Sunday, April 9, 2017

Met up with Mike.

I've decided that I am probably headed home soon. By home, I mean Philadelphia and the surrounding area.

I tried to be productive today, which required wifi. I had great difficulty finding an open connection, even with my USB antenna situation. I put some books in some boxes beside the Walmart, but before long it was time to get beer.

I was walking back to my van with a 24oz Clamato. The air was hot, and the cold can broke out in a sweat. I noticed a van I know. Mike was in the parking lot in the other long blue-striped Dodge.

I intended to get one more box ready for shipment, but instead I drank tall beers with Mike. We continued that path to a bar. They had cheap Victory pints and wings.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

4/8/2017

Ten lucky minutes today will result in more profit than two well advertised book sales yesterday. That is normal. It's all part of the job. 

There was a screening at the library for a documentary about Austin's moonlight towers. There were a few open seats, so I planted myself in one. 

Sometimes I feel lonely. I bring this up, because it happened today.  

Friday, April 7, 2017

A typical day of work.

The book sale in San Antonio looked like ten dirty hands fighting for the broken chips at the bottom of a bag. I have to go to these sales, because there is money to be made. Sometimes it's ugly. But I had to get in there and extract what I could.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Everything I know about San Antonio.

I took my robot pill and worked today. Towards evening, I headed south. With San Antonio in front of me, I looked out of my van to the right. I drove during a magnificent sunset. I don't use "magnificent" lightly. But the light rose to that level today. There were many incredible yellows. The sunset was yellow, yellow, yellow.

I don't know the first fucking thing about San Antonio. The only thing I know is that there is a book sale tomorrow. When I don't know anything, I park at the Walmart. That takes the least planning. They have beer with Clamato, and you don't have to think.

I arrived late and cracked a cold can. I put food on the stove. Lentils and quinoa. I've never seen tortillas so happy. We all make an excellent group.

Sleep was elusive. I would have slept soundly, except for the noise. *BEEP, BEEP* 

"When in the fuck," I wondered "will they ever get that fucking equipment in place?"

Eventually, I had to investigate. It was two o'clock in the morning, and there was construction. A bucket lift had an alarm. The alarm beeped intermittently and often. There was no rhythm, and after an hour or so, the sound began to pierce my bones.

Q: Am I happy to be alive? 
A: Sure I am.

Q: Should you live in a van? 
A: Why not.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Plans and perspectives and chemical change.

Yeah, so I've been up and down. It's not Austin Texas's fault. This place is the shit.

I know I will go home at some point. The only uncertainty is when. I never seem to make it to Oregon. I always drive away from Pennsylvania, but I never quite make it that far.

I've considered remote desert destinations. I'm finding it hard to imagine sitting peacefully while my money source is falling apart. I suppose I got complacent and spoiled. Back in Key West, I was complacent as hell. What has changed? Only the money security? Was it something else? Well, shit. I don't know.

I considered going to a Fairy Gathering. It's almost exactly in line with my route back to Pennsylvania. I was curious to see what that's all about. It sounds wild and like a place to park a van. But whether I'm wanted or would enjoy being there is in doubt. I fit in basically nowhere. Wrong: I fit in almost everywhere, but only a little bit.

Well, fuckit. I don't like this one bit. I'm going to return to Pennsylvania once again with my tail between my legs. Once again, my business is in trouble. At least this time the trouble is not all my fault. I know: I should rephrase this. I can spin this as a success. I have places to go, and a business to fix. It will work. I know it will work, because I've been through this before.

I miss my wife. I don't want my marriage back, but I miss her. She can't help me, and I know why shit got fucked up, but at one point she seemed to understand me. I could use that type of friend.

I've done so much thinking while in Austin. More than usual. Tons of the thinking has been drenched in wine.

My current standing... my situation... my state of mind. This is a reminder that humans have difficulty keeping matters in perspective. So I'm in debt. So is everybody. I have shelter, and when I remember to eat, the food is correct. I am in a beautiful town, and it is getting warm up north. Whose life would I rather have? Nobody's. My life has the most promise. I want to see where it goes.

I have to remind myself that people don't hate me. I feel like I bother everybody. I feel like I am exhausting people, and they are all getting annoyed. I doubt these feelings are real. My brain is fucking with me. Furthermore, if people don't like me, what does that matter? It hardly changes my day. Sure, I want to be loved. I'd love to be universally revered. But I need to focus on what I can control. The correct course of action, I know, is to continue as though nothing is wrong. Pretend and wait. Seasons and feelings change. Chemicals shift in our brains.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rebuilding.

I'm digging deep for new inventory. You can't kill me this easy. This is important to me. I'm pouring money back into my business. It's one hundred thousand hands of blackjack. I am counting cards and doubling down.

I hope I can work my way up to making anything close to my income before. I'd be happy with half. I'd be happy with a third. The last few paychecks have been grim.

