a parting glance

Made it to Vegas last night, staying briefly with a friends of Ravens, our last taste of the simple luxuries for the next week plus – a shower, air conditioning, a good nights rest – which we both desperately needed. Taking advantage of the brief interneto connection while Raven scrapes the two days of road off in the shower.

The time, sweat, effort, sleep dep. mosquito bites and money spent on Connie the Van has well paid off – I feel strangely like a proud father. From a machine that wouldn’t even idle and only had the hint of a strong, dependable engine, the van has run beautifully throughout the entire trip. We’ve been blessed.
The only hiccup so far was the tread flying off of one of the rear wheels somewhere outside of Dallas, but we limped into the next exit with no problem, changed the tire, and got going again in no time at all. The storms we have encountered had just passed, leaving the streets still running with water but not affecting us and the absence of the drivers side window – and we were treated to an entire night of beautiful lightning not too far off in the distance.

Fortunately most gas stations only make sure the card is good by authorizing $1.00 when you get fuel, which I have needed to take advantage of. Connie runs like a dream, but a hungry one. When those dollar authorizations turn into $60…   I have no choice but to get where I need to go & deal with the financial consequences later. Hell – it’s only money.

We’re rockin’. Connie (the Mans’) ashes have been sprinkled and scattered in the most beautiful places along the way, photos have been taken –

and now it’s time to hit the road again.

Wanna go for a ride?

It runs well enough, I suppose.
It runs well enough.

It runs!

Connie’s guts have been ripped apart, inspected, cleaned, adjusted, and re-assembled – and now, for the first time since I bought it, it idles. A rough idle – many things should have been replaced instead of just cleaned – but still, it’s an idle. No more driving with one foot on the gas and one on the brake around town.
The drivers seat is now actually functional, and instead of feeling like you’re going to be tossed out of it at every turn due to the severe wobble, it sits solid and sturdy as a drivers seat should. I also fixed both adjusters, so now it slides back and forth and reclines. Yay. Go me.
I found a windshield wiper on the carcass of a car today which was in better shape than the ones on connie – hoping it will fit. Haven’t tried it yet. If it does, at least the driver will be able to see…
Still no working fuel gauge – which wouldn’t be much of a problem if the odometer/speedo gauge worked, but I found that has a busted cable. Gonna be one hell of a guessing game across the country.  I go buy a five gallon gas can tomorrow – though the thought of having all that gas in the van with us doesn’t sit too well with me…
Four questionable tires, but I gots a spare. I need to buy a jack. That would probably help. Don’t think Raven is strong enough to lift the van with her skinny arms. Don’t think I am either, with mine.
Connie runs strong, once past idle.
I really need to see if there’s a way I can fix the gas gauge. It’s getting power – but I think the sending unit is toast. Sometimes the tank is full, then empty, then full again.
Now, if it were actually full again, that would be pretty fucking cool – but I don’t think that is the case.

We’ll make it – somehow. Of that, I have no doubt whatsoever.

Somehow.

Right on time-ish. I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be needing to do some busking along the way. I found on my way out here that Vegas isn’t too friendly about that, but hopefully I can make a few bucks before I’m shut down.

Connie’s ashes arrived yesterday, ready to join us on the journey. In a clear plastic bag in a black plastic box. Gots to get them out of all that plastic!
Deanne said that for a while Connie was a counselor at The Bridge House – a substance abuse program here in New Orleans, and that he liked nature and was always amazed by it. A simple man that didn’t need extravagant things. He was born here, so sometime tomorrow before we leave, I’ll sprinkle some his ashes in Jackson Square…

I need to get a sugar scoop or somethin’, with all this scattering and sprinkling!

I told her I’d take pictures of the places along the way where I scatter them – and I had the idea last nightin a sleep deprived delerium to make drawings with them where I was able – something simple, like happy faces. Why the hell not?

Okay, I really should sleep. In arond 16 hours New Orleans will be dissapearing in the rearview mirror, and I have a hell of a lot to do before then.

Thank you, New Orleans. You have shown me so much beauty, taken me into your arms, caresssed me in your delicious sexiness, and, every single day, amazed me in your strength. I will be back. In a strange, and perhaps unhealthy way, I’ve fallen in love with you.

Farewell.

