This may be controversial, but please read my lengthy explanation. I believe it spells everything out succinctly and with aplomb. I am open to courteous discussion.

 

 

“Richard Paul “Rick” Astley (/ˈrɪk ˈæstli/; born 6 February 1966) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and radio personality. His 1987 song, “Never Gonna Give You Up” was a No. 1 hit single in 25 countries, and won the 1988 Brit Award for Best British Single.[1][2] By the time of his retirement in 1993, Astley had sold approximately 40 million records worldwide.[3][4][5]

Astley made a comeback in 2007, becoming an Internet phenomenon when his video “Never Gonna Give You Up” became integral to the meme known as “rickrolling“.[6] Astley was voted “Best Act Ever” by Internet users at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008.[7] His 2016 album 50 debuted in the UK at No. 1.[8]

Early life

Astley was born on 6 February 1966 in Newton-le-Willows in Lancashire, the fourth child of his family. His parents divorced when he was five, and Astley was brought up by his father.[9] His musical career started when he was ten, singing in the local church choir.[10] During his schooldays, Astley formed and played the drums in a number of local bands, where he met guitarist David Morris.[2][11] After leaving school at sixteen, Astley was employed during the day as a driver in his father’s market-gardening business and played drums on the Northern club circuit at night in bands such as Give Way – specialising in covering Beatles and Shadows songs – and FBI, which won several local talent competitions.[10]

Career

Signing with Stock Aitken Waterman

In 1985, Astley was performing as a drummer with a soul band named FBI, with Morris on guitar. They were a well-known local band writing and performing their own music, gigging in pubs and clubs. When FBI’s lead singer left the band, and Morris left to concentrate on his career in hairdressing,[11] Astley offered to be the lead vocalist. This was when he was noticed by the record producer Pete Waterman, who persuaded him to come to London to work at the Pete Waterman Limited (PWL) recording studio,[2] with RCA Records publishing his records. Under the tutelage of the production team of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman, known as Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW), Astley was taught about the recording process and groomed for his future career, supposedly starting off as the recording studio “tea boy“. The reason for Astley to be hired as a “tape op” was to overcome his shyness.[12] SAW also hired most of FBI, including Morris as a guitarist/songwriter.[11]

Success

His first single was the little-known “When You Gonna”, released as a collaboration with Lisa Carter, with little promotion. It did not chart. His first solo offering was “Never Gonna Give You Up“, recorded on New Year’s Day 1987, and released eight months later, in August.[13] Astley’s distinctive rich, deep voice combined with dance-pop, made the song an immediate success,[14] spending five weeks at the top of the British charts and becoming the year’s highest-selling single. The song was also a worldwide number one hit, topping the charts in 24 other countries, including the U.S., Australia, and Germany. It would become the first of 13 (worldwide) top 30 hit singles for him. “Never Gonna Give You Up” won Best British single at the 1988 BPI awards (now called the BRIT Awards),[15] and he performed the hit in front of a global audience of 100 million.[2][16]

His next single was “Whenever You Need Somebody“, which was released in October. The single was a recycled Stock, Aitken, Waterman song, originally recorded by O’Chi Brown in 1985. It became a successful European hit, reaching No. 1 in seven countries, including Germany and Sweden, following up the success of his debut single. It also reached No. 3 in the UK. It was not released in North America.[17]

In November 1987, the album Whenever You Need Somebody, containing four tracks written by Astley, also reached number one in the UK and Australia, and No. 10 in the U.S. It was certified 4x Platinum in the UK and Canada, and 2x Platinum in the US. Overall Whenever You Need Somebody sold 15.2 million copies worldwide, making him the top-selling British act of the year.[2]

In December 1987, Astley released a cover version of the Nat King Cole classic “When I Fall in Love“. This single is mainly remembered for a closely fought contest for UK Christmas Number 1. Rivals EMI, hoping to see their act the Pet Shop Boys reach No. 1, re-released the version by Nat King Cole.[18][19] This led to a slowdown of purchases of Astley’s version, allowing the Pet Shop Boys to reach the coveted top spot. Despite selling over 200,000 copies and gaining a Silver certification from the BPI,[20] it peaked in the UK at No. 2 for two weeks. The re-release of Nat King Cole’s version reached No. 4. The B side was a dance number “My Arms Keep Missing You“, which was successful in mainland Europe.