I can pat myself on the back today. I did my robot laser-eye routine. I am programmed well to find books that are worth money. I put my robot-body in search mode. The efforts will take time to pay off. This is my best current move.

I like parking at Walmart. A tall can of the Clamato sort is a reward for a job well done. To mix my routine up further, I got chips and salsa and cheese. I watched a movie I copied at the library. Real or not, life is good.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The prize goes to libraries.

I park in the same spot most of the time. I've been here for five days. Austin continues to be a great place. I'm doing almost exactly whatever I want.

I've been working at the library - using my laptop to try to squeeze life and money out of my business. You need a laptop in my line of work.

My laptop has a DVD drive. I started copying library rental DVDs onto my computer. I like the selection. The movies available are here for some reason. Somebody chooses them based on criteria unknown. Maybe some are classics. Maybe some have famous actors in an early role. Somebody or some people have curated this selection. I assure you I could not do better myself.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Silicone and big ribs.

At some point I need to fix the silicone around certain parts of the roof of my van. There are two spots that leak. They leak a small enough amount that it's practically impossible to tell where the problem is. Water is really good at finding a way through.

It rained hard last night. The leak wasn't so bad. I just had to get up and put a towel under it.

Ian and his dad picked me up in the morning. We went to Lockhart, TX to get barbecue that was weirdly big. This is a good example of somewhere I would not think to be on my own. Left to my devices, I would continue to eat more quinoa. It can be fun to copy off of what other people do. I went along for the ride.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Barton Springs.

Ian showed up from New Orleans. He works on a boat for some number of weeks. It's a tugboat and it moves a barge around Hawaii. Then he flies home and stays there for some weeks. I feel certain that Ian is well grounded in reality. Almost every time we talk, he makes a statement that is absolute truth.

One day last week, that guy in the other blue-stripe Dodge invited me over to Barton Springs. It's close. I should have gone to Barton Springs on one of my first days in Austin. It is a swimming spot with crystal clear water. You can pay $3 to go inside a fenced area, or you can hang out beyond the fence for free. If you go inside the fence, there are also hot showers.

Ian is in town for the next few days. His dad is also here for some reason. We went swimming, and I paid $3.

Friday, March 31, 2017

3/31/17

I can't believe I'm running some kind of business. I take stimulants and tell my body what to do. It isn't bad work but I am a drone. I do this to get money. I use money to get drinks and food.

My business got punched in the dick. Fee changes made over half my shit unprofitable. A few thousand items became dead weight.

Also there's the sexual orientation confusion and I can't pin down reality. Photos change to an oil painting. Paintings become abstract. I can't sell paintings to the IRS. They want lots of money instead.

I'm supposed to be worried about money. I am in a way. In a way I'm a big dumb baby. I can't keep track of what is real. I get panicked about matters which barely exist. I'm typing this more as a compulsion and less because I have anything to share.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

3/30/17

I used actual soap in a shower. I used a machine to clean my clothes.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

3/29/17

It's not my business to talk about, but that guy who was puking and yelling is dead. He was yelling a lot he was going to do it, but he got hit by a car instead. I mostly care how Jen feels about that. She is upset, but she has mixed feelings. She doesn't believe in being dead.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

3/28/17

I bought a beer for Hazel. That's not his real name. I borrowed it from Cannery Row because it fits. He also brought up Steinbeck. He's a sunburned man with a ladies name. That part is correct.

I got him a tall can because Jen didn't have money. I'm using her real name, which is kinda fucked up. She wanted to give something to Hazel 'cause he has a job interview. Let's see... a Bud Ice.

I got one for myself. I drank it at sunset on the pedestrian bridge. Nobody there talks to anyone unless they know them from somewhere else. I am invisible. I've made myself ten feet tall. I smile and I disappear further. I do not exist in the traditional sense.

Monday, March 27, 2017

3/27/17

Guess what. This is not reality. If I didn't say so you wouldn't notice. I am not bad at this game. I can act normal enough. I can seem much more normal than some of us. Sometimes I love this. Sometimes all I do is breathe.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Meeting another blue-striped Dodge.

I was working again beside the Walmart. I can get wifi along the side if I have my USB antenna positioned right. Another van pulled up. Another 90's Dodge - 15 passenger with a blue stripe. He stopped and we talked. He is planning to move into a van. His name is Mike. He is trying to break away from the real world. It works for me. This lifestyle works for some. The van he got is a good start.

