amw (amw) wrote,

slowing down

After my last entry i reluctantly spent two days at home to try recover from my sniffles.

I actually don't mind spending weekends at home now that i am no longer working. Weekends suck. The roads are busy. There are too many people in the park. Everyone is in a rush to do something. During the week it is much more relaxing to go out.

I remember this in China too, climb a mountain during the week, you can almost pretend you're in the wilderness and not one of the world's biggest megacities. In Germany, go clubbing during the week, you don't need to line up for a drink, you always have room to dance. Canada, you can bike along the highway without fear you're about to be run over by a distracted parent in a luxury SUV driving their family somewhere for an adventure they could've had literally walking distance from their home, if they ever bothered to walk anywhere.

Anyway, yesterday i was getting tired of sitting at home watching shows (i marathoned season 3 of The Chi) and playing games (highly recommended: AER Memories of Old). I still woke up with a sore throat. So, damnit, i decided to quit smoking again, again. I had my last smoke with coffee on the balcony, then walked to the grocery store for supplies, not including smokes.

I also decided to try warm up by taking my bike out to the rez, which is the sunniest part of town. Much of the wilderness there is marked as private property (as in, band members only), but there are a few right-of-ways for CN rail and whoever owns the highway, so there are some quiet spots to sit and play my harp.

Last week, before i took the two day break from going outside, i found the right mouth position to bend, which is a trick harmonica players use to play different notes outside of the pre-programmed set. It also is what creates that bluesy moaning/wailing sound that people automatically think about when they think of someone sitting on a bucket next to the train tracks playing harmonica. So, i now no longer feel like a sad child playing penny whistle tunes, which has made practicing a lot more fun.

Yesterday i was sitting on a gravel backroad where i did not expect any traffic. As it turned out, every twenty minutes or so a cyclist went past. One of the cyclists stopped and looked at me, then called out "i know you!" Say what?!

The spandex-clad chap out for an exercise ride revealed himself to be the same guy who, over in a completely different part of town, had been dumping rocks out the back of his pickup. Ex train conductor, that guy. He said it was nice to see me again, we chit-chatted a bit, and he recommended i jump the fence to go explore the trails on the riverbank... Which... Hmm.

I mean, most readers know that i think private property is bullshit. No trespassing signs are bullshit, especially out in the country where the only people who'd trespass are local kids, hikers and hobos anyways. But at the same time i think being white and traipsing over the tiny scrap of land that indigenous people were granted for themselves after white people seized the whole damn rest of the country is kind of a dick move.

Of course, i haven't been here long enough to know whether those signs are just for show. I know there are certain areas where everyone ignores no trespassing signs because they know the owner, or at least they know the owner doesn't care. But i'd rather err on the side of not being an asshole.

Ugh. Land ownership is garbage.

Anyway, i'm now 24 hours without a cigarette and not missing it too much. Probably when i drink again i will, but right now i'm focusing on trying to evict this sniffle. This morning i still woke up with a throatache, but it was less. What i have been doing is going outside to sit on the balcony for 5-10 minutes, apropos of nothing. It gives me the same emotional break that smoking did, but hopefully will not thrash my body so bad.

Granted, there is still a bit of wildfire smoke floating around and the areas i am hanging out to play harp are extremely dusty and likely not doing my respiratory system any favors. But i'd rather die from breathing in industrial fumes and desert air than goddamn fucking cigarettes.

Just you wait, i will start up again by the next entry.

Here is a photo of a church and a train and a mountain.

My landlord spoke to me about staying past Christmas. Originally she had promised the place to a different tenant in the new year, but she was getting stressed about the idea of having to switch from a very quiet and low maintenance tenant like me, so she returned the other folks' deposit and i can now stay till into next year. I still would like to travel about a bit, but traveling in Canada in winter is trash, so i will remain hunkered down.

The next big question for me is winter gear. The same dilemma i went through living in Toronto and Berlin. I don't want to spend any money on clothes that i can only wear for certain months of the year. And yet, not buying those clothes makes living through unweather extremely miserable. This is the reason i don't have an umbrella, no coat, no boots, no gloves, no nothing that i could not wear literally any day in any location. Well, i do have a pair of longjohns, but they roll up very small, so it doesn't feel like a waste of space to carry them around.

I have too much fucking stuff as it is.

God, i so fucking remember why Canada always made me want to snowbird. The winter is just too much of a pain in the ass. Obviously if you just sit in your house the whole time, doesn't matter. But going outside sucks, completely and utterly. It's not just the weather, it's the whole car culture that makes trying to live with the weather a far more uncomfortable experience than it should be.

I really fucking hate cars. For a moment there i thought coming back to North America would help me break through to the point of getting one anyway - it's just the practical thing to do - but nah. It's only made me even more resentful. Cars are the fucking worst. Everything about them makes the world worse. Everyone gets further away from each other. The community gets splintered, or destroyed altogether. Buying one would just perpetuate the problem. The only way to try fix this broken society is to keep on walking.
Tags: making music, sick, simple living
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