Tent? What tent??
You must be stoned, I dont see anything...
Ohhhhhhhh, there it is- damn, what a stealth disguise!
(Once again, I will explain that althogh this is the account of our time in Daytona Beach, there was alot more to it that will be explained much more colorfully in the THE LAST GREAT american NOVEL- this is just a bit to make you hungry in the meantime)
So lets see here, where did I leave you fine people off...
Oh yes, after being entirely defeated and really just wanting nothing more than to go home, I awoke after sleeping the day away, and as the moon shone above our lovely little corperate field, we drank our beer, and quitely howled at the moon; still in depths of contemplation. These adventerous excursions were what we really had been craving, and yet, everytime we embarked on them- it seemed to be such a bending test of willpower and endurance- that not having a home to comfortably receed to, was one of the most troubling things (for me at least). Overcoming this problem isnt as simple as I will break it down to be, but one major aspect is to find some sort of comfort zone, and where we were in Daytona, it was the little 2 man tent we had set up. Slowly but surely, we were abandoning all of these comfort 'pillows' though, and to really just 'be,' was a lot more difficult than I ever really imagined.
After our night of drinking and thinking, I rested pretty comfortably in our tent, and we slept until around 9 or so. This was actually pretty late for us though, because I will tell you without exaggeration, that I am one of the worst people at waking up in the morning, and one of the worst people at falling asleep at night- but there is a certain phenomenon that occurs to you when you do not have electricity. You begin to get tired as it gets dark out, and you begin to wake up as it gets light out. SERIOUSLY! its amazing! Maybe it has to do with how little you have to do besides think, or drink once it gets dark out; and maybe you wake up easier because of that root that happens to grow along the side of your spinal cord in your sleeping spot- but no matter what- I found that I was up most mornings by 7 without having to try, and I was out most nights by 12 or 1 without any problems either.
So the next morning after sleeping all day and hoping to have recovered my terribly hurt knee caps, we decided- not only because it was necessary to keep pushing our bodies in order to keep them from becoming so sore again; but because it was about damn time to actually go and hit up the city of Daytona Beach and see the ocean- that we would hike to Daytona Beach.
We had no idea BILL had dropped us so far from the actual beach, but as it turned out, we walked about 10 miles til we finally hit the beach. By the time I had made it there, my knee-caps were completely on fire again, and I was limping quite uselessly. This was something that really got me down- I was begininning to worry that I was simply so out of shape, that my knees had gotten some permenant damage from our ambitious march from fayetteville to Daytona, as well as the excruciating weight bearing down on my knees- but alas, I kept moving, and dispite my paranoid complaining, we hiked another few miles up the beach.
It was amazing to finally really see the ocean (not counting the wierd marine base ocean beach we visited for ten minutes)- THIS was a beach. It was the off season, so the beaches were filled with old people who were enjoying their time on the beach before the young people came and flooded it dring the summer and spring time. We bought ourselves some cheap beer, and since alchohol is entirely prohibited on the beach, we ended up pouring our beers into big gulp cups and wading through the cool ocean water with the gigantic cups in hand. It wasn't quite hot enough for us to swim, and that was probably a good thing, because after our big gulps of beer, we were both likely to offend all those old tan floridians by having a nice refreshing swim/bath in our skibbies or maybe even birthday suits.
Even being there at the beach, ten miles from our camp, I felt pretty re-assured about our hidden tent because we took everything that was worth COMPLETE value to us, and either brought it with, or stashed it in a bag in the middle of our dried up swamp quarters. That way even if our tent was discovered as we were gone, I would have the laptop and camera with me, and my medications and Brian's boots stashed in the woods. The only other thing was our money, and aside from the 20 or so in our pockets, we had the bulk of it in a plastic bag in our boots. This garaunteed absolute safety unless we were robbed of all of our clothing INCLUDING our socks- this prospect seemed unlikely, but in such cases, we did both carry a blade for a reason.
I was feeling a bit down about the condition of my knee-caps, as well as the situation we had concerning the tent and how far we were from the actual beach, and how much shit we had on our back and so on and so on- such is life. I was beginning to feel a bit better though as I waded through the ocean, picking at shells with my bare stark-white toes.
Brian needed to piss, and both of our phones were on empty, so we decided to find a fast food type place to plug in, and eat a few dollar menu items. I could also get a coke, to chase some of this pint of whiskey down that I had.
So we proceeded up Atlantic avenue, the main drag of Daytona Beach- and as we made it further and further, we finally found a nice little pizza place for us to go in and charge up our phones.
The pizza surely did hit the spot, and although we bought a 5 dollar pizza to split, and both drank ice water- the owners were curteous to us indeed. I was starting to feel alot better about things at this point in the evening- I do tend to be much more optomistic at night- and although my knees were sore as hell, I saw the moon shining bright. After a few sips of whiskey encouraged me to find something else to drink for the night- I insisted to BO that we stop at an LQ (liquor store). There was one on the way back to mason ave. which was a 4 mile hike, then mason itself was the 7 mile hike we had from atl. blvd all the way to our tent. At this point, Brian was about ready to head home. We had seen the sights and had our fun in the sun, and now he wanted to get back to the tent; I on the other hand, was having the exact opposite response. I wanted to drink a half gallon of wine, and hang out by the ocean. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to go back to the tent tonight.