Mundane edit – still don’t know how the hell I’m going to make it. With the money for the trip that I’ve already spent on the van, and the money I still need to, (not to mention food & water, but I can do pretty well without food. Practice, y’know?) it will be a voyage that will be difficult not to fret about completing. I know I will, somehow, because this is what is meant to happen – but if anyone wants to donate a buck or five to the “Get Connie & kSea to California” fund, I will be forever grateful and appreciative for your help in alleviating my worry, and promise to kill every mosquito I am able to along the way.  If you want, I’ll send you the little mosquito carcasses so you can pin them to your body as a warning to other mosquitos. Remember kids – the further I get, the more mosquitos end up dead on the front of my van! Trust me – I’ll swerve to hit them.

I think I have mosquito issues.

paypal acct at ksea13 (at) gmail (dot) com

Ashes to…

The drivers side seat sits in pieces in the van, the distributor cap and rotor are in my room having just undergone a thorough cleaning & inspection. I’ll sand the pitted and burnt contacts and clean it up as well as I can. It should be replaced, but this will have to do. The seat I will fix tomorrow, fabricating something to take place of the destroyed bearing that let the chair swivel, as well as elevating it about another inch.
It’s coming together. Connie will make it.

I must admit – just after buying the van from Deanne I was at times wondering if i had made the wrong decision, acted too hastily. Over 3000 miles to go. It needs so much work done – work I can do, but I can’t afford the parts necessary for it. Something as simple as a drivers side window is beyond question, even from a junkyard. Even spark plugs and new windshield wipers I question spending money on. I wondered if there was another van that I was supposed to get – one I could just lightly tune, inspect, and go without worries. The more the story falls into place, however, the more I am absolutely certain that this is the van I was supposed to find.

Deanne & I have become quite close through our email exchanges – she’s becoming one of the random friends that pop into your life in the strangest of ways.

So I could no more about the namesake of my van, I asked her about her uncle. The story she wrote me was much more than I expected. Here it is, abbreviated.

Conrad Mathew Eagan was an alcoholic for most of his life, one of the bums living on the streets of New Orleans, in and out of jail.
About 12 years ago he finally quit drinking, and got on Social Security to aid him with his depression and alcoholism. He moved to Northern Louisiana, bought a truck, a trailer home, and a boat – he was set, and really started enjoying his life.

Then, Katrina hit. he evacuated to Deanne’s moms house (his sisters) for over two months, then went back to his home, living there with a giant hole that a tree tore in the roof of it over the living room for a few months until Deanne had no choice but to make him move away from it.
Then, his depression really started to hit. He got sick. The doctor said it was bronchitis, and gave him antibiotics. They didn’t help. He went back again and again, and she kept giving him more antibiotics.
Finally, she ran an X-ray and found a mass in his left lung. Cancer. Tests and more tests, but no action.
He moved into a trailer that Deanne had found for him – at this point not even having the energy to help, so Deanne & three others moved him.
The day after he moved into the trailer, the person who rented it to him told him it had been sold, and he had to move again.
The depression got worse.

He moved into apartments about a mile from Deanne, where she was able to take care of him better – oxygen, nurses, breathing treatments every four hours, helping him with his medication because he couldn’t manage that either.

He struggled breathing for six months as it got worse and worse, and Deanne was the sole one to take care of him. Even his children had abandoned him doe to his alcoholic past.
Ohe day, Deanne says that she knew it was the last. He wasn’t going to make it through the night. He refused to go back to the hospital, frightened that they would just prolong the pain he was going through. He wanted it to stop. Finnaly, stop.
She fed him Xanax, Ativan & Darvocet whenever he woke up, as he went into panic attacks from not being able to breathe. She was ther when he took his last breath, felt his pulse stop, and called the time of death – but can’t remember it now…

She said he was a kind, caring soul. You can see it in the way his eies sparkle in the previous post. She said that he was the only man in her life that stuck around. She said that he grew plants and sold them for a little extra money here and there. He installed hydraulic brakes on the van, and planned on taking it to Wisconsin, California, other places he dreamed and we can only imagine –

before Katrina.

He was Conrad Mathew Eagan, and he is a friend of mine.

It’s strange, how you meet people sometimes.

Now, every bolt turned, every drop of sweat, every mosquito bite, every bloodied knuckle from a wrench slipping that goes into that beautiful van – everything I put into it is mixed with love for a man who seems like someone I would have really wanted to know – and in a way, do.

