“You know, walk the earth, meet people… get into adventures. Like Caine from Kung Fu.”
Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction (1994)
It was some years ago that, despite my meager attempts to get a hold of my life, I found myself living on the streets for the second time. It had been a rough couple of years that included losing my parents, starting a business to watch it fail due to my own ineptitude and lack of experience, self-inflicted relationship problems, a string of meaningless and less than satisfying attempts at remaining employed. Needless to say I was feeling more than a bit under confident and just a little worthless. It certainly seemed that I had little left to lose, and not much was on the horizon as far as future prospects.
It was in this state of emotional desperation I decided that perhaps the life of the aimless wanderer might be a good career option.
With little more than the clothes on my back, my journal, a purse full of random odds and ends, and the company of strangers I set off on a road trip to nowhere. It seemed like the thing to do.
It was an action packed trip full of easy to find good times, decent drugs, mediocre people, and crappy music festivals. Most of these things I don’t recall with much clarity, for precisely what that were. I am left however with the shape of them in my mind so I am largely able to embellish the details if called upon to do so. No really, I can totally make it sound like a great adventure provided I basically lie about it.
What I remember distinctly about this point of my life is how miserable I was and how much I missed the friends and what was left of the life that I had left behind. I traveled across half the country, including Ohio twice. I traveled through downtown Cleveland in the middle of the night, hiked fourty miles in a day, spent half of a very cold autumn camping in a forest far from familiar faces. The thing that I wanted to leave behind the most in all of my depression and confusion was myself.
No matter where you go there you are, or so the saying goes.
It took a lot of time to get my head out of my ass and screwed back on straight. I’m glad I did.
The other thing I missed was flush toilets. Seriously, I am not cut out for the rugged life.