Astley’s fourth single release would be “Together Forever” in 1988, reaching No. 2 in the UK. It was denied the top spot by Neighbours sensation Kylie Minogue‘s debut “I Should Be So Lucky“.[21] “Together Forever” was more successful in the U.S., topping the charts, making it his second U.S. chart topper,. In 1989 he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist, but lost to Tracy Chapman.

His fifth and final release from his debut album was “It Would Take a Strong Strong Man“. It was a more soulful song, when compared to his other releases, and was mainly intended for the North American market. Thus, it was not released in Britain. It was another hit for Astley, reaching No. 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and No. 1 in Canada. During the period between his debut release and his fifth single, Astley outsold every other artist in the world.[22] In the UK, he was in the Top 40 every week for the first 6 months of his career.[2]

A fire in the PWL studios destroyed much of Astley’s new material,[2] causing a delay in the release of his second album. Hold Me in Your Arms was released in January 1989, containing five singles, and reached No. 8 in the UK and No. 19 in the U.S., being certified platinum in the UK and gold in the U.S.

Rick Astley was presented by Stock Aitken Waterman as a boy next door type act. After leaving PWL, Astley changed his image to a more mature and moody musician.

Astley’s relationship with British media deteriorated significantly after the release of Whenever You Need Somebody, with the media calling him a “puppet” of Stock Aitken Waterman,[15] although Astley had written five of his new album’s tracks. The negative press inevitably affected the sales of his singles.[23] The first single from the album to be released was “She Wants to Dance with Me“, a number written by Astley. It was another successful single, reaching No. 6 on both the UK and US charts. “Take Me to Your Heart” was the next single to be released from the album. It reached No. 8 in the UK and was not released in the U.S. “Hold Me in Your Arms“, a ballad written by Astley, reached No. 10 in the UK and was also not released in North America. The next two singles released from the album were intended for the North American market. “Giving Up on Love” and a cover of The Temptations song “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” charted at No. 38 and No. 89 in the U.S. respectively.

In December 1989, Astley set off on his first world tour, touring 15 countries including the UK, U.S., Australia, and Japan.[2] By the end of the tour, he was tiring of the negative press, and wanted to explore alternative paths as a musician. Thus, he left his producers Stock Aitken Waterman, and RCA records bought out his contract with PWL.

Switching to soul and adult contemporary

By 1990, Astley had parted company with Stock Aitken Waterman. He also decided to leave his dance-pop days behind him, moving towards his passion, soul. This shift in musical genre led him to change his image too, ditching the boy next door look, presenting himself as a mature and passionate musician. His third album, Free, was released in 1991 containing collaborations with Elton John.[15] The album contained three singles, and reached No. 9 in the UK and No. 31 in the US.

He achieved one more major success with the 1991 balladCry for Help“, which reached No. 7 in both the UK and the US. The other two singles from Free were not as successful. “Move Right Out” reached No. 58 in the UK and No. 81 in the US; and “Never Knew Love” reached No. 70 in the UK and did not chart in the US. Free would mark the end of Astley’s successful period, and “Cry for Help” would be the last Astley single to make the Top 10 in either the UK or US to date.

