|back around mid march, i admitted to myself that i didnt
have the will to aggressively look for employment. i knew
that because of the economic times that there where people
who would walk into interviews wanting a job so bad that
you could smell it. people who had families to support and
a true deep need to work for $$. i aint have that at all.shortly
after that came the realization that since there
would probably be no income, i better reduce my expenses
to minimal. i had contemplated more than once giving up
my apartment and moving in with my mother because of my
lack of steady adequate income and the inevitable result
that follows it. so i had casually brought up the idea to
get her feel for it long before the decision was made.so after
consecutive days hanging at venice beach, semi-deep
thinking my life and future and lack of desire to participate
in the prevailing economic system, i announced my decision.
i would be moving in with mommy. i was not saddened by this,
i may have even been relieved.
in this relief came light and in this light i was able to see.
what i saw was an oppurtunity to travel and see my children
(and a few parliament-funkadelic concerts). this presented
itself because my sister had a round trip airline ticket that
needed to be used and i had a few favors i could call in. so i
looked into the idea and found an excitement and enthuiasiam i
hadnt had in a long time.
by the time i found that i couldnt use her ticket i had gained
too much momentum to stop, i couldnt just let it go. i hadnt been
this excited about anything in months and i didnt want this
feeling to go away. just as i interpret all pain as a sign of
something wrong, i took this enthusiasm to be a sign of something
right. i explored all possibilities putting most of my energy
into the solution/plan.
my father had just sent me $1000 to cover my living expenses.
unemployment pays $460 every two weeks. rent is $585. my sons
tuition is $470, im moving out of my apartment, phone bill due-
etc etc etc…
the plan i settled on was greyhound. they have passes for
unlimited travel and i masterfully put together a iteiniery that
would get me to y-town to visit dad and kids and also travel to
cleveland, columbus and chicago to see p-funk. all while being
unemployed, not looking for a job and with no forseeable
increase in income. but for reasons i couldn’t figure out,
i had to do this.
one of the first things i had to do was get this cleared with my
parents. mommy cause i was moving in with her and daddy cause
he just sent me $$ and i would be staying with him in y-town.
i was raised to always have a job and be responsible about your
debt and not spend money you dont have. i didnt formally ask
permission, but i explained why i was doing this. they may
not have agreed, but they understood.
a 15 day greyhound pass would do it, and it cost $300. over the last
15 years or so i had been saving change to the point where i had
what i called “boxes o’ money.” i had sentiment for this money cause
of the personal time it took to accumulate it and i never intended it
to be used for something as unimportant as bills. i was gonna coinstar
it all but my sister suggested i coinstar the pennies (those machines that
count your change with a 9% service fee and wrap the silver coins.
(the bank gives free wrappers). i had $100 in pennies and another
$200 in nickels and dimes (quarters are for laundry). so the way i
saw it, my “boxes o money” was used for my greyhound ticket and
i find that very very cooooool….
i was really worried about riding a bus for that amount of time.
i even struggled with it. i went to websites about greyhound bus
travel and found horror stories like you wouldn’t believe. everybody
i asked said the same thing; “i rode greyhound once a long time
ago, and i’ll never do it again.” even my last cross country trip
in 1983 that moved me to california was painful and i even said
i would never do it again. i was worried about this ride…
i had to move out of my apartment to a place 70 mi away,
plan and pay for the trip, get concert tickets, etc etc…
but like i said i hadnt been motivated like this in months.
i was up early everyday packing and planning and moving and groovin.
my plan was to move all my stuff without renting a truck. multiple
trips with my car full of the little stuff then use jesse’s
pickup to move the big stuff after i got back. it was like i was
being challenged and i loved it. i was eating right, taking vitamins
and all that stuff. it felt good. i felt good. my plan was intricate
and and had a lot of crucial pieces…
the secret to greyhound is being able to sleep on the bus.
and i could sleep at will. towards the end of the trip i was even
bragging about it to the other riders. speaking of which, you meet
some people on greyhound. all kinds of people. i admit im use to
flying and the service and the “distance” people keep from you.