Me and Brian decided to part ways for the night, and while he had a nice adventure learning the bus routes of Daytona Beach- I got good and smashed on my wine, and found clever places to sneak around to and plug my phone charger in so I could make drunken phone calls to so many of my family and friends that I missed. It was a perfect night though and after I ran my battery dead while listening to the crashing waves of the ocean, talking fondly to friends, and basking under the glistening light of the moon with my un-tamed shine of blush wine- I snuck to the side of a hotel to plug my phone in, and passed out right there in the plush grass, face first. It was wonderful.
Several hours later, I awoke and walked to 7/11 to get 2 hot dogs. I loaded them up, and found a nice hidden spot underneath a walkway from a hotel pool, to the beach. I hid the computer in the weeds, cut several stalks of grass to use as a pillow, and slept having wild dreams until the sun began to rise.
It was a pretty good night, although it might not seem that way to you fine people, but I found contentment; and although this journey seems like an ultimate vacation to readers- simple contentment, really isnt as easy as one might think to find out here.
I walked all the way back the next day, and it rained on me half the way. I really didn't care, I just wandered into a Burger King, got a cheap sandwhich, asked them for a garbage bag to waterproof the laptop, and I relaxed while charging the phone up and watching Obamas accceptance speech of the nobel prize.
After the rain let up a bit, I began walking through the scattered showers and reflected a bit more optimistically about my previous night. I seemed to be having a deeper spiritual moment in my walk, and as I watched all the curious people drive by, wondering about the strange kid in the cowboy hat- I felt like I was seeing something divine in their faces. In their laughing, in their taunting, in their curiousity, in their friendly smiles, and in their aparent confusion. Everyone seemed to have their purpose as they stedily drove along, and although I felt isolated in my sense of purpose, I really felt like I loved people; and that I was somehow finding love in every reaction I saw.
Also, I was starting to feel a bit more optomistic about my knees not being permanently damaged, and with that realization, was the nudging urgency I felt to keep moving on, and to leave Daytona.
After I got back to the haphazzard camp to meet Brian, we were stuck in the tent most of the rest of the day because of rain. I apprecciated the sleep very much, and really had some proliffic dreams that day.
The next day, we found out there was a wal mart, and a shopping type plazza about 3 miles away. We walked there, and since we were both getting tired of our spot in the field, we decided to hit wal mart for some essentials we would need to get the fuck out of Daytona Beach and back on the road. I bought ace bangages for my knees, sharpees to make signs for hitch-hiking, post cards, and a 5 dollar super microfiber blanket that wouldnt be very comfy, but would cut off about 10 pounds from my bag.
We hit a starbucks so I could do some writing, and use their bathroom to shave; and then we went to Denny's for more coffee because THEY instead of STARBUCKS had free WiFi. We stayed a while drinking coffee, and putting up some posts for you wonderful folks to read. After we were done, we were both feeling like zombies because of the caffeine crash, and the 3 mile hike home was pure misery. At midnight that night, it would be my birthday- so I decided I was gonna get a bunch of beer at the 7/11 on the way back to the tent, and Brian who was also feeling pretty crappy, said he was determined to find us a joint to smoke. I really didn't think he would do it, but as Brian usually tends to do, he proved me wrong.
He asked some rough lookin girls who had just bought lotto tickets if they knew where we could score some grass, and much to our luck, they had some right there in their car! We bought 10 bucks or 2 joints worth, and had one to smoke that night, and one to smoke the next day, for my birthday!
I know that a certain amount of my audience here is frowning, but you know what? Get with it already! Im not saying its the greatest habit or something, but its no different than a damn beer or cigarette- its something I enjoy in moderation, and thats all there is to it.
Me and B.O. hadn't smoked in a month nearly, so after smoking most of that first joint that night- we laughed and talked foolishly in our dark tent, just like newbies. I managed to chug down 2 beers before resting my head, and then we both slept soundly until the rising sun woke me up.
It was my birthday, and I had two things in mind. I wanted to make the 3 mile hike to Dennys, not only to keep my knees working and healthy- but to treat myself to breakfast and write up a new post for you guys. You see how it goes? I spend my Birthday trying to please you guys. (sigh...) I hope your all happy. Anyhow, I enjoyed my coffee and Breakfast, and then Brian met me up and we both wrote up a post-card or two since we were near a mailbox. We really had nothing else to do in town, so we made the long walk back to the tent sullenly. I always get depressed on my birthday; its inevitable, and this birthday was no different. I went back to the tent, and I slept until the sun began to go down.
I ate my last M.R.E. and me and Brian decided that we would leave for Orlando, Tampa, and then Ft. Meyers the next morning as the sun came up. We smoked that second joint, and I slept lazily until the next morning.
I had such incredible dreams the whole time in my tent in Daytona, and that night I had this EPIC dream of an evil whitch that stole my mother, and then me and my father had to defeat her with these awesome swords! believe me, although it was scary, it was really sweet too! Im sure I don't need to tell you, but me and my pops defeated the old hag, and rescued my poor mother.
The next morning, we departed; and that story my friends- is the beginning of a new tale...
Until we meet again...
Joseph R. Reeves Esq.
Heres a view of the world through my small tent flap, and also a view of Brian's ass. Terriffic.