His next album, Body and Soul, was released in 1993, and was largely an Adult Contemporary album. By the time the album was released, Astley had decided to retire from the music industry. As a result, the album did not get a lot of promotion,[2] not charting in the UK but managing to make the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 182. The two singles, “The Ones You Love” and “Hopelessly“, performed very well on the U.S. adult contemporary chart, peaking at No. 19 and No. 4 respectively. “The Ones You Love” peaked at No. 48 in the UK but did not chart in the U.S. “Hopelessly” also crossed over and peaked at No. 28 on the US Billboard 100, staying in the US top 40 for five weeks, and No. 33 in the UK. It was named as one of the most performed songs at the 1994 BMI Awards,[24] and is one of the few songs to achieve BMI ‘Million-Air’ status.[25]

Retirement

After 1993, Astley retired from the music industry at the age of 27, deciding that family life was more important. During Astley’s time out of the music business, he raised his daughter Emilie, born in 1992. Thus, for much of the 1990s and early 2000s, Astley remained largely out of the spotlight. Astley would later state that this was due to his growing frustration with business side of things.[26] During this period he co-wrote “Mission Statement”, a track for former Marillion singer Fish‘s 1999 solo album Raingods with Zippos.[27][28]

Return to singing

Almost 10 years after Body and Soul, Astley returned to the music industry, signing a co-publishing deal with Polydor and releasing Keep It Turned On in 2001. The album featured the single “Sleeping“, which became a minor club hit, thanks to a set of remixes from U.S. house producer Todd Terry. Keep It Turned On was only released in Continental Europe.[2]

Astley’s first compilation album, Greatest Hits, was released in 2002, and reached No. 16 on the UK Albums Chart. With no promotion from Astley, it sold over 100,000 copies and was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry.[2] In 2003 he charted at No. 10 in the UK as a songwriter with “Shakespeare’s (Way With) Words” performed by short-lived boy band One True Voice.

In 2004, Astley toured for the first time in 14 years, which led him to a record contract with Sony BMG.[2]

In March 2005, Astley released the album Portrait, in which he covered many classic standards such as “Vincent“,[29]Nature Boy” and “Close to You“. Astley and Sony BMG were unhappy with the result so the album was poorly promoted,[2] yet it managed to reach No. 26 on the UK Albums Chart.

In April 2008, the album The Ultimate Collection: Rick Astley was released by Sony BMG, and by early May it had reached #17 on the UK Top 40 Albums Chart,[30] again with no promotion by Astley.

In September 2008, Astley was nominated for the ‘Best Act Ever’ award at the MTV Europe Music Awards.[7] The push to make Astley the winner of the award continued after the announcement, as did efforts to encourage MTV to invite Astley to the awards ceremony.[31] On 7 November, following a massive Internet campaign by fans, Astley won the award in Liverpool, but was not there in person to receive it. Perez Hilton collected the prize on his behalf.[32] On the back of this, “Never Gonna Give You Up” returned to the UK charts, over 21 years after it was released, peaking at No. 73 during the Christmas period.

Astley performing in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 2009

During the late 2000s, Astley continued touring across the globe, touring with various other 1980s acts, such as Boy George and Belinda Carlisle, in the Here and Now Tour.[2] In April 2009, he wrote an article for Time about moot.[33]

Astley was a special guest throughout Peter Kay‘s new tour, The Tour That Doesn’t Tour Tour…Now On Tour, from 27 April to 22 May 2010. To mark the occasion, Rick Astley released a new single “Lights Out” on his own label on 7 June 2010.[34] This was Astley’s first release in the UK Singles Chart in 17 years. It was well received by radio, peaking No. 15 on the UK Airplay Charts, but it failed to become a commercial hit, reaching only No. 97 on the UK Singles Chart.

