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'Don’t You Love Your Life?’
Lana Sol and Dawn the Doll Discuss Hobo Journalism: 4/3/2022, Denver
“Don’t you love your life? You travel to ten or more states and meet so many good people, like the people here, at this dive bar—we’ve adopted you, and we don’t want to give you back.”
-Dawn, 3/25/2022, Portland
“Thank you for all the pictures! I read your Homesick missive from Cascadia more than once. You are an incredibly brave person and your literary capabilities exemplar. Don’t know if I could be so candid. Am glad you’ve made such friends but understand that it leaves a puzzlement as to what the hell happened in the first X decades. In this 7th decade life’s clarity is still illusive. There is the German “Sehnsucht” defined as a wistful yearning and a hunger in the soul in the search for understanding. Whether that is ever achievable is just as mystifying. I will always be here for you if possible and know you would for me. Please have a good trip. No springtime illness either. Yours always, and with heartfelt regards, Lana Sol”
-By Text, Tuesday March 29 2022
To answer Dawn first, I dislike almost every aspect of traveling. I come to like most the places I stay so much that I don’t want to leave but have to. The one thing I hated the most about having a family in Baltimore as an unsuccessful man, was moving: from Magsman’s rental, to Jeff and Diann’es rental, to the house I tried to buy, and to the rental out of town when I left the house in Baltimore to the vultioneers. Now I move on average, every three weeks, sometimes every week.
Traveling also negatively effects my fiction and history writing by interrupting work for days at a time, since with masks and glasses on, I have not been able to write on the train for two full years. I use some 15 kitchens a year, and by the time I figure out where everything belongs, it’s time to go.
The upside is not content, because I have zero interest in writing travel articles. But the fact that I get to see locations enables me to set fiction in more varied places.
Meeting great people has been the big personal upside, however, it means that I will soon be away from them for almost the entire year, which is a negative.
The reason why I live this life style is it is the hand I have been dealt, not because I ever wanted to do anything remotely like this. I simply quit doing what I wanted to do and went with Fate. I am very fortunate not to count myself among the League of Extraordinary Cardboard Box Dwellers. In my 20s and 30s, when I found myself a bound slave to a woman who hated me and to companies that used me, I did have one travel fantasy, that I would, when my sons hit 18, backpack across the nation. Then on arriving at the Pacific I wanted to fill the pack full of rocks and walk in. The torn hip rotator fixed that fantasy as age set in to erase a dream. The funny thing is, I now travel to Oakland twice a year in hopes of my heart exploding with SaySay—and this thing just keeps ticking. It’s a curse I tell you, a curse!
So, I hate my life and despise my self, but treasure the people I have met as white trash blown by the Darwinian winds of Civilization.
Now, Lana is my longest standing patron and without her financial support I would only be able to see SaySay once a year, instead of twice—so thank you My Dear Dame.
Lana is a multilingual person with an idetic [spelled it five times and missed every one, never read it, only heard it spoken] memory who did what she could to teach me about English, Middle English, Old English, German and High German when I was working on Beowulf. I am deeply honored that she reads my history and that she finds me to be a competent writer, for I feel like a stumble bum with the English language.
I find myself cowardly inside. If I were as brave as I’d like to be, I would have stayed in Baltimore and moved down into the ghetto, renting a room from some young black chicks. I still would have had to carry everything I own that didn’t stink like yeti back hair every time I left my room. I missed my chance to be killed by the harm city writing process. It would have been like a war correspondent getting killed on Iwo Jima. Instead, I slunk away, the last of my scattered clan to flee before the Wakandan Impis.
I’m still so pissed about that cowardly act on my part that I tried to shoulder butt one of three young Wakandan Kangs [whose combined age would be less than mine] at Colfax and Uinta yesterday, and punked out a 300 pound Kang who wanted in front of me at the Latino liquor store two hours ago. The big burly spic behind the counter laughed at Mighty Joe Young as my old scrawny ass made him step back as I counted my cash.
Yes, I am brave in spots, but mostly because I was a coward for 10 years as a boy and now for 4 as a fleeing silverback thought criminal.
But, Lana, for a single-minded man who manages bravery in spots and would like to produce some memorable writing, to be complimented by a Lady from the Academy is a fine thing. As well, if there is something you need that I can provide, let me know.
As for spring, springtime in Denver is easy on the lungs and it took me zero days to acclimate to the altitude and hiked up lookout mountain two days ago without any parts falling off.
Thank you for making this feasible.
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