I told him where I've been parking. I didn't mean it as an invitation, exactly, but he wanted to drop by after work. We met up around midnight. Mike brought me food from the food truck he is working on as a second job. We talked about aspects of life and vandwelling. I told him what I know.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

3/25/17

Got some work done. Went to Family Day to talk to the people I know in town. Watched an old movie I bought before I box it up and sell it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

3/24/17

You don't always get as much sleep as you want. Sometimes there are lawnmowers. Sometimes it gets loud and stays that way for hours. That's ok. I know the contract I signed. I lay there and I wait.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Too Many Hurricanes

I met some friends in the neighborhood by one of the libraries I go to. One of them is a girl who brings me food if she has extra. She looks out for everyone else. I don't know that she's in a position to initiate change, but the gestures are kind. She is a sweet and caring person. Sometimes she makes sense, and sometimes she knows she doesn't. I am happy when she stops by.

I got back to that area after sunset, and traded wine for food. She doesn't like asking for money, but she usually has a reason to drink. All her friends are always buying each other beer. I've been sharing wine, and usually there's reciprocal food. Or she just gives me food.

The free food from the community center is unparalleled, but I'm not getting up early to go over there myself. I do my camp stove thing. A bottle of wine costs two dollars. The price tags on the food are usually more than eight dollars. Most of it comes from a health food store.

She introduced me to her other friends. They all go by aliases and nicknames. Not a single one of them has a happy background. We sat around behind the Thai place. We ate some of the fancy food. We drank wine and beer and we talked.

One guy was a master of jokes. Sometimes he'd warn you that a joke would be colorful - then he would proceed to tell the joke, and I'd be wondering which part was supposedly offensive. He's old and fat and sunburned. I've only seen him with a great big grin. It seems like decades ago, he was probably smart and normal. He still is, actually, in a way - except now he drinks Hurricanes and sleeps in construction sites. I wonder if his sense of reality has shifted. I've often wondered about my own.

All the guys in this circle drink Hurricane. Most of them start in the morning. Sometimes they steal a bag of them. Sometimes they pay with sweaty crumpled cash.

Another guy there has lived in that neighborhood all his life. Compared to this one, nobody else seemed drunk. He was always raising his volume. They were always trying to get him to calm down. He kept threatening to kill himself. He sat down and puked, and only clear liquid came out. They tried to get him to eat. He demanded another beer. He threw money at them. He is not allowed in the store. My closest friend in the group, the girl, was in charge of making decisions. I went and got corn chips and the small can of bean dip. She was hoping he would at least eat that. Simply put, he's a mess.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Every Day.

GENERAL DISCONTENT and RAMBLING

I took an illegal Modafinil pill this morning. It's illegal because in amerika you aren't supposed to make decisions for yourself. You're supposed to report to bureaucrats who don't know shit about your life. I wish there was a magic button I could push that would punch the responsible party in the face - for anything irksome at any time.

My health insurance is so expensive, and the system is so convoluted, that it is easier and less expensive to get meds sent from halfway around the globe. But I should be happy about this. I kinda feel like... maybe fuck this country. Fuck all this flag-waving hand-on-the-heart bullshit. The best thing about amerika is the geography. I want to get increasingly lost.

IN ANY CASE...

I am still living my life. I might add that I'm doing a fucking excellent job. I am buying books and selling them. I will be low-budget-traveler retired in 13.58 years... assuming I remain precisely on my current trajectory.

I WATCHED THE SUNSET

I watch the sunset on the pedestrian bridge. It was a beautiful one today. After the sun disappeared, it continued to illuminate the clouds from below. I see mostly yellow when that happens. People who see more colors would list a handful as they gush. I know this, but I see yellow. It was absolutely beautiful. Yellow is enough.

SOME BUSKER KID

The kid turned out to be 21. He told me later when I talked to him. He had an electric ukulele. He ran that and a vocal mic through a practice amp for guitar. He played sad and pissed off tunes in a gravely voice. I could hear all the words. His voice had controlled aspects of a scream. It commiserated with you while it pushed you away. The music could break your heart if you let it. You couldn't touch me though. I was on a cloud. I draped my body all over the pavement. I sang along to the one I knew.

The kid had his uke case out and opened. Only a few people paid any attention. Several times he said he didn't want money. He didn't make any that I saw. It was practice. He was there for himself, just like me, and I was glad that our timing lined up.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Vandwelling in Austin Texas.

Me and Austin Texas are becoming friends. I've met mostly everyone who parks in the same place I do. The parking spot is so good I'm getting lazy about moving around. I have a few different spots, but I'm using one of them for days at a time. This is better than traditional housing. It is the best.

According to conventional wisdom - meaning people on internet forums - you're supposed to move your van around constantly. In amerika, you're supposed to look over both shoulders. People on the internet talk as though the arm of the law is infinitely long - as though the hammer of justice will strike repeatedly upon your head. Meanwhile, I'm not convinced. All I see is sun and grass and trees. I keep checking my wrists, but I never see any cuffs.

Move into your van now. Nobody gives a fuck. Nobody can even see you except for other people who live in vans. The police in a city don't care. Certainly not here, they don't. My doors are still as open as my containers. I fucking love it here.