leave at 3am on Tuesday" turns into "let's call out of work on Monday and leave Monday morning". I can't wait for Brian to call on the way and say he's not coming in and then "wait, let me hand the phone over to Kole, he's not coming in either". I still haven't told my family, I believe I will tomorrow. It could go surprisingly well though, mom's been sort of off my case lately about the whole accounting job thing, asking me if I want to go back to school so I can end up doing something I actually enjoy with my life. She'll be more pissed that I didn't say anything earlier. One final car packing run through tomorrow and trying to make sure I have everything and then hitting the road. Damn will it be hard to sleep tomorrow night. If I remember correctly, I actually slept pretty well the night before we set off on our last trip, I had been up since 2:30am the day before though. I can't wait to just be out sleeping in the tent or my hammock, living off of car hotpot noodles, completely forgetting what day it is and all the wonderful glorious road-trip related things that I could go on about forever.

So close!
koleisfail
It never ceases to amaze me just exactly how much my mind ties the events and memories of my life to the music I was listening to at the time. I can put a CD that I listened to a lot during an eventful or traumatic time and experience the same feelings all over again, as if it had just happened. Today while I was at work I got a text from Brian saying he left something on my car. I went to check it out on my lunch break to find a note written on the back of an old receipt in a clear plastic bag under my windshield wipers saying that what I would find on my car would help me prepare for the trip and the miles ahead. Hung on my side view mirror was a bag and it had another bag in it, inside the second bag was "Up From Below" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. On the way home, I put that CD in and was flooded with memories and good feelings from last winter. Getting up at the ass crack of dawn, earlier than that even, to go into work when it was freezing out and sleeping for 14 hours or more on off days. The day we drove down to Georgia to get the bus and found Sadie on the side of the road and how Brian made her a necklace so she could be a real hippie dog. Digging around in the giant bins at the goodwill clearance center. The way hot gas station coffee tasted on a cold morning. Going to the beach one morning to this abandoned part and watching the sunrise in the distance. Hopping the giant fence to walk around the lake and then me getting stuck on the fence on the way back and ripping the shorts I was wearing. Calling in "sick" to explore abandoned places. The Christmas tree that sat in a ten gallon bucket, topped with a paper bag where Vee drew a star and wrote "you tried". Silknogg with rum. All good times which I hope to never forget. And now I'm perhaps more excited than ever, I say perhaps because I will just keep getting more and more excited as the time to leave for the road trip approaches. Good thing we're leaving at around 3am or so when we do head out, I couldn't imagine just sitting around waiting to leave or trying to get a full night of sleep. It'll be like getting up to go in for a truck at work, but we'll pass right by and won't look back, well no, I totally want to leave a note on the door.

Finished sewing all the patches on my jacket, I can't wait to add more, it's like a trophy of all my traveling adventures. Called and got the back country permit for Yellowstone all sorted out, that woman was so damn confused about all the locations we had listed. "Your second option is a three hour drive from the first one you wrote down, did you know that? Oh and (*insert alphanumeric code here) is only accessible by boat." I just explained to her that we want a site sort of near water and not close to other sites, she worked with that and now we've got 2 nights at each of the two sites reserved and if we want to stay longer, hopefully they'll have something opened for additional time if the need arises, but hell we always figure something out no matter what.

5 Days!
koleisfail
Less than a week to go! Getting the remainder of everything together and all that. Went on a ramen run to Walmart this morning. I can't remember the last time I accidentally spent more than an hour at the Walmart just walking around, haven't done that since back when I used to go there to play hide and seek with Jon Peters. If I ever think about what I miss the most about 2009, it's that, doing crazy shit just to kill the time because we never realized there was so much else in the world around us.

This evening I was mowing the lawn after work, the sun started to slowly go down, I could feel the summer heat and hear the crickets around and I realized how much I missed that feeling. That feeling of stopping to watch the world around you, sitting and watching the sky go from daytime to night as your eyes adjust accordingly. I associate happiness with this feeling that makes me just want to stop in my tracks and live in that moment right there and hold onto it as long as I can. I just sit there and relish in it. I felt that same way making music with Vee in her driveway the other night. That feeling where anything can happen and you know that no matter what does things will just work out. I remember feeling that way after hanging out with Bekka one day and sitting on that dingy old couch in the trailer with her, writing on a legal pad as her then man friend with no teeth gummed a can of off-brand spaghetti-o's. I would like to find a way to get that feeling more often and hold onto it damn near forever. That's what this upcoming road trip is about for me I suppose. When it's all said and done though, I just need to go somewhere, start over with nothing, I'll either make it or fuck up and run home in defeat, my fingers crossed for the actual making it outcome. I just feel like I'm aimless and searching for something, what I am searching for I won't know until I come across it. Because do any of us really know what the fuck we're doing anyway? No, we just do what seems right at that moment and hope we won't have to regret it later.