During the summer of 2010, Astley became a radio DJ for London’s Magic FM, presenting a Sunday show.[35][36] The initial contract was for eight weeks, but he proved popular with listeners and his contract was extended till the end of the year.[37] In December 2010, Astley co-hosted the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 with Peter Kay,[38] and in March 2011 appeared in Comic Relief‘s Red Nose Day telethon on the BBC.[39][40]

In April 2016 Astley released “Keep Singing“, from his forthcoming album, 50. Interviewed by Amanda Holden on the Lorraine show on 7 April, Astley explained that it was turning 50 which had prompted him to release the single. He said, “It was a big milestone. I got back in the studio and friends were telling me the material I was working on was pretty good. So I decided to go for it.”[41][26][42] On 31 May, the release date for Astley’s 50 was revealed to be 10 June 2016.[43] The album reached number one on the Official UK Album Sales charts in the week of 17 June 2016 to 23 June 2016.[8]

In September 2016 Astley released the single “Dance”, together with an official video.[44]

Rickrolling Internet phenomenon

Astley rickrolling the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2008

In 2007,[45] Rick Astley became the subject of a viral Internet meme known as rickrolling. In this prank, Web users are tricked into seeing Rick Astley’s video “Never Gonna Give You Up” when they follow a link that claims to be something else.[46] Views of this video on various websites are now in the hundreds of millions. The phenomenon became so popular that on 1 April 2008, YouTube pranked its users by making every single featured video on its front page a rickroll.[47]

On 27 November 2008, Astley participated in a live rickroll during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, while the Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends characters were singing “Best Friend”, the theme from the 1970s TV series The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Midway through the song, Astley emerged from the float and began to lip sync his signature hit. At the end of Astley’s performance, Cheese (a character from Foster’s) shouted out “I like rickrolling!”.[48][49]

Although the video garnered millions of hits on YouTube, Astley has earned almost no money from the meme. By 2010 he had received only US$12 in royalties from YouTube for his performance share.[50]

Personal life

Rick Astley is married to Lene Bausager, and the couple have a daughter, Emilie, who was born in 1992. Astley met Lene when she was working as a promoter with RCA in 1988.[9] Lene is a film producer, and was nominated for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for the Sean Ellis film Cashback, where she was the main producer.[51][52] The family lives in the London suburb of Richmond.[53]

Discography

 

Content used without permission from Wikipedia. Go donate to Wikipedia.

Advertisements

Nov 5, 2016

There is a scale of arrestability in the protest circuits I’ve been in. As a part of a medic check-in you would gauge with your buddy where your team is best placed and what risks you are willing to take. It’s a color scale, with Green being little to no risk of danger, and Red being you are most certainly going to be attacked and/or arrested. Today I did not have a buddy, I just put my faith in Harrisburg that I would run into people on the street. Ran into a hard edge today. Most of my protest today was purely support, but because I felt extremely unsafe while doing it, I was most definitely and firmly in the yellow.

So, I didn’t have a buddy today, I was definitely not a medic in this demonstration. There were six teams for about 100 to 150 folks. Sure they were bloc’ed up, but they were still serving in medic roles. I remember hearing that and getting really excited and asking if there was a medic collective in the area. There isn’t, but within the Antifa I guess there is enough with the training, that we should had no worries more than normal.

I was in a privileged position, because, at everyone with an active part in the Neo-Nazi Rally, Peacekeeper folk, and Anti-fascist demonstrators’s best ideals, they were doing it for me. That’s the only reasonable way that I can believe that everyone was human. Well, except for the NeoNazis, ’cause I’m non-white, non-christian they would rather me and my kind exterminated, fuck those guys.

The tactic chosen by most people today was of black boc. Most of the time, I could just write them off as being ridiculous because the massive amount of regular people who were behind them. In the streets of Chicago, thousands of people, wearing a shirt, expressing frustration and anger at the everyday injustices that civilized society demands that you ignore, or play off with humor, or accept. Ahead of them was the thin dark line, a sprawling angry warrior edge, the ones who could be violent.

The masters of improvised weaponry. The folk who would do anything to protect and fight if the time came to fight. Their only true protection is their anonymity, by the black that they wear, their fists, and their sticks and stones. Though they are capable of so much more. Their demonstration is that they must show that they are willing to be violent for the right cause. Nazism is dead, Neo-Nazis are trying to ressurect a system of governance based on fear and hatred, that dehumanizes and oppresses those that do not think like they do. There must be that hard edge against a racist fascist society. As wildfires that burn uncontrollably and threaten the places where people live, fire must be met with fire sometimes.