Then, she says this:
“You know….we’ve been wondering what to do with his ashes.  How would you feel about spreading his ashes along the way or when you get there?  I would never ask a stranger to do something so strange, but my Uncle wasn’t your average ordinary person. And if you feel funny about doing something like that, I totally understand…   I have premonitions and an esp type thing so I trust my feelings.  I just have a good feeling about you and know that you won’t just take the ashes and dump them in the garbage.  You have nice eyes that say a lot about you…”

Connie’s ashes are on their way to me now, and will join Beans on the dash of my van as I begin the 3000 mile journey back across the country. I’ll find places that he would have liked along the way and sprinkle them. I’ll sprinkle them on the Playa, at the Temple, as Deanne assured me that he would have loved Burning Man after I sent her the link to it. He’ll make it to California, ashes from San Francisco to Venice, L.A. Whatever is left, I will toss in the Sea, so he can keep travelling.

I can’t find the words to say how honored I am in her trust. Connie, Raven, Bean  & I are going to have a BLAST! It will be great to have his energy with us. Now that he’s back to being solely a spiritual being, depression doesn’t exist…

Some of Beans ashes will go to Dolores Park and Fort Funston – as well as Ocean Beach – and a small bag for Sean & Patty, who cared for her so beautifully when I wasn’t able to –  and fell deeply in love with her.

Ashes to… everywhere!

Gods, I love life. Out of something so mundane as buying a van, entire worlds open up.

This is what it’s all about.

If you listen close enough, you’ll hear the music.

Care to dance?


I knew a little bit about it.
I knew that she had to sell the van to pay for her uncles funeral services, as he had recently gotten sick and passed on.
I didn’t tell her this, of course, but there were times that I thanked him for helping me, both before and after I was able to make it one and a half hours north to buy the van from Deanne.

We’ve kept in contact since my purchase, just simple stuff, asking if there was a key she didn’t know what it was too on her keychain, probably round – the square one doesn’t work for the doors.
There was. She sent it to me, and it was the right key. groovy.

Then, in thanking her, I recieve this reply:

“I’m so glad that was the key! Send me some pics of the van when you get it fixed up, I’d like to see what it looks like – if you have a digital camera. I’m sure my Uncle had something to do with you getting that van and taking it to California – he wanted to go there too. I’m sure your trip will be a success!

You take care of yourself too & GOOD LUCK!!!

Deanne”

I am continually awestruck, humbled, and at the same time, really turned on and in love with the way Universe works when I believe in it, and let go of my fears knowing that what is supposed to happen, always, without question, will.
There is a Zen saying – “Leap, and the net will appear.”

I’ve spent most of my life leaping.
Though this has sometimes really frustrated and worried the hell out of people who look at me like I’m a complete idiot when I tell them that I don’t have a plan, I do believe that most of them are coming around, or already have – even my parents.
Things just work out. I don’t force them, I put my intentions out and pay attention to life, and I am thankful for absolutely everything – even the things that bring me the deepest sorrow –
and I feel that I am truly smiled upon, by simply believing that absolutely everything is magick.

Well, everything except mosquitoes. There’s no magick in mosquitoes at all.

Anyway, back to the story.

I really appreciate all the suggestions for naming my van, but though I was really endeared with many of them, the van now has a name – and Deanne assured me that he would love me naming the van after him.

It’s name of The Van is now Connie – short for Conrad Mathew Eagan, the man who gave it to me in his passing.
She used to call him Uncle C.
I’ll use that when I’m pleading with him to make it over the mountains.

This is him, taken in January.

Thanks, Uncle C.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And yeah – that’s the corner of the van in the background.

To the New Orleans folk…

My last night out  in New Orleans for a long, long time will be this Sunday.
Sunday is also Joey’s (Dervish) Birthday.
I do believe I will be somewhere in the lower Decatur, and there are many I would like to say farewell to, and it’s so much easier gathering youall into a group –
so if you want to bid me the same,
come around.
I hope to see you.

2,232.7 miles from my apartment to Gerlach.
Another 808 miles through San Francisco, down to Venice.

Yesterday, with nine days until the scheduled launch date, I found & bought a van. An ’81 mid-sized Chevy. The motor seems strong, no smoke – but it does need some work, probably carb adjustments or something as simple as a vacuum tube that has fallen off. It doesn’t idle – but it’s nothing I can’t handle.
There’s a whole 1/8 turn of freeplay in the steering (manual) – but I can probably lessen that as well. I have an extensive history in making old vans drivable.
The drivers side captain chair wobbles all around, which is a bit disconcerting when turning – the whole thing, with me, tilts to the opposite side about six inches.
I can hopefully make time to fix that as well – along with the drivers side window that is very much not there.

