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lazy mornings
lost in a forest
amw
First "real" day of vacation, didn't get to sleep till after 4, and i'm awake by 9. Go figure. But at least i don't have anywhere to be. Once i got out of Chicago yesterday the sense of being on vacation finally washed over me. This is what i needed.

The last few days of the move were a total clusterfuck. I had to deal with a bunch of flakes regarding furniture and other stuff i was trying to give away or sell. The sad part is some of the flakes were my friends. Wednesday night an internet random came over to pick up some stuff, and seeing how stressed i was, he offered to stick around and take some loads down to the dumpster. Of course being all independent n shit i said no, but after he left i collapsed in a corner because not a single one of my so-called friends had offered a hand with anything and here a perfect stranger was willing to help me for nothing more than some cutlery, a bag of freakin spices and an old Macbook with a dead battery. Half an hour later my super drops by and says dude, just leave all the rest of the shit, we'll donate it to charity, and we'll finish cleaning the place too. He saved my last tiny shred of sanity. It still took another hour to pack my bags and throw out the last of the crap. I left him some beer in the fridge. When i called him yesterday morning to make sure everything was okay he was completely taken aback that i'd been nice enough to think of that - apparently most people don't. Man, fuck fucking people if they are that much of assholes. I was actually feeling bad i hadn't slipped him and the co-super a couple twenties for their trouble. I guess most people just disappear without cleaning their place and expect the supers to be a free maid service or some shit.

But aside from all the self-involved fucks who i definitely will not miss, a few people were really there for me. D took a 2-3 hour transit ride from hell to have a few drinks and dance to disco in my empty lounge room for all of 5 hours, at which point he had to reverse the journey to make it home for work the next day. And R... Man, i would've completely lost my shit without her being there for me on texts, at the pub, at her place. She let me crash there the last two nights, and she's letting me leave my books and CDs in her solarium. My ex-boss i worked with for all of 3 months took me out for cocktails. My fucking drug dealer took the time to send me the SOLE goodbye message that i received, and it was a sweet one. The ones least expected. I sobbed and sobbed on the plane, primarily because i am going miss the fuck out of R, who i've been hanging out with several times a week lately and has been my lowest maintenance friend ever. We drink, we laugh, we watch TV, we text, when she has to work she works, when i have to work i work and neither of us demand or expect anything of the other. Kinda what i hoped my marriage would be but wasn't. The rest of Canada can go fuck itself, but i'll be back to see that girl again, for sure.

I landed in Chicago yesterday, and after a frustrating and fruitless search for a SIM drove out to South Bend, Indiana to see quit. I always get a little buzz when i visit a state i've never been to before, and was pleasantly surprised to cross the border not 10 minutes out of town. I ended up on the wrong highway due to my lack of a phone, but i didn't care because i was on motherfucking vacation. Though i did get a SIM at the first opportunity. The only paper i have with me is my journal and a photocopy of my passport. Didn't print any tickets or confirmations, didn't buy any maps or guidebooks, i'm depending on being able to access the internet everywhere. Mexico is going to be scary as hell because i'll have no internet plus the language barrier. I mean, i'll have to travel like they did in the old days - to think!

Last night we ended up at a local bar, which was awesome. Every time i leave the US i forget how totally rock and hip-hop oriented it is, especially in the smaller towns. I mean, i know it on paper because of my friends, but it's still a bit of a culture shock every time i come back. It's when i feel the most foreign, listening to 4 hours of karaoke and only recognizing a handful of songs, most of which i only know from living here (or in Canada) in the first place. Although the music does nothing for me - i don't even have a nostalgic connection - the diversity always makes me smile. It's cool to see people having such a good time singing 27 different subgenres of rock or country or hip-hop that i didn't even know existed. There are a few songs i'll always associate with certain countries. In Australia Tina Turner - Nutbush is a big deal. There's some YMCA-like dance thing that everyone does to it. In Canada for some reason i always hear Elton John - Tiny Dancer on the radio or when i'm at a bar. No idea why, never heard the song till i moved there. And in America everyone inexplicably loves Johnny Cash, who i find so utterly forgettable i can't even name a single song. But when i do see his name i always think of Americans. And it's always totally different from what as a foreigner you associate with the country - as a kid i thought Elvis was the most American thing ever, but i hear less Elvis here than in any other country i've been to. Which sucks, because i fucking love Elvis.

I wonder what i would do if i lived in the US? Would i live in a little downtown bubble where i only associated with one subculture? I guess in a way that's exactly what i did in Toronto - aside from work people, literally everyone i knew was from the house or techno scenes. And that's two very niche scenes that rarely cross with the other (much larger) subcultures of Canada. I know this is going to sound shocking coming from me, but i think it's almost better to be a tourist here because i actually go out and do those "American" things that if i lived here on my own i never would. I get to enjoy American culture as it is, wherever it is, instead of just the tiny slice of it that fits my everyday lifestyle. A few of my friends just cannot understand why i would ever want to go the places i'm going the next 2 weeks. Well, obviously i'm here to visit my friends who live here, but more i just love to see things as they are wherever they are. I'd hate to be that American who goes to McDonalds in Paris, or the Brit who will always find an Irish pub, or the Australians who only hang out in hostels. It'd just make me feel trapped in the precise hole i was trying to escape from. I think that's why i've enjoyed traveling to the US while living in a country that's largely exactly the fucking same, because when you live somewhere you can't help but get rooted in your usual joints, and then you miss out on everything else - even what's right under your nose. Yeah, i'm gonna miss my seedy downtown Toronto local and here i may stick out as the faggiest eurotrash motherfucker in town (i can only imagine what Texas will be like) but this is Indiana, replete with strip malls and king size beds and fucking rock'n'roll. You gotta own it. And when i wake up i can still play Christopher Schwarzwälder or Heinrichs & Hirtenfellner and everything is just fine.
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