It’s remarkable what nine hours of sleep on a firm mattress with lots of blankets can do for your outlook.
Today is Tuesday, January 24th. I left for Santa Cruz on Friday, January 20. During my drive, I listened to an audiobook of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Well, I got to Disc 3, anyway.
I stopped at Pea Soup Andersen’s in Buellton for breakfast. I find that kind of thing whimsical. After my eggs and toast, I got into my car to hit the road again, and, quite suddenly, I felt that dreaded sensation I haven’t felt in months. My hands tingled. My heart beat quickened. “Oh, shit,” I thought. “I’m anxious.”
I had felt anxious the night before, too, but opted not to report it to anyone. I was watching the 3D re-release of Beauty and the Beast with my mom and two of my best friends. Suddenly, after “Tale As Old As Time,” I noticed that my arms felt tingly. I tried to ignore it, but, for whatever reason, I just couldn’t. I even made the deadly mistake of thinking, “If I suddenly have a stroke, someone in this theater will call 9-11.” That is not the kind of thing I am supposed to tell myself. I am supposed to tell myself that arm tingling doesn’t mean shit. Why did I let myself get freaked out? Out of all the voices that chatter all day long in my subconscious, why did I listen to the one that sounds like Woody Allen? As I sat there counting down the minutes until The Beast turned back into The Prince, I made one more idiotic mistake. I thought to myself, “I hope this doesn’t happen tomorrow during my drive.”
The human mind is…well, it’s bizarre, to say the least. That little tiny seed of doubt was all it took to freak me out hours later outisde of Pea Soup Andersen’s. I started the car anyway, but I was still feeling weird. There I was, driving north on the 101, desperately trying to tell myself to chill out and listen to the soothing sound of, “The night air blah blah All I had was $3 blah blah Dean Moriarty blah blah Bottle of whiskey blah blah Beat.”
Had I made the wrong decision? Was it really wise of me to take a trip rather than find a damn job? Why did I feel I even deserved to do what I was doing? What was the point?
It was time for Woody Allen to shut up. He was disrupting Jack Kerouac.
I pulled over in the tiny town of Los Alamos. Yes, Los Alamos, California. It exists. There’s a gas station, and a Subway (as in sandwiches) that looks like an old saloon. I usually stop there on the way to Santa Cruz to pee and get something to drink. This time, I peed, got a drink, and took a walk.
Soon enough, I was back in the car, feeling relaxed and ready to kick the drive’s ass. I turned off Jack, put on some music, and made it the rest of the way to Santa Cruz without a single hiccup. It was a rather encouraging experience. When I got to Watsonville it began to rain, so I put on Van Morrison and sang. Loudly.
That was Friday. Today is Tuesday. On Monday morning I got into my car and saw that I had been robbed. My copy of Blonde on Blonde was on my seat, which was not right. My glove compartment was open. The windows weren’t broken, nor was the lock broken. “I…I think I left my car unlocked?” I couldn’t believe it when I said out loud, “I’ve been…robbed?”
The bastards got my iPod. Ya know what else they got? The audiobook of On the Road. Except Disc 3, of course. Sal Paradise will forever be in Los Angeles with his beautiful Mexican girl.
After some anger and confusion, I accepted what had happened and moved on. My friend said, “You’re handling this really well. I would be crying right now.” I took her compliment seriously, and even went so far as to say, “Hopefully I’ll be able to think of this experience in the future and tell myself if I can remain calm after being robbed, I can remain calm when other shit happens.” Yeah. I said that.
Hours later, I totally cried. I realized that the bastards had also taken my Powerpuff Girls CD case, which contained the following:
- A burned copy of Nirvana’s Nevermind
- A burned copy of The Mother’s of Invention’s Freak Out!
- Pete Doherty’s Grace/Wastelands
- My friend Dan’s Woody Allen CD…
- Jason Webley’s Cost of Living
- Jason Webley’s live album In This Light (I will now have to buy this a third time…)
- A burned copy of the freaking BIG LITTLE DIPPER DIPPER ALBUM
THESE BASTARD METHHEADS STOLE THE MOST WORTHLESS CD CASE KNOWN TO MANKIND. NO ONE IS GOING TO GIVE YOU DRUG MONEY FOR THE CD THAT HAS “HOCKEY STAR.”
Here are the four things that actually HURT me:
- THE BEST OF LEONARD COHEN
- THE DOORS
- SAM FRANCE’S GOD IS REAL
- FOXYGEN’S KILL ART
After realizing these CD’s were gone forever, I took a deep breath and then said, out loud, “With the exception of the live Jason Webley album, I have all of this music on my computer. What is not on my computer is on a flash drive. I can get all of this…”
Then I realized that the Powerpuff Girls CD case also contained what I consider to be the single greatest radio show I ever put on. It was one night in April 2010 where Dancing Barefoot was just unstoppable. My playlist was kickass and my delivery was ridiculously strong. There wasn’t a single technical difficulty and I never said, “Ummm.” I sounded like a happy, level-headed, stable fucking person who was having a killer time putting on a rock solid radio show.
I turned to my friend. I told her what I had just realized. We sat in silence. I then said, “I’m going to cry in front of you now.”
As it turns out, I may be able to get a copy of that radio show after all. Apparently KZSC’s archive of shows just might go back as far as 2010. I shall see. Regardless, I felt rather strange for the rest of the Goddamn day. To be completely honest, I suddenly wanted to just go home. Why bother sticking around? My freaking back was killing me from sleeping on a deflated air mattress. My last pair of contact lenses were completely fucked and the rain was fogging up my glasses. I was tired, I was cold, and I was still unsure whether or not I deserved to be taking a trip.
Oh, and I was robbed.
Oh, and that Goddamn Woody Allen voice had made an appearance the other day.
As I sat on my friend’s bed after a delicious dinner at Charlie Hong Kong’s, all I could think about was whether or not I should call it quits on the whole road trip thing.
That, my friends, was yesterday. Today, after finally getting a full night’s sleep on a firm mattress with lots of blankets, I am a new woman. Screw Woody Allen, screw the bastards who stole my iPod, and screw calling it quits. That is not what I want to do. Besides, I just noticed that at no point did I mention that I’m actually having a great time…
Lock your doors. Sleep well. Wear dry clothes.
Time to start my damn day. In Santa Cruz.