Totally Awesome Shit
koleisfail
We're down to the single digit countdown of the road trip. I really need to finalize with all this packing business, get things together more and then see what I actually do or don't need. Sew the rest of the patches on my jacket, fix my back pack, get space bags, find my headlamp or get a new one. In a way I suppose I felt a bit more prepared last time, given I was living with Brian and I was basically living out of my car to begin with at the time.
The timing's excellent though, since I've been feeling too damn restless lately for my own good. I've had many of those moments, where I just sit around and ask myself "what am I doing? I should be doing something right now; living more". It's to that point where I welcome alcohol intoxication as a distraction, though we all know that's a horrible idea for anyone. I don't want to have to add alcohol in the mix to make things interesting. I want to go out again and do all the things I've talked about doing, going through whatever means possible to achieve those things. I need some sort of a change to defer from my current state, good thing it's quickly approaching. But for fuck's sake though, nothing is more beautiful then hopping brick fences and walking through large old cemeteries at night, not giving a damn about anything else, just enjoying the quiet peacefulness. There's some people who hate cemeteries because it makes them confront a fear of death that they'd rather just push away. The only fear I have is someday stopping and thinking "well, I've never done that, but now it's too late", so I want to get out and do everything I want while I can. There's no point wasting time to wallow in things while you could be going out to do something else.

The other day I was thinking of how I missed making random music with people like how I would make music with Bekka or Beast. How I missed creating random music that didn't sound perfect, but beautiful in its own way, throwing my own styles of music making in the mix. I was over at Vee's tonight hanging with her and her dad, I hope if I ever decide to have kids someday that I'd be as cool as Vee's dad; when Vee and I got to talking about how Bekka and I wrote that song "Totally Random Shit" last fall. We wrote it in that dirty trailer that Bekka used to live in and then Vee stopped by for a few minutes and heard it. Bekka and I tried to start a band again and Vee was our manager. So Vee pulls out this cheap little guitar and with the help of internet apps I manage to tune it and start playing "Totally Random Shit" and then "Totally Awesome Shit" whilst Vee excitedly discusses how as my manager, she thinks the song sounds great and we start writing down all this stuff to do when it comes to actually starting up a band. And I got that feeling again, that I haven't felt since last fall, where all I want to do is make my shitty music and sleep on floors and just write all day while I live in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by friends/band mates as broke as myself. My dream of a musical revolution shall never truly die.

12 Days!
koleisfail
By the time I post this it will probably already be the 10th, with that in mind: 12 DAYS! I'm getting pretty damn excited. Ordered that 12v hot pot for the car and a rain fly for my hammock after I got off work today. Stocked up on some trunk tuna earlier in the week. Apparently the two essential road trip foods are pickles and corn nuts. "If I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep, I'm eating corn nuts, so then you'll wake up too." I say this because I apparently eat corn nuts very loudly, but how can you not? I can't forget poptarts though, "anxiety poptarts". Earlier today we sent in reservations for back country camping when we get to Yellowstone in August, randomly picking sites from the map on the computer so we have several options in case a lot of the sites are full. They'll probably get the paperwork and decide we don't care where the hell we're camping as long as we have a spot and just give us whatever, works for me.

Fourth of July was better than last year. Brian threw a party at his house, I got there after work to find everyone out back by the fire. I didn't stand outside long but when I walked in, I was told that the guy I met at the last party, the creepy one who I accidentally went on a date with, who I just wanted to fuck off and leave me alone, showed up. Alex invited him, just to be a bitch. She came up to me and was all hugging me and whining "I invited him just for you Kole." Are you fucking kidding me? Before he came back in the house I had a few shots with everyone; it's pretty funny though a party at Brian's is basically like a Target work party, people were even wearing their name tags and switching them out. Anyhow, so I hid behind Jerron's hair when the guy did come in the house which worked pretty well. Then somehow Brian thought it would be funny to pour water down the front/back of my shirt, so then we went around the house wrestling, I poured water on his head, he threw a cup of mountain dew in my eyes. There are pictures on the internet. I'm sure everyone was wondering what the fuck we were doing, but it was fun. When I've been drinking I tend to enjoy inflicting some of physical distress on my body, like wrestling or trying to jump over things I could never clear even sober and then busting my ass. Brian ended up vomiting in the shower and then falling asleep, so he totally missed it when Keith actually did show up.
"Cunt from work, who is that?" Victor asked after he had gone through my phone contacts. Poor guy had no idea that "cunt from work" is his roommate. His roommate who is apparently fucking her own cousin.


