INCIDENTS OF My TRAVELS to
NEVER SEEKING ADVENTURE YET ADVENTURE FINDS ME
A brief respite before continuing...
We decide to take the weekend off before returning to the chore of work. Since now our days will involve a long hike to and from a couple of days respite will be reinvigorating. Besides, the backlash of the exhausting week suffering the rain took more of its toll on us.
Jim starts on rearranging our igloo by removing unnecessary clutter to make more room for us, a pile beginning outside of the igloo. I gather wood for our heating stove from the shore. Daily deposits of detritus collect during high tide and remains in in its retreat. Anything is fuel, not just branches and felled trees but pallets, plywood boxes even dried out paper products. In a time before recycling throwing trash overboard relieved sailors of their collected burdens. We wash our dirty clothing in the lagoon and hang it to dry on a skinning rack that was just outside of view down the lagoon. They never really dried out because the fall sun is already further south along on the horizon, heat fleeting as it slides toward the solstice. Worse being our sleeping bags, heavier with dampness, would remain sodden during the rest of our stay.
At some point Jim commences to repairing the Rokon motorbike that was abandoned by previous crews. Apparently not only a natural outdoorsman but also mechanically adept, he figured out how to get it running again. “No big thing, just have to jostle this doohickey here…” His southern accent betrays his intelligence.
The motorcycle was odd contraption; it had a front wheel chain drive as well as a rear. Low in speed but high in torque they were made for rough terrain the tires were also spare containers for additional fuel. Wheel girth allowed the rider to traverse most challenging terrain. A drawback, so heavy when loaded with fuel navigation was limited; exaggerated turn radius in tight locales would prove difficult.
I would soon prove this when attempting to cross the Spruce tree forest.
This Rokon motorbike had apparently fallen off a cliff, along with its rider as we would later find out. The man survived but not without his broken bones. The accident required his evacuation back to civilization and abandonment of the work we now continued. This, by the way, is how it was known that overland travel to the south of us was treacherous.
My initial impression of Jim mistaken, this man was not the jerk I was expecting. He explains that the gun statement comes from previous experiences with other crews he has joined. They seemed to believe that all materials were community property.
Jim proved to be quite the conscientious man. His dry wit and no nonsense approach would inspire me in later times. At this moment though I did find him odd but agreeable.
Born and raised in the Carolinas he was just a bit older than me. Already experienced in his chosen career where I was still looking for my place. For someone accustomed to urban living his ideals for living off the grid and without utilities seemed odd. I found it strange that in the twentieth century someone would chose this intentionally.
He abhorred pop music (which was my passion at that time) yet he did have a convincing argument.
“Tell me Gil, who was on that top 40 list a few years ago and where are they now?”
I would think about this and could not answer. Was it possible that I only liked these songs because of overexposure on the radio as he suggested? As he pointed out, most current pop performers will be forgotten in a few months’ time. This angered me because just before our arrival I have won a prize from the local radio station. A CD of the current top 40 or a recording of a well-designed radio program featuring themed music, I of course chose the former.
He was correct. I would collect what I thought would be a lasting tune only to find it to be an annoyance of noise a short time later.
But surely the established classics were exempt?
“So, your opinion about the Beetles and the likes then?” I would ask him.
“Pfft! The Beetles are the worse of them!” he would reply.
“But they stood the test of time as your rule implies.” Since their invasion of America a mere two decades before and still popular after all this time they were surely the exception to his rule.
“No, a good singer will tell you a story. Beginning, middle and end. That is a good performance. The Beetles all they do is repeating the same lines over and over again. It is a twenty second song stretched to three minutes. It is a shame they became so popular over lazy. ‘Listen do you want to know a secret’ or ‘Yeah yeah yeah’. No originality.”
Now he has gone too far by insulting my favorites. As a youth I spent hours listening to my uncle’s Beetles albums and grew quite fond of them. How could he…
But in retrospect I do realize his point. Their early music, of course, was nothing but pop songs. Brief and formulaic, as Jim points out, their popularity only borne of their unique origins.
Though this rift in musical appreciation existed between us this did not impede our fast comradery. He soon became a close friend.
Though I might have considered letting him listen to my two audio cassettes that I did bring to play on my Sony Walkman I knew he would balk at my selections. The first being the soundtrack to ‘Cocktail’, a recent Tom Cruise movie where he plays a bartender seeking the love of a woman outside his station. This was of course different than his previous movie “Top Gun” where he was a pilot seeking the love of a woman above his ranking. Or his debut “Risky Business” where as a young man seeks the love of a working girl outside of his social …I start seeing the repetition patterns that Jim points out.
So I would not share my music with him. But we do have a fondness for NPR and rarely missed a broadcast of Paul Harvey’s news.
My second audio cassette was a Monkees anthology, that I recorded myself, the Monkees being America’s answer to the Beetles. So you see my restraint with this one as well.
About the Author
I have always ended up in unexpected places. So I present a collection of my tales told over the years. Places that due to circumstances I might never go on my own accord.