Notes From The Road

“The road is like a lover, she calls to me in the dark, and I run to her, she soothes my ragged soul, she fills my spirit.”

The guy with the duffle bag and the beard looks at me and says, “You got a smoke in your hand, aren’t you going to lite it?” and I say, “No.”  Then he says, “Why not?” and I say, “I don’t want to lite it.”  Then he says …. “Why you bother holding a smoke in your hand if you are not going to smoke it?”  So then I say, “‘Cause they might come over here and tell me I only have five more minutes to live, and I don’t want to spend it all looking for a smoke.”

On some days, it don’t pay to get out of bed.

So here I sit, 7.5 miles south of Travis City, Michigan, in my old tired, worn out motor-kamper, writing stories about doomed cities of the future and it occurred to me … No wait, that aint right.  What was I thinking?  That my friends, is a fabrication, sometimes sprinkling a little lie here and there improves the story.

I call it embellishing in order to clarify.

That is the nature of the beast, I have to fill my word count for the month, don’t I?  I am not really in Michigan, I am deep in the Lone Star State, just across the road from a root n scoot in Houston, Texas, munching on a Mr. Goodbar and drinking a diet Dr. Pepper.

It’s a tough job … but someone has to do it.

Meandering thru the channels on television last-night, and I came across a National Geographic Special on “Gold and Guerrillas” in Columbia (some people refer to this as surfing, but I don’t really know why).  Most of the time I don’t turn the television on, when I am on the road, but for some reason I did last-night.  Found a little nugget of truth sprinkled amongst the trash of man.

Y’know, after watching this documentary, it is apparent to me, that no matter how bad things get in this country, we still have it pretty good.

Columbia is rich in precious metals and stones, very poor in human rights.  Making a living is not only hard, but often complicated.  I watched this poor guy, working in a river, washing gold in a pan, from early in the morning to dusk.  And his total take for the day was just a pitiful amount of the precious metal, and he had to use a toxic substance to retrieve it (Mercury).  The sum total of a days labor … about enough to buy two meals, $36.  The guerrillas in the mountains now depend on this income (gold), cocaine is on the down side in this country now, so they have moved over to a new way to finance their particular brand of terror … Gold.

Columbia is a beautiful country and has much to offer, but sadly it is like a lot of South America, corrupt and full of danger.  If you have something of value, the guerrillas in the mountains are prone to take it from you or at best if you are lucky, force you to share it with them.  The government on the other hand cannot protect you, and they too, extract their pound of flesh along the way.

I came away from this one hour show with the profound awareness of how good I have it here and a feeling of gratitude for being born in a nation that has some semblance of law and justice, along with a smattering of freedom.

Which is something that is basic in nature, something we all want.

Here is an example.

Life is good here in the U.S.A. where we are all considered regular people and have all the advantages and benefits that there are to offer.  Personally, I have not come across one of these so-called social animals of American Society here lately (regular people), but I have my eyes wide open, and when I spot one I will let you know.

You then can stick a colored pin in a map … either red or blue … Unlike the folks in Columbia YOU still have a choice.


Thanks to Mike at Tau Zero for the photo, check ’em out, eye-candy for the soul.