The second most worn costume used tactic was that of the peacekeepers using a very ordered hierarchy of roles. There were riot cops, there were normal Unis, there were horse cops. They switched lines back and forth depending on how riled up the Antifa was getting. There was a single white drone with a red light that buzzed over the crowd a couple times, like a grocer using a barcode scanner. A couple more lines of cops marched in file out of the capitol and in groups up and down the capitol steps. There were several police vans at the end of State Street, with pockets of plainclothes roaming the edges here and there. Though my continuing worry is that a few of them were creeping Neo-Nazis. I think they did well today, they sat there silently, though their expression were hard to ignore as I chatted with a guy that I met to try to relax myself. It was comforting to connect to another in mutual wingnuttiness.

The fourth most worn costume, (because there were still more people who were wearing whatever they had), the pale imitation Nazis did not live up to a prompt German sense of efficiency as they showed up about 20 minutes late. They were afforded much space from the rest of the city. There was no one who gathered who was going to listen to them speak, except for the media allowed beyond the police line and their own. To my relief it was a pitiable amount of about few dozen. My impression is that the Neo-Nazis were cocky that they didn’t get attacked and were able to spout their nonsense on the capitol steps to a crowd that hated them because they were protected by the government that they rail against. The Neo-Nazi at the podium shouted into his bull horn, but if he was channeling the Furhur, all that I ever managed to hear was regurgitated Trump rhetoric. #MAGA #buildthewall So for those who still are going to vote for trump, you have Neo-Nazis on your side, how does that make you feel?

There was a wedding that was going on, that now have memories of our protest for a lifetime. A man in a zany gender ambiguous Hitler costume sauntered around the crowd, a vegetable peeler sticking out of the top of his helmet. Little Amps sucks because they closed their shop. A family that I met and talked with briefly offered to get me a coffee. The Mother was an nice hippy lady that said it reminded her of the 60s, though she was surprised at how aggressive our side was being. A very stupid Neo Nazi, tattooed and shirtless had a signpost broken over his back, he was chased off by about 50 Black Bloc, for the slightest of moments I feared that he was going to have the shit kicked out of him. That moment passed as now I have no care for if he did or did not.

All I did today was cook a bunch of food with my family and offered it to the Black Bloc. Just some bean and rice burritos with a little bit of homemade salsa. I livestreamed what I could, but mostly I was just paying attention to the people around me and took in the revel of rebellious attitude. And when the Nazis left, and we were dispersing, I was the huge nerd who brought garbage bags and reminded everyone to take their garbage with them. I cleaned up a few bottles and broken sticks, because if there’s one thing I know about protesting, never underestimate the propaganda that ‘they cleaned up after themselves’ reflects upon your movement. I could only ask, and a couple individuals helped out. People were thankful for the food and drink. I was happy to help just a little bit, even if I live in a position of unreal idealism. This is my home, after all.

      Today, folk were lamenting over the fact that the food they had purchased in the past, was of higher quality and far less expensive. My restraint faltered and I just blurted out one word in a flippant tone, ( a la “That’s-) “Capitalism.”
 

     The responses:
 
“You know, it doesn’t have to always go there.”
 
“You should feel lucky you live in a Capitalist Society.”

