I was ready to leave, I gave Kayla a tight hug, and started walking to dumpster some board for a sign, and then I remembered that I left my phone charger at Greg's appartment. I won't see Kayla again before I leave, as I'm leaving today and she's got to go home today, back to Garrettsville. Greg will be back in a few hours so I can get my stuff, THEN leave. So for now I'm hanging out at the library, and I smell really bad, because I've been sweating due to the relative humidity. Also because I've been wearing the same clothes for days. ANYWAY, I have my pack with me, so allow me to transcribe my journal. I think I'll just transcribe it in full, for shits and giggles.
the day i bought the jounral... Mc Pherson, Kansas
June 10th, 2006, 5PM
"Five minutes per user per day;" so apparently I can't get back online on one of the three Windows 98 200 Mhz machines to continue blogging. I'm sitting at a round table which sieats four, and the man next to me is perhaps about 75. He's doing a word find in one of those little journal rags you get at the grocery store. The library is a small one-room building, and I'm the only person here under 40 - out of about the six of us quietly milling about or reading. The town itself is small and quiet - with a beautiful park sided by glowing red fire trucks and a pre-school - but modern. I see and experience and more and more of that as I travel: interesting and functional idiosyncrasies - as a bum with a cell phone, in a small town with a Wal-Mart and Braums, with police fully modernized but missing the hardoned bent of racial prejudice and class war. I got a ride from a Mennonite truck mechanic with an 8th-grade Biblical education. So far, the trip has been really fantastic and lots of fun, with a large dose of hard work and a bit of frustration and pain. [This brings to mind the frustrating incident on my first night out where I attempted to set up my tent in the settling dusk in no less than a SWARM of mosquitoes.] Word. 5:20 PM
June 11th, 2006, 1:31 PM
"Well fuck me in the ass runnin' backwards!" - Tom the drunken hick. I just got a ride from two drinking smoking hicks somewhere in between McPherson and Lindsborg. They pulled over, "Where you headed!?" shouted Tom, slurring and grinning with a beer in his hand. "The next town north of here, I can't remember the name...-" "Lindsborg!" "Yeah." He thought a bit, consulted drunk and dumb Dave, then this: "Aww fuck it! Get in!" And on we wen. Those guys were fun. Tom's a biker and ex-hippie, and he looks just like Beetlejuice [Michael Keaton!]. But scratch the bag about Dave: he's a good, smart (and coherent to boot) guy. God, the people here are amazing. I'm listening to a song here in the music festival ... or I was, it's over. It went like this, though: oh hell, it doesn't matter, I can't remember anyway. But several of these songs are about travelling and Teas, and that's good enough for me. Just one thing: the Good ol' Boy hick image is some measure of bullshit and earnest ignorance. Smalltown doesn't mean stupid, and this confirms a suspicion first raised with discussion I had stumbled across concerning radical peasentry (in 18th century United States, in 20th century central * South America, in Russia and the Balkan states at the turn of the last century) and their very intuitive uprisings against tyranny and misery in various guises. Anyway, never under-estimate the country folk, 'cause they're on top of shit, just like you [comrades?] or me [..?], they're just more relaxed [or fatalist..] about it. The Vieth Minh were mostly peasants, you know. Makhno's army, the slave uprisings since the earliest times in the US; Western ship mutinies -
Let's hear it for the workin' man...
and nothin' keeps a good man down,
n' he's the man that makes the world go 'round,
so let's give him a hand ... let's hear it for the workin' man ...
just a song playing now: case-in-point. Everyone's got their hang-ups, and these Kansans [sp?] aren't without theirs: a continuous but earnest dedication to irrational, unempirical religion; as well as probably continuous unwitting sex [gender*] bias and racism. But, like pretty much everyone, they know what they want and have the capacity to be very intelligent. :) [My meaning was that they are more than capable of understanding theirs and others' social conditions, class relations, etc.] I hear the cops in McPherson are real pigs, front-line class-war ass-heads. The area south of there, around Hesston and such, is full of Mennonites - I got a ride from one! [Redundant; apologies.] - and apparently Mormons and Jehova's Witnesses. Lindsborg itself, I heard from Dave and an old lady in the park back in McPherson that this town is a Swedish community of Orthodox somethingorother religious folks who left Russia (presumably after the October Revolution sometime) to escape religious persecution. They came to Kansas specifically to keep groing the same kind of wheat as they had back in the Ukraine or wherever. Just a bit of interesting history that I've picked up [and likely distorted beyond all imagination] mixed in with the personal stories, ideas and religions. Tom's from Chicago. "I done every sorta' drug, drank, smoked, wore my hair long [?], eckcedra..." Dave "went to the machine shop right out of school, went into marriage while still in the shop, left marriage, y'know ... n' yeah." He was also in the Army. There's a lot of families and trees here, and probably more than a few family trees [what the fuck am I talking about here?]. Lots of elderly and little kids. Not but a few teenagers. I'm propped up against a tree, there's cute harmless little and huge ants crawling on me. The sun is shining through thick old evergreens, it's about 80 degrees here, and smells like fudge and lemonade and freshly cut grass. The next band is getting ready to play. I'm going to go find a place to piss. Girls! [I never spoke to one.] more later. 3:55PM
June 14th, 2006, 10:28PM
I'm in a Wal-Mart parking lot with some radical [not quite, I found quickly] hippy chicks (April and Emma), three hippy dudes (Joe, Lotus, and some other guy whose name I forgot [John]), and a 40 year-old hobo named Kevin, whom which resembles the blonde guy from Dumb And Dumber to an extraordinary degree. It's really fucking windy, so I'm sitting against the car to stifle it. I was in Salina, Kansas for two days, no: three! I spent yesterday at the library, reading and relaxing as the day before that I had been walking for about ten hours from Lindsborg to Salina. I ran out of water, got stopped and searched by pigs (for dope, I consented), and finally got a ride into Salina by Rick the former hitch-hiker. Once there I made my way to the library and thence to a park by a train depot, where I slept - very comfortably, I might add, with a good deep sleep and not one interruption. Today I mozied down to I70 , met Kevin ...
More later. People are pissed and want to use the computer.