No radio, no AC – or fan of any kind at all.
It’s going to be one hell of a beautiful – if not absurdly amusing – journey across the country, but  thankfully I’m heading to BRC with ravencreature  – quite possibly the best driving companion I could have hoped for.

And yes – the van is white.

And it will make it – I’ve got things to do.

Now accepting suggestions for names for her. She’ll need one before we leave on the 24th…

I scare myself sometimes
when I think
that if this is what it will forever be like
that if all i want to give
all i want to feel

I can’t

ever

then forever
is nothing I ever
want to feel…

…And what if tomorrow
is just a little bit better?
Past words in a different life –
I know better now, but
but
still I dream
and most have come true
but
still, I dream
and sometimes…

sometimes…

3/24/99

because there isn’t anything
that makes sense anymore

because there isn’t anything
that i have to make me smile right now
and the pain of my impatience
has control over me
and i feel
futile like nothing will ever
be complete
and i hate it all right now
and i hate you all
right now
and fuck this place
and fuck this job
and fuck this morning
and fuck you people
and fuck this page
fuck the moon
fuck the sun
fuck the stars
fuck this life of nothing from nothing and
i would love to open myself up
and feel this poisoned blood
leave me
watch as it stains the sheets
a final crimson
watch this morning
and everything else

disappear

as my eyes slowly close

but wouldn’t that be
just so fucking
redundant

and what if tomorrow is just

a little bit

better

3.24.99
i look out the door to the gray sky
same as it is inside
when there is nothing left
and nothing matters today.

i look to the gray sky
the color has faded from this boy
dead eyes and an empty heart
and nothing matters today

i dream of the peace in draining
on top of my bed, eyes slowly close
and i feel as there is nothing left to give
i’ve never been able to see it so clearly.

a dream of over and done with
i just don’t care anymore
and it doesn’t matter who she is
i never knew her anyway.

erase forever and always
never have they made much sense to me
when the beginning of the story is nothing but a myth
the author gets to choose his own end .

3.25.99
hoping the people
are alive enough tonight
to save me from myself
and these thoughts that scream,
making me afraid to think at all.

innocence lost when
ignorance was pushed away
and i opened unknown doors
and hated who i saw

how can this
pitiful romantic
this lost little boy
so infatuated
with the tragedy of the heart
find it so hard
to believe in love?

i want to go back
to the magic and beauty
seen through the eyes of
the child full of wonder that
i once was

lost so beautifully in the dreams
of what i once believed
could be…

I can’t stop thinking of when she said she cried when I told her.
I tried to today. I tried to cry. Too many tears have already been shed, none came – only a dead stare into nothing, wondering why wondering when. Tears – they mean nothing anymore. Not from me not for this. I have only this, my life since forever. I want to call, I want to have someone, her. I don’t want to call. I want to be able to kiss them off her cheek if they come. I made that promise I can’t call I can’t say I can’t understand the numbers I have been so good yet I deteriorate faster than ever…
This is all I have. Nothing is right with this. I have the numbers.
Nothing is right. Nothing is good there.
Only one theory.
The place.

gifts

My landlord returned from his three week vacation to Central America today. Before he left, he mentioned that rent would not be due until he got back home – cool. During the time he was away, however, the date was set for departure, commitments made, and it was confirmed – I’m going to Burning Man, and moving back to the West Coast…

Things have been tough out on the street, performing in the Post-K, sweltering new Orleans summer, and the money just hasn’t been that fantastic, making it very difficult to save for the final – and most important – piece that will make this journey possible, The Van. (At this point, a tent is being considered a luxury. First things first.)It seemed much more feasable only a few weeks ago, but yeah – the cash has been getting slim. Less people, and less people putting money in the box. Fighting for every dollar, the sweat dripping down my back, arms and legs, but knowing that every dollar will get me closer to The Van.

Aaaaaah, The Van. Sweet chariot of the road, my freedom cairrage, the magic carpet that will transport me back across the country to yet another page in my beautiful life. My Steel Salvation…

I have been able to save rent and a very small bit bit more, *much* less than I had hoped, but in order to actually get the van when it comes I will need to have cash-in-hand to purchase it. I had decided to talk to my landlord to ask him if it would be possible to use the deposit for last months rent, and therefore have the cash ready when I found The Van instead of it not being available until the last second – which would quite possibly be too late. This idea was met with trepidation, as I clearly remember him saying, as well as it being printed in bold on the lease, that the deposit will NOT be used as the last months rent.
With nervous fingers and a cup of strong tea, I called him first thing this morning, with the intention of asking him to possibly consider the situation and make an exception. I would meet him with the check in hand, explain everything, and hope for the best.
He answered, and after I told him who it was he immidiately mentioned that he heard a rumor that I was moving. “Yeah, yeah I am Shawn, on the 24th. Moving back to California. I was wondering…” here he interrupted me. “Well why don’t I just put your security deposit to this months rent, and we’ll be square.”