     Esprit De L’escalier: Perhaps I miss-speak when I say that “I long for a world without currency.” That is not technically true, because I understand the value of quantifying resources with a fungible ledger system. It streamlines many things, such as allowing the trading of goods, services and ideas to be less complicated. As I talk, I want to say I long for a world without capitalism then veer off to the less emotionally loaded word. Capitalism is a system that penalizes empathy and rewards exploitation. Where one can shed human decency and actively practice coercion and deception as ‘just doing good business.’
     I am not very good at quickly making my ideas into words, which is why I do not like to argue or debate under the pressure of having to yell my ideas over other people speaking. To explain what I meant with more than one word: Sacrificing a bit of quality, for less expense is normal and logical practice by large corporations, coupled with the fact that there are more hungry mouths than there ever were before means that the price must go up to stem the demand. Tripled by the over extracting of the food resource which feeds into the lack of supply with ever growing demand in an unsustainable cycle of inflating prices, as wages have stagnated over the past decades, except for those at the top of the pyramid whose income keeps going up up and up.
     I just said one word, and was immediately set upon as if I used the lord’s name in vain around Orthodox folk. Basically, I was told to shut up, and that I should not think such abberant thoughts. Perhaps what I mean to say is that “I long for a world where there is no need for anyone to obsess over how much currency they have.” It is a distraction from truly important things like the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the places where we live. Gradually the ideas of the past must give way to a better change for all, or the planet will abide without our species.

So apparently, it’s easy for me to post poetry.  That’s a good start. It’s been about a year since I’ve posted any prose anywhere. I think my many approaches have been plagued with false starts and many more failure to follow-throughs. Can’t really coherently explain why, I dunno, emotional shit. . . 

I just found where I stashed my journals, so, perhaps it will be a wellspring to encourage the habit of writing. 

This fell out of one of the books.

Office Place Rules

 

  •  Steal what’s plentiful and valueless
    • Ask, if it’s not.
  • Ask, If you can’t find something.
    • Answer with truth, if asked why.
  • Ask for help, if necessary.
    • Absolutely, necessary.
  • All meetings must have unique greetings.
    • If they don’t, then just start with ‘Hi!’
  • (:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

10:05 PM

Losing Time

My mother wasn’t a kind woman.

She had a deep love, for those that she loved.

But her words were always tinged with cynicism,

Her gratitude with emptiness,

Her delight with the knowledge,

But not the understanding,

That it is all fleeting.

A year has gone by since I’ve told stories of my life.

A year has gone by songless.

And though I’ve tried, to catalogue my experience.

I only feel dumbfounded, speechless, and delirious.

Time is a ride.

We are drivers, and passengers of time.

And sometimes in the backseat, we sleep.

Time is a ride.

A year has gone by,

With memories I don’t get to keep.

Flagstaff Arizona is a nice quiet mountain town in the desert. The journey here from Albuquerque is already filled with people and their stories like universes colliding. It’s been more than a month since I’ve written because I’ve already been to Albuquerque and am now headed on.

Fried Food Nihilism and Sewing Sound Systems

Knoxville

Seeing my old roommates again was a trip. We still got along and they are both doing fine.  They have a collection of blu-rays to challenge the very gods.  Unfortunately, pants maintenance took precedent, and probably prevented us from doing more outside activities together. Also it was frigid, and the first snow I’ve seen since New Year’s Eve in Tucson.

Julie, even in these subfreezing temperatures, had the habit of going out onto the back porch, which theirs is huge, and nice, and I hope they’re making every use of that barbecue, because that was really nice too. She has taken to watching the birds in their backyard, which was a nice sized backyard. Longer that Stacie’s but not as wide. I could probably fit five to seven garden beds there, maybe three if I was going for a spread out/permaculture set up. Julie also didn’t like being cooped up in the house, which I get.  I’m going to have to go camping with them.

Nathan showed me his nerd room, I mean recording room. His youtube hobby has really blossomed into actual devoted space for it. I also like his comic, a supernatural western is not a genre that gets much play. I can only think of a handful of movies, that even get close to the subject.  Sure it was a bit scattered in narrative, and his main female character just had to be nude at least once in each issue, because she’s a whore and doesn’t have any of those social hangups.  But at least she’s a strong female character, and much more interesting to me than whoever the male protagonist was.

I organized their record collection which was mostly music that I remember from growing up with Nate, a few choice movie soundtracks, and what I think is an unhealthy amount of Christmas music records.  Needless to say, that Nate and Julie have amassed quite a lot of stuff. But they are as I remember them, a little bit older, a lotta bit more cynical, but still a good deal pragmatic, if fatalistic in their world view.