the bus is personable due to the kind of people who ride it. these
folx talk to you. you hear stories and meet all kinds of varied
personalities and varied levels of mental stabilities. there are
also smells on a bus. snoring, kids, cussing and convicts.
you stop in a lot of little cities and the little city people.
all of which is cool and you see a lot of the country (it is beautiful,
i took hundreds of pics). the level of service by greyhound is less
efficient than what im use to and i was prepared for this. i had all
the info i needed before i got on the bus. i had a printed intienery
that the drivers or stations didnt have (can get only from internet).
i was ready.
during the 2 day plus ride to ohio i read stephen hawkings “a brief
history of time” cover to cover. i understood every word and
grasped every concept. i not only gained knowledge about the
workings of the universe, but how and why the conclusions we have
about the universe developed. i didnt learn a lot of new things,
but i learned new and different ways to think about and perceive our
universe (the idea of 4 dimensional finite but boundless space).
these are the things that may move me most.
anywayz i get to ohio and my kids are beautiful. they are teenagers
and are very scary, but they are absolutely gorgeous. the scary part
is that they are at the age where they will make decisions about
drugs, sex and things that may effect them for the rest of their
lives. i remember what it was like and the things i did so i know…
i saw people and buddies from my childhood and walked the street
i grew up on like i (still) owned it. i saw the house i grew up in.
i decided to rent a car for the cleveland show. i drove up early
enough so i could go to the cleveland museum of art. first thing i
noticed when i got there was the black people. gorgeous museum on
a beautiful campus and there were black people there and that was
very refreshing (i dont usually see many black folk where i go).
what i gained at this museum was i noted the ethnicity of the early
egyptian figures; nose, lips. they were very african (black) features).
after that i rode over to the rock-n-roll hall of fame but it was $17
to get in, so i just used the bathroom. i chilled by the waterfront
then went to the show. the concert venue was sizable, but the stage
and room was small. freekbass opened on another stage and they were
cool, but the place was so crowded that i didnt even see p-funk or
the main stage for almost half of the show. i danced and vibed not
even seeing the stage. a few folx (young white girls danced by me,
so it was cool). i met mr thefunkstore.com. this show had energy
but was too too crowded.
i get back to y-town around 5am the next morning and continue to
chill and vibe the local folk and hang out with kids and daddy till
the next show in columbus in 2 days…
the greyhound bus to cleveland was late so i missed my columbus
connection, so no pre-show museums. i checked my voicemail during
my layover in the cle bus station and found jesse called me.
i had given him my resume to pass to a buddy of his and the guy
wanted to interview me. that was very good news and it was
good talking to some folx from cali after a few days in ohio.
the culture in y-town is drasticly different than that of cali.
i got to columbus and hung-out at city centre (nice mall) then had
a nice walk thru downtown over to the concert venue. very good looking
city. i was impressed with cleveland and columbus and realized i may
have judged all of ohio based on youngstown and i was wrong. it seems
only y-town just may be a little bit “backwards” and very severly
i hung out at a large bar and club next to the venue before show and
had a diet coke while chatting with a cool bartender and enjoying
a cutie waitress. lots and lots of white people. this columbus concert
was really good, may have been better than L.A. concerts as far as
intensity. these white folx came to get down and they were serious.
bootsy came out with george during cosmic slop but didnt sing or
play anything, he just vibed and bounced like bootsy be doin…
the bus back to y-town from columbus left at 4:20a and the ability
to sleep on a bus is heaven. i get to y-town and my taxi driver was
dyno of dyno’s disco a dj from when i use to hangout all night at
davis’ night club here 24 years ago. i shook his hand a nd let him
know it was cool to meet him…
hanging out i rode with my father to play his numbers (lottos in pa & oh
) so i played my lucky 3 digit daily numbers. i can remember calmly telling
my father that i would hit the number at least twice and maybe a
big one. i can remember the feeling i had when he told me i hit the
first time. i was walking up the stairs to my bedroom and the
coolest part was i really didnt get that excited. sure its only $80
but how many times does one hit the number? how many times does one
hit the number and expects to hit it? and it had been years since i
played and i always play the same “642 boxed”. after he told me i
hit i said “oh yeah, i’ll hit it again” so matter of factly and so cooly that
i even impressed myself.
