RESURRECTION OF THE SOLID GOLD ROCK STAR
Day 116 Flora to Olney
today: 24 cumulative: 2,364
A vision in the half light of waking. The spiraling lights of universes. I can see them all like the inside of a geode turning with kaleidoscope eyes, a man with the multicolored mirrors, fractals infinite. I roll over and open my eyes, what time is it? I guess it is 8:10. I guess right. A good omen, it will be a good day, I am well rested and comfortable. Walk away from comfort seeking the orbits of things. Wanting to ride that vision of the morning into the day and find some person, wanting some person to find me, wanting to say the words that change worlds. Pull the lever and watch, wait.
At the local entrance to hell (Wal-Mart), I buy batteries hoping that the Solid Gold Rock Star that I found on the roadside in Missouri will work. I do not know how long it has been lying on the road, how many rainstorms it has seen. But I pray to Shiva that it will work. $8 in batteries and when I turn that transparent yellow dial I hear the low reverb of sweet, sweet victory. Hallelujah. Hallelujah,Solid Gold has risen again! And the people in the Wal-Mart parking lot are looking at me like a serial killer. I am playing a childrens electric guitar.
Battle ships sailing by, still a childs electric guitar I play, half tone sky from white to blue and I am hoping these battleship clouds dont come together and fall rain. They are the kind of clouds that are in postcards. The same with this grass, the billions green the grass ocean and weeds I dont know your names, and the battleships block the sun to make dark shadows on the horizon, yes, I am a rock star. I am still playing my guitar. Still cold, still sunshine, pink blooms the clover. Cold. I dream of playing my guitar on stage, I am thinking too far ahead.
I am frustrated. I am having a hard time justifying this walking, this dangerous highway and making my dog tired and making my head tired, and the meeting people is what saves me, but the walking is becoming a burden. Not physically difficult anymore, but hard to justify. A numb pain that I call tired. But still I walk. On a road with no shoulder, then a gravel shoulder, then no shoulder again. I confer with locals at a gas station. No options for a few miles. Dont take old 250, its even worse. But when we get to old 250 I see that it is much better. No semis, a thin shoulder, but a shoulder that is smooth. The roads are frustrating now, there are no more good roads, these roads are not meant to be walked. But the last light of the day makes everything look right, so I will not complain. I arrive in Olney after dark. I want people to talk to. I want to learn something today. They say that people have gathered at the city park to walk for Cancer. The relay for life. An all night walk. And so people I have and there will be stories here, to hear and to tell. And that is all I need.
Walking with the people of the city of Olney to raise money for Cancer research I am anonymous. I have hidden the cart, but a young man asks me about my dog, and we begin to talk about my journey. 2 minutes later I know that in this crowd of a thousand I have bumped into the one. There is always one when there are many, in every situation on this walk when I am in large groups one stands aside and it is obvious that they ar ethe one that I am supposed to connect with. So today it is Kevin.
He wants to know if I have "a relationship with God." And here we go, the marathon of golden bulls and the billions of universes and the limiting factors of language and symbol and assigning the power of the universe the pettiness of human needs and wants. We need to see things on a bigger scale, the roots of the mythology. The common bond, the search for the nameless, the ocean. I have not talked about the ocean for along time. But the ocean has not gone away. Kevins eyes are wide. He believes the things I have said. We walk again. How am I still walking after all these hours?
Stop at a camp fire and sit with locals. Regina is a pretty girl with dark hair. She sits at the fire to my left. Olney is famous for white squirrels she says. The 100th anniversary is coming up this year. A hunter brought a male and a female albino squirrel to the local saloon in 1902, some say from Finland. They released them that night and as soon as they did a dog ran out and killed the male right there in front of the saloon. But the female survived and they soon found out that it was pregnant. The mother of all of Olneys white squirrels. There used to be thousands here, now there are not as many so they have enacted laws to forbid hunting and a fine of $50 for running over them. Every year a professor from the local college organizes a white squirrel count. Olneys sports teams are all the "White Squirrels."
Little girls have their faces painted like tigers.
Kevin introduces me to Josh and Jeff. One hands me a card. I see the word Jesus. One hands me a flyer, I see Jesus and a cross. "Were Jesus freaks if you havent noticed yet." "Yeah, I had." Jeff says, "Hey do we have one of our book?" and I am handed a thin homemade photocopied book. There is a cross and swords on the cover. Inside there are drawings of beer cans and a bong and pills, all flaming with the fire of hell. They used to be drug addicts. Now they are Jesus addicts. The book is about finding Jesus on a road trip through the desert. Josh says that he believes that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. He believes the Bible to be literal. I tell him that perhaps we should not be discussing religion then, because at the point that a person takes the myths to be literal, unflexible truths, then a logical discussion is out of the question. Still I am stubborn enough to attempt it. (I am tired and cold.) He agrees with me that Christian is a dirty word because of the hypocrisy of the church, but he still insists that Jesus is the end all and the be all, and that is frustrating because he does not know the other texts enough to have that kind of perspective. And I dont have time to explain the religions of the world, the roots of mythology, the rivers to the ocean. But I attempt the abbreviated version.
The epic of Gilgamesh is the story of Moses, but it was written thousands of years earlier in Cuneiform. There are over one hundred myths around the world of men walking on water, dozens of virgin birth stories on every continent, dozens of stories that parallel the Bible that appeared on multiple continents before there was communication to carry them. Why? Because they have their roots in something bigger than Jesus and Buddha and Gilgamesh and Mother Mary. They are meant to guide us to the heros journey in our own life. Jesus is an ideal, not the end of the story. Jesus has become the new drug of choice for these young men. Stop. Inhale. God, I need to get out of this conversation and get some sleep. Someone walks up that did not hear the marathon mythology lesson. "Hey man, do you know Jesus?" I laugh loudly, sorry man, you kind of missed our conversation. He calls out as I leave, "Jesus bless you."
I am tired of talking about Jesus, but it is pushed all over this country like crack cocaine. So how can I not talk about it? Someday I will have enough money to buy giant billboards all over America that will have a picture of Jesus pointing (Uncle Sam style) at morning commuters saying: "You are Jesus." And "Im tired of carrying your cross." And "The meek shall inherit nothing."
The temperature is in the mid 30s. There is still a show going on at the main stage in the middle of the park. The people will walk all night for Cancer. It is 2 am. I am done. A booth selling BBQ sandwiches and pies says I can sleep in the refrigerator box out back. And that sounds good to me, no tent to set up, true hobo style. Because everyone should sleep in a cardboard refrigerator box at least once in their life. Cosmo sleeps in the box with me. People walk by and look in, some take pictures, they have never seen a real Hobo before.