I did eat a lot of really good fried and greasy food while with them, which was a bonus. I made a red curry, for them, Julie, being the grateful one, really liked it. Nate, the bastard, covered it in Sriracha, next time, four habanero peppers, or a whole bushel of chili peppers my friend. . . We also went to an outdoor bar where we had a few pints of craft beer. My favorite was the beer that also tasted like grapefruit.  And we went to an english pub/eatery where the food was good, but the service was pretty terrible. They still go there though because the food really was that awesome.

The Chinese food that we ordered out for on the last night was acceptable but nothing compared to No. 1 in Edwardsville. It wouldn’t even stand against Golden Star in Harrisburg. We got a bunch of veggies and batter with the intention of frying them in their deep fryer, but ran out of time because it was time to head up to Kentucky. Instead of dropping me off on the highway, which would have been perfectly reasonable, they drove me all the way to Ver Sailles. (because we’re in amur’yka it’s pronounced ver ”sails”)

From the pictures they posted on the facebooks it seemed liked those veggies were delicious.

The night they dropped me off in Kentucky, it began to snow.

So sitting here in a fastfood restaurant in Shreveport Louisiana about to head out to find a camping spot, but I’m gonna try to sum up Albequerque to here, with nonstop typing for 20minutes. ( don’t worry there is a post in the works about the bus ride from Tucson to ABQ in the queue, maybe I’ll finish it, or maybe never. )

The time is now 16:29

Abq is a town that makes me feel on edge as I walk down the massive sidewalks and extra wide streets the cracks must be massive here because there are people who are houseless everwhere and with the snow that i’ve gone through leading to the rain in this city and they have nothing but time to sit and read and contemplate in the library and i try to talk to eligible while figuring out where to stay when finally I guess henry relents and affirms that I can visit and the bus ride is short and the walk is short but in my head it is very long because my pack is just slightly too heavy but i’d still like to think that i can tough it out even if the short walk is through houses that are curved and pink and henry’s house is full of things that are important and unorganized and thriving with an atmosphere that is unjudging and never uncomfortable because his parents are just what I expect being sweet sweet people who have deep tastes for amazing things and Henry has games which I delve into the american exceptionalism and play nonstop for a day because when I stay it turns out that the next day is filled with the rainy center of a snow doughnut then the day ends and the next is sunny and bright and chilly and I go to walk on and henry says no gods no medical directors, which I can understand his sentiment, I am excited to return in a month and a half’s time

the sun is bright and Austin picks me up and we listen to his hip hop creation beats that seem to match the scenery very well with the clouds mimicking his cold piano chords and the road and wind buffering the beat of the bass he takes me to santa rosa just to drive and see if his car can go and I give him a fiver because he was once a dj but now delivers discs of pizza

and hour of walking goes by walking down one of the saddest roads that I’ve ever seen with garbage on the sides that were one businesses lining the road and they are now husks hollowed out from the times of change that this city now no longer uses but it is okay because the bank is still on this road and it is very shiny and spiffy with its neon sign and then I get to the onramp

the truck that stops to pick me up is filled with chris and his dog robin and oh my gawd why did I not make the christopher robin connection before while riding with him in his truck alllllllllll the way to shreveport, he even lets me sleep in the sleeper because the night is going down to ten below freezing and our talks stop and start being pleasant even though we are two very differently motivated people who have very little in common and 16 hours is a long time to fill when you’re afraid of offending each other and the night came and went and I had dreams of Nightvale the radio show and the after party that was filled with dances that were spinning and a beautiful latin lady who spun and danced the flamenco while manipulating a puppet that was like watching it througha rotoscope and then its heart was revealed as I spun and spun and spun

Before too long we are in shreveport. but not before I was gifted a burger and many tiny dog pets and cuddles and perhaps I will be able to be back before long and even though I’ve made it so far it is evident that this journey is just beginning.

the time is now 16:48

image