© 2013 Josh Old-Chair


Finally, back in Los Angeles, after 2+ months up in the North West, and I’m ready to leave.

This last long drive, I don’t remember which leg, I think Oregon to San Francisco, I started thinking about just staying out on the road.

I’d be a nomad, sell all my worldly shit and pack up the impala with what few essentials I’d need to survive out there: a birthday cake, a shotgun, a french press, and a bottle of aspirin. Then, well prepared for my journey, I’d drive south east, and find old collapsed silver towns. I’d work as a freelance short order cook and treasure hunter, albeit my resume is a little light in those trades, and spend my nights endlessly tuning a guitar and learning other languages from old, warped, audio cassettes.

The sun would rise each morning, as it usually does, and I’d greet it with a bleary-eyed ‘fuck’ and find some shade to sleep until noon.  I’d make sculptures out of loose rocks and mud, in nightmare shapes, just off the road, to be geo-tagged by suburban refugees and traded over CB chatter by yellow fingered truckers.  Evenings, I’d roll into some quaint hamlets, and lurk at the coffee shops, endlessly charging my iPad and fantasizing about sleeping with the slightly depressed barista, the one with the tattoo of a question mark on her iliac crest.
Once I got to the east coast, I’d head north, busking for gas money, and selling bottles of homemade kombucha in front of strip mall yoga joints. I’d speak in anapestic meter, and choose my philosophical devotion upon awakening each day, by now my face is tan and my hair is bleached by sunlight and hydrogen peroxide.  I’d be down to two sets of clothes, the jeans I wear every day, and the suit in the trunk I never wear.

I’d hang out with some civil war reenactors, and trade theories on alternate histories where Alexander Stevens had been the president of the confederacy, and suggest new battle tactics.

Once I was up in New York, I’d start putting together seven minutes and hit the open mic nights, and post facebook events promoting my appearances; but before i got any buzz going, I’d fall into the drug scene and bail on the city with some junkie chick who needs a ride to her cousin’s place in Maine.

I’d do a little fishing up there, before vanishing into Canada to write a historical fiction about a french colony where first contact was made with an extra-terrestrial civilization. Those aliens would also, in an unusual twist, be colonizing the same spot, and they would be like the french of their homeworld, and new cheeses would be introduced to earth that were slightly more creamy and tangy than the existing french cheeses.  The manuscript would be called “Reflections on a Stained Mirror” and I’d leave it in the thatched hut where I wrote it.

After a few weeks of learning how to play ice hockey from an overly stereotypical Ottowan family, I’d dip down back into the states to start a small business where I’d visit old age homes and chronicle the lives of the residents in the form of epic poems.

After a few months in the northern states, I’d head back to California, where I’d form a friendship with some pot farmers, and make vague plans to open a hash bar in Massachusetts, close to a college campus; I’d fantasize about my hashbar becoming a sort of cabaret voltaire for a new generation of radical thinkers, and I’d preside over them like the worldly philosopher I’d imagine myself becoming.

In my fantasy, I’d trade in the impala for a motorcycle, and my unworn suit for a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches. I’d smoke a pipe and color my hair so it was a professorial salt and pepper. In reality though, I’d be trying to acquire an addiction so I could kick it later, and start a correspondence with some Japanese colleges about maybe going over there to teach American television production.  In my fantasy, however, I’d be living above my hashbar in a brick-walled loft, decorated in a Himalayan motif.  I’d have intellectuals and artists that were attending the Ivy League schools hanging out playing the dholak and sitar, embracing senseless meaningfulness.

In reality, I’d head back down the coast, trunk full of narcotics, head full of self-doubt, and re-enter Los Angeles as a self-styled guru of cynicism, making the rounds as a professional party guest.  In my fantasy, I’d be in some extended legal battle, right at the forefront of state vs. federal marijuana issues, with a coterie of freshly graduated legal warriors, molded and twisted by my influence into self-important pseudo-anarchists. I’d be forced to close down my bar, but a blow has been struck in some completely unimportant legal dispute that will be resolved due to a completely unrelated supreme court battle about states rights, and I’d retire to the west coast to pursue my even more precious fantasy of becoming an english professor at some unremarkable California college.
When reality and fantasy merge, I’m laying on a beach in San Diego, the flaming wreck of my car a bonfire, surrounded by twenty somethings in altered states, while I drink myself to death.


One Comment

  1. Delilah Watson
    Posted August 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm | #

    More this.

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