Things have been really fun lately, walking around graveyards even if they're not as creepy as they used to be. (Why in the hell do people keep building housing developments boarding cemeteries or other 'haunted' places?) Drinks at the bar with free shots of the cheapest, strongest alcohols. Going to the bookstore while I still feel a bit buzzed, thumbing through books trying to get travel ideas and plan more. Playing half though out pranks, that still get executed beautifully. And work has been well, work, I bust my ass because other people don't and they know I actually give a shit about my job and slack off because they know I'll pick up the slack without bitching about it later. I've always had this urge to go out and get things done because I feel shitty if they're not finished. If only this motivation would apply itself to every facet of my life then I'd be good. I like the fact that I actually feel sore/tired after a long day of work. The soreness can be mostly blamed on dehydration though. As soon as I chug a few glasses of water, I feel fine again. I'll literally fucking climb ladders so fast pushing myself to get things done, that I'll stand there panting and for what? Well not much money that's for sure.

Pickles!
koleisfail
Got a giant pickle with a note attached to it awkwardly handed to me at work. "Um some short guy told me to give you this." Road trip pickles!
Saw one of my favorite dogs today and fed her french fries while sitting outside drinking some beer.
Hot pots running off car cigarette lighters to make cups of noodles on the road, I love this idea, almost as good as trunk tuna. "Oh we'll be gone for sometime between 4 weeks and 5 months". Looking over the giant map and saying "we can go here, and here too and oh don't forget about there".
Pretty good day, well technically yesterday since it's after 2 am. I have less than three weeks to try and get back on a normal sleep schedule. Going to wake up and fall asleep by the sun rise/set, I can think of no better way to live.

'Road head', that's a band, right?
koleisfail
The other night I found myself doing one of my favorite past times- drinking at Vee's house with her, her dad and Brian. After we played Cards Against Humanity, we were sitting there eating 28th day of the month cake when I was talking to Vee about that beard trimmer mohawk she gave me once. "I have real hair trimmers now and I'm giving you a real mohawk!" Brian kept on telling me not to let her cut my hair any shorter, yet then he comes up, takes the guard off and shaves a chunk off the side of my head. So now I have a badass mohawk. I didn't know how I felt about it at first, but I like it.
I'm actually working on trying to plan the road trip out a bit better, I'm even google mapping this shit. Though given at first it maybe a bit hard to go only shorter 4 hour or so stretches at first, because that "let's hit the west coast already and keep going" feeling can hit pretty hard once you hop in the car. However there are a lot of mountains, caverns and other amazing things I don't want to skip over on the way and we'll have plenty of time when we get there. Though it will obviously be much hotter this time, I look forward to going back to the desert, given I've always found beauty in abandoned, barren-type things. Sleeping under a rock on a little desert mountain hearing coyotes howl nearby, I can't think of any way better to spend the night.
Work's been pretty good, I can use the machinery without running into anything too badly. Kole however is ready to leave before all that "back to school" mess starts. Kole sometimes misses referring to himself in third person.

The D.A.C.
koleisfail
"When you don’t talk to begin with and everything starts to turn to shit it’s the meanings behind all the silence and things that aren’t said that starts to get to you. "
-That's from a book I started writing in 2010 that chronicles all the crazy stories behind the fake family tree, "the incestry", that we created back when I was in high school. I had like seven children or something, I guess you could say I was sort of like a man whore. However I somehow ended up turning it into one long book (that will take actually four books to write, should I ever go through with it) with a semi-believable plot line (I had to work around how I would manipulate the family's aging and time in general by basically making all the characters immortal). The point is, I started reading it last night and although the intro is kind of shit and I really need to work on that part, it's actually a pretty decent book I think. I somehow added a lot of insightful things about family and the dynamics of dysfunctional romantic relationships and like always sort of ended up predicting how my own future relationships would play out in real life. And for the first time in awhile I'm really excited about writing something since the basis of the story itself brings back all these kind of nice nostalgic feelings of a time when I was generally surrounded by people who also believed in making up things so crazy, they were too crazy not to be true. I'll never forget that list I used to have of people who would sleep with me if I only had a month left to live back in those days, it was a pretty nice list too I mean I had 20+ people sign it, it would be easy now for one to make such a list with the internet and all, but I had to base it off a high school courtyard of people at the time, so given my options it was a pretty nice list.

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