stoked on the comments / ‘overall vibe’ of this recent article about andy fitch and jon cotner’s book ‘ten walks / two talks‘.
after Argentina won 1 – 0 against Nigeria there was a spontaneous celebration for ~30 minutes. ppl drove around honking and waving flags and jerseys.
i feel like it’s hard for those who’ve grown up in the u.s. (and not lived or traveled outside the u.s. for significant amounts of time) to understand how excited ppl in other countries get over the world cup.
these kids would run out into the street in the center of town and stop traffic every few minutes.
Took the laundry to town on my bike. They were closed for siesta. Stood there thinking “Goddamn siesta” while actually ringing the buzzer (thinking “only the gringo rings the buzzer”) a few times. Someone from the verduleria – a kid maybe 25 – was leaning against the building watching. There is always someone leaning against the building watching.
I turned around and faced away from the door. The sun was on my face. I closed my eyes. I opened them again and looked at the mountains. Then I looked at the dirt road going down to the river. The leaves were almost gone from the trees. It was getting to be wintertime. There were a few people and dogs walking down the road. There are always a few people and dogs walking down the road. I thought “I’m in Patagonia, Argentina at a laundromat that is closed for siesta.” Earlier I’d gotten up at 7:30 and finished all of my writing / editing. There hadn’t been any fighting. Layla seemed to be feeling better after being sick for a couple days. Stoke levels were neutral. I thought about what else we needed. We needed shelves. Down here you can’t buy wood at the hardware store, you have to go the aserradero, the lumber mill. It was all the way at the edge of town. I looked at my bag of clothes. Could I carry a bunch of 1 x 12 shelf boards while riding my bike with a bag of dirty clothes on my back? Would the aserradero be open?
I rode down there. As I approached I heard saws. The aserradero doesn’t take siesta. I walked in. There was the cut-wood smell. I felt stoked to be there. I’d ordered material, lumber and concrete and lag-bolts, all over the Americas. The lumber mill, the hardware store was universal. Ordering materials, the way the guy nodded when hearing your cutlist, then said ok louder than expected (hearing loss from saws), was universal. It was universal in a way that could be more powerful than religion or art or armies but then there was no way to contextualize it so it didn’t matter. It wasn’t a pop song or a sermon, and there wasn’t any audience, just the two of you there in a small office and other people busy stocking and retrieving materials in the warehouse.
I rode back up to town with the four shelves balanced on one shoulder and my duffel bag of dirty clothes worn like a backpack. The cranks on my shitty Argentine one-speed were loose and wobbling. It was about a mile back up to the laundrymat. I thought “fuck I need a vehicle.” I thought “when I first traveled in Latin America I’d look out the bus windows and there were always people walking and riding bikes with ridiculous loads, moving towards shitty-looking houses and buildings where other people and dogs were walking and other people stood against the buildings watching. Damn, what would it feel like to have one of those people’s lives?”
Yesterday I went up to La Confluencia with Los Jordan. On the way there we stopped at 9 hectares to help unload some wood.
There were a bunch of paisanos there building a barn. They seemed stoked. I joked about them having plans for the structure, and one of them, Custodio, pulled a folded-up, scribbled sheet of paper out of his pocket. It had the overall structure size (9m x 6m), the roof height and angle, and placement of posts. That’s all they needed.
The mountain roads in Patagonia destroy pretty much every vehicle. The only one that seems to survive is known down here as the “Canadiense.” These were built in Canada (note steering wheel on right side) and were imported by Argentina after WWII. Most of them run on Chevy or Ford inline 6 motors with super low gearing. This truck was over 40 years old. The driver was stoked.
We unloaded a bunch of cottonwood boards for the roof and floors. It was a totally random crew. The paisanos, the Jordans, a WWOOFer volunteer, some women from Buenos Aires down there looking around to potentially buy land, and a woman visiting from South Africa [not everyone pictured here.]. I’m always stoked at how these random little groups form when you’re traveling.
On the way up to Warton, Shea got on his bike and grabbed on to the tailgate of Mark’s truck. I rode in the back and tried to take pics but was getting bounced around. Shea stopped at the top of the road leading down to La Confluencia. It’s like a gulley with these steep walls. Shea was a former pro downhill racer and he was getting huge wall-rides and airs on the way down. It would’ve made for a sick photo shoot. Afterwards he said it was “dumb shit to be doing without a helmet.”
We spent the rest of the afternoon looking at kayaking videos and talking about stuff we could explore next season.
thoughts after posting this picture and looking at it for a while longer:
- sunlight on other side of door.
- how many ppl create things that they then take out in the sun and water and ride?
- terry, who used to have this garage and kept it filled with landscaping equipment, and:
- how he let me sleep in there a few nights when i was kind of homeless in SF and:
- how there was this other homeless dude, Willy, who slept in there sometimes too until:
- he moved to Golden Gate Park, in a thick stand of eucalyptus and how:
- we worked together once landscaping, and i told him how i’d been born here in SF and he said:
- he hadn’t, but he planned to die here and that:
- he’d be ‘perfectly happy as a San Francisco ghost.’
One man’s struggle to transcend.
This humble film is about a friend of mine named Michael and his daily ritual to find his natural self through surfing.
Directed by Sean Mullens
Cinematography by Sean Mullens
Music by The Album Leaf – Into the Blue Again – Broken Arrow
Sub Pop Records 2006