If you move around this old wide world enough you can almost feel the movement on the curve of the globe. Get the feel of being that little yellow man on a map dragged and placed, trusting in gravity to hold you in place, while the curve of the sky and the bend of the horizon conspires to allow a great floating away to happen. Standing in Montana, the horizon so vast that the camber of the earth bent itself around me, hammering me down into a point in space and time, folding me into the mud and the grass, the deep verdant history of the land I had fallen upon. The grass had become golden foil, beaten paper thin under the sun and the cruel new climate: turned into raffia and kindling, dry to the touch, wizened and ripe for the spark to rip through, and all around me was a feeling as if I was at right angles to the Earth itself, as if I had been plucked from Tokyo and plunked smack-dab in the middle of a prairie. All the tofu-sellers, the yakult ladies on the bicycles, the children with their leather backpacks running laughing down ___Dori, the dog pushers and the duck-waddling groups of kawaii old ladies with their candies and their umbrellas on sunny days, all the volcanos with their steamy puddles of bubbling mud and all the gentle enclosing hills of Chiba countryside, let go and bounced me dizzyingly into the waving fields of grain and grass, antelope and buffalo, snakes and prairie dogs. From an angle of 90 degrees east, to 90 degrees west, polar opposite. Vast and empty. Vast and blue. Vast and endless ground with nothing to anchor, nothing to contain, nothing to hold, nothing to enclose. No obachan, no schoolkids, no smiling faces selling perfect daikon. Nothing. The buildings that loomed, the rabbit hutch apartments, the trains and the streets, the packed closeness of Tokyo and my life that had been reduced to four walls and barred windows, to a leash that extended only as far as Seiyu and which sprung me back for the next fist in the face or kick to the legs, or eye bursting slap. A human yoyo.
I thought of the old grey city I started off in, with my duffle coat that smelt of wet dog, though I never had a dog around it, of the streets that cold has seeped into, of the rain and the shine of yellow lights on drizzle soaked streets, and how the light leaves at 4pm, running off to some warmer, kinder, brighter more interesting part of the world. I thought of the museums and the art galleries, the boyfriend that was a scuzzy furtive man with a secretive disposition and a plastic gun, and the bars and the clubs, the futile solidness of it all. Sometimes places becomes so set in their ways, so old in their bones, so unyielding that nothing can melt it away. To run. To run and escape. From the dark and the cold and the smack and the little men with their little accents and their little hands that paw and hold. From the golden dawners. From the shysters and charletans, ‘lets get sky-clad baby!’ who pretend they are pagan in order to get pretty goth girls to screw ’em to the business suited sadists who think a slap is as good as a kiss. I ran. I ran as fast as I could, as far as I could get. Somehow the cold of New York is different. It thaws out to a humid hot sticky water hydrant soaked party of a summer, it’s museums are alive, it’s galleries are bustling. It’s drugs are somehow more stylish. A furtive fold of number 3 heroin ready to be smoked, is just inferior to the Ferrari New York shit, in the glassine bags with their stamps. Even the drug dealers are artists. Con artists maybe. Homeopathic smack, occasionally. But it is a danger we all run when we run with the devil. New York suited me fine.
There are a million splintered golden painted realities that separate my whey faced Aussie Jazz player from that point in Montana. There are degrees of position, degrees of separation, degrees of freedom and shame, of Being and Existing. I don’t believe Montana and The Village exist in the same continuum. If someone was to drive from New York City to Helena, Montana, they would have to go through at least a dozen changes: Tires, spirit, attitude, longitude and latitude; oil and gasoline, accent and belonging…artistic temperament, expectation and education, taste and clothing. Cellular level shit. Real heavy changes. There are no rock and roll suicides in Montana, it breeds a different kind of rebellion. I don’t think the cow’s mind if you have fallen into a ditch in a stupor. Stumble down a cellar hatch in Manhatten and you might ring some bells. The mountain dew movers and shakers scrub walls instead of painting masterpieces. I am not saying that in NYC everyone uses their vices as fuel, just a lot more often. No, anyone that wants to make it in the deep midwestern heartlands had better drift to the edges to find their edge: go to New York, head to LA, run to Seattle or San Francisco. Opportunity has not drifted to the middle in the same kind of concentration.
My relative position in this earth always comes along with sea changes. There are lightyears between here and southern Oregon, lightyears and about an eight hour drive. My relative position to humanity, to safety, proximity to possibility and life itself is insurmountable vast. There is no going back now. Once I left, the screen door slam, the hugs goodbye, the kiss on the cheek, the refusal to accept maliciousness, the choice to let me go and pick up that bottle. The insanity and the sadness: sometimes the greatest pain can come through continued life for a person past the point they are able to cope with life. Buy freedom in increments of withstanding danger and pain, purchase a future. If I knew how many people I love it would mean shedding like an old drum skin, like water off a city street into a storm drain, I would not have started out down the road. The road demands a certain discipline, as does survival at these higher frequencies. Without discipline there is nothing but fatal lethargy, certain disaster, and gallons of cheap wine. Without discipline there is no art. Without a sense of place in this world there is no anchor. Trust me, I have flitted from this continent to that, this country to another, never settling, never stopping, always moving. Tricked into not moving my reality around, tricked by a sudden realization that I might be able to run forever, run like my legs never tire, run like I have no need of a house, nor a bed, not money nor success, not anything except a good fire and a meal every few days, I might not need more. I might not even want more, but it ain’t just me in this reality. What a small Boy can handle as long as his anchor, his Tree is there, is not what a young man needs. So come hell or high water, come fires or storms, here I am. Finally the brakes are on. I thought i had made a choice to jump when I left Tokyo, and to a certain extent that is true, but the real jump, the real jolt to the system was choosing to stay here in San Francisco. To accept moving into a home. I got the jitters slammed into me when they threatened me with jail for running from my own murder. I got so scared, I got so outraged that I started running and never stopped. I got so scared that a house I could be found at, an address i lived at, a place I stopped in for more than a few days, seemed like an outrageously foolish proposition.
I am not comfortable staying still. I would rather you could find me dragging myself to a new location, to fresh co ordinates to a different vibration. I would rather I was there in Montana one day and in Minnesota the next. Oregon in December. California in July. I would rather not know where I was so I could not tell tales on myself. I would rather keep running. I am getting used to this place on the globe, to where my feet are in relation to my triangle of weed shop and trader Joes and the sweet little park which isn’t golden gate, but is good enough for me. It is making me lazy with my safety. It is making me too comfortable and placid. My face is too familiar. All I can do is hope that San Francisco has no interest in causing me trouble so long as I bide my time quietly, but even that is looking unlikely.
I have, quite simply, had enough of the bullshit, the demands of society upon me, I have had enough of the rules and regulations, the demands and expectations. I have had enough of the checks three times a day. I have had enough of people demanding I am nice. I have had enough of being told what to feel and spoken over like I don’t exist. I have had enough. I have had enough of this housing game. They won’t find me anywhere to go. It is all a mirage of assistance. I am being lullabied with fairytales of what I need being given to me, while I float away on a desperation kick to help my Boy. I need to succeed and purchase the ability to stop running and once I am not needed I need to run again. I need to run and run and run and hide and run some more until every motherfucker that tried to kill me or put me in jail for refusing to die is curled up in a ball and saying my name in hushed tones reserved for those who should not be alive and yet breathe.
If you want me you can find me under a street lamp, in the shadows of a doorway, talking to the birds, and planning my escape. If you want me you can find me somewhere between the Tenderloin and Haight.
….and the moon has disappeared beneath a wildfire haze