“Um, yeah! That would be fantastic, Shawn – thanks!”

A few more things were said, then we ended the conversation.

I love the way things work out when they’re supposed to.

So I now have a bit over $400 cashmoney to go to the van, but that probably isn’t going to cut it. Gots to bust my ass trying to get more scratch, pack, sew, and work on a couple more projects I have going. Busy days, very busy – but things are working out.

See you on The Playa, in San Francisco, or in L.A. – or anywhere along the road.

I’m leaving on the 24th.
Hopefully, in a van.

How appropriate…

Free Will Virgo Horoscope for week of August 10, 2006

Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Of all the times in your life when you have been in captivity, this has to be one of the least arduous and frustrating ever. I’ll go so far as to say that I have rarely seen a more beautiful prisoner than you; for a drudge in bondage, you’re ravishing. As hard as it may be to contemplate, however, it’s almost time to escape. Your dark though sexy night of the soul will soon come to an end. Don’t you dare linger any longer than you have to.

I love the “dark though sexy night of the soul” part. An almost perfect description of New Orleans…

Everything and Nothing

Too much, perhaps.
I begin this with no idea what will follow. I begin this with any words i have known escaping me. I begin this with nothing but a need. A need to write at least something.

It may end the same way.

15 days. On my bike I ride through the streets slower and slower, taking it all in. At this point I have already left inside, these travels are only waking dreams to be remembered. The shuttered doors, the colors of the homes, the beautiful trees and plants that make this place so beautiful, so surreal in the knowledge of what lies behind them – but no one can ever really know that. As friendly as New Orleans is, the secrets it carries are where the magick is based, and no one will ever know everything about this place.

A film of a life built in dreams. It is beginning to exist, I am beginning to believe it will – almost.

15 days. Still need a van. It will come. I try not to get nervous, I trust. I hide my terror behind what I know will happen because it needs to. I trust i trust I trust. I should know better than to not at this point.

Gulfport and peace, drawing down the moon under an oak while waiting for dinner. I took off my boots, grounded. I needed that.

15 days.

The road calls again. A new life, another life.

How many have I had? I’ve bested the strongest of cats. Nine is nothing. Watch me fly again.

It ends the same way.

Almost.

Apartment for rent!

Posting it here first, hoping to find someone kewl for my soon to be former neighbors.

Are *you* kewl?

On August 24th, I’m hittin’ the road, heading out West in the van that I don’t have yet, and saying my temporary farewells to this extroardinary city,

Which brings me to this: My thumbnail sized apartment will be available on that day for someone deserving to move in. The apartment, as you may have surmised from the thumbnail comment, is *tiny*, comes complete with a blue roof and one whole cabinet in the kitchen, and a wall that has torn away from the ajoining wall just a bit…

But here’s the good stuff about this place: The Landlord is pretty cool, you will have a group of the coolest neighbors imaginable and a beautifully maintained courtyard area, windows on three walls, each side looking at shrubbery and foliage and beautiful growing green stuff. There’s a bird feeder right outside, and occasionally you even get a treat of Blue Jays or Cardinals snacking from it. Usually, though, the squirrel gets one side and the less colorful birds the other. It’s a lovely relationship they have. I’ll even leave my willow tree there for you to enjoy. Oh yeah, the bathroom is BIG. It’s a month to month lease, on Esplenade & Marais.

I’m looking for someone to move in for the last week in August and paying me $100 for that week.
Oh – I didn’t tell you the best part. Rent is only $400/month.
Yeah. You read that right.
So, back to business. Wipe the drool from your face. Remember, this place is really small. Total move in on Aug. 24/25th will me $500 – $100 to me and $400 to the landlord for deposit, then one week later your first months rent will be due. Dig?

Mr Landlord is out of town until the tenth, but if you want to take a look at the place just to see if it would be livable for you, let me know!

Okay, yeah. I think that’s it. If you have any questions, email me – ksea13 (at) gmail (dot) com