now the second time he told me i hit i was in bed preparing to
get up early the next morning. this time got i excited and that
energy had to come out and that got me out of bed (and on the
internet) talking stuff. real or imagined, luck or coincidence-
stuff like this happens to me so often that i gain a confidence
in myself (and life) that few people have ever had. i also
know these things strengthen my belief in my philosophy.(i won
a total of $160 which roughly equaled $63 for my car rental and
$100 for my chicago hotel)
planning for my trip to chicago and then back to cali i found
i had made a slight mis-calc in my 15 day pass. it would run out
around vegas so i had figured an alternate route and i did. but
checking my bus to chicago at the cleveland bus station, the girl
said she would make me a ticket to chicago. she said this would
make things a lot easier, i said cool. then i asked if she could make
me one for chicago to san bernadino 2 days from now? and she did.
so not only was my mis calc handled but i now had a ticket and
i arrived in chicago 1 at 5:30am. i was able to sleep on the bus ride
so i wasnt tired at all. it was raining and still dark, but it was
a midwest humid warm rain. it was beautiful and comfortable as the
city woke up. i hit the hotel and they let me check-in before 6am.
i hit the room and connected to the internet to vibe my p-funk buddies.
the local news was on and one of the traffic reports was called:
“outbound loop to jeffery.” i photo’ed and posted it to my webspace.
when i did leave the hotel the rain had stopped and it was a gorgeous
day. i walked to the chicago museum of contemporary art and then took
a bus down michigan ave to the art institute of chicago. i took in the
beauty and absorbed its history. i ate at a cool local chicago place,
with food so greasy you can only find it in the midwest.
the chicago show was good. the highlight for me was the song
mothership conection. i know there are songs that george doesnt like
to sing (dr funkenstein is another one). ive even seen him stop
songs cold. it may be the songs a deceased memember use to sing,
or songs he feels they dont have the voices for. but i knew the
ending part “swing down sweet chariot” he would stop. so i sang the
refrain loud and determined to get it going. it seemed he
relunctlantly gave in as the crowd followed me and sang. then a guest
singer on stage stepped the front and began singing the lead. i cant
remember if i ever heard this song sang live before. big james got
down. he sang word for word a previously recorded live version
glen goins (deceased singer) did. it was good. i sang the refrain
and we grooved. the song calls for the mothership to come down but
there was no mothership stage prop. funkadelic and us crowd sang it
anyway. it didnt hit me that there was no prop mothership until
days later. i think cause something came down as we called,
so the spaceship wasnt missed.
on the bus ride home i read 95% of albert einstein’s book “relativity.”
i completely understood about 90% of what i read due to the equations.
this was a tough book to read but i got thru it. the feeling of
accomplishment and the knowledge gained in reading einstein’s words
made me feel good. and there even was snow…
when i got to cali i called daddy on the freeway while going home
to van nuys and he told me he hit the daily number boxed (562 for $40).
he doesnt usually play the daily and did cause i did and doesnt
remmember ever hitting it.
when i got home i didnt leave my apartment for 2 days and almost
didnt even notice that i didnt. its like my brain and body were
processing the data from days of stimulation and experience. i
re-lived and re-felt and absorbed the many positive experiences
as i rested. i often emerge from these “hibernating meditations”
feeling very different spiritually.
the only thing i did on day 3 was go to titos taco and chill
at my fave spot in the marina. alli had to do was move and i had
days to do that so there was no real hurry to do anyting. on day 5
or so, i get call for the interview jesse called me about while i
was at the cleveland bus station. i was hired 20 minutes into the
interview. anoher key point in my intricate plan was moving my
refridgerator, couch and big stuff. i had to be completely moved
out by 4-30 and i started work 5-1. the move went smoothly and
the final complicated piece of the plan had been executed.