By Erica Snowlake
Against my friend’s better judgment, I don’t drive, have never owned and am loathe to even entering nasty, metal, polluting obsessions in which one miraculously floats while seated above asphalted earth at high speeds weaving humanity’s frenzied chaos group mind death wish, blithely deluded about the importance of getting somewhere, no thank-you, I AM honing my skills for a spaceship and a road with no lines, i.e. a garden, nevertheless, I recently accepted a gift, a godsend I thought at the time, the temporary loan of a 1985 Chevy truck/camper.
You see I was planning on heading up north to work in the seasonal harvest trade, puffpuff, and wanted to provide a place for my now very ex to crash in if he found himself on the street. Note to self: never underestimate certain people’s charmed capacity for attracting serial bleeding hearts! ……Nonetheless, this is a city of angels and doing unto others is a noble and natural endeavor, giving one a chance to embody true Compassion, and, despite financial backfires, substantially frees up one’s karma all around. This tale, however, is an oddball mix, demonstrating not only the vast, portenous holes in my rationality, puffpuff, but exactly how magickal thinking can fuck you right up the jimmy as well.
Allow me to dig….grass……hmmm, living in an RV in Venice is certainly a timely….controversy. Why? It could be all wine and roses, a cozy home on wheels, takes us back to the original ROM people, wandering together in horse-drawn gypsy caravans, gracefully putting to pasture in idyllic meadows outside town, setting up camps, harkening strange enchanted music, offering tinkerer’s trades, exotic gemstones, fortune telling, bizarre yogic feats of skill, hey, sounds just like the Venice boardwalk on a good day without an ordinance!
The truth is, people in Venice, locals and visitors alike, are being downright persecuted and systematically harassed for choosing to live in their RVs, and are being methodically run outta town.
Again, Why? Zero Tolerance? Complaints based on Fear? Grumpiness? Envy? Status? What exactly is so wrong?
Disregard for personal effects? Based on what? the smell of piss? I honestly believe given current statistics most people living in RV’s are law-abiding, mind-their-own-business, honest and responsible folks. Does their homes being mobile entitle their fellow kind to forfeit their rights or to withhold their respect?
I am all for simplifying Life, downsizing possessions, and hitting the road in wanderlust, even if all one can swing these days happens to be parking curbside until things perk up……so where exactly is that affordable Venice-by-the-sea RV park hook-up facility with supervised maintenance, hot showers, clean public washrooms, and campfire sing-alongs?
Meantime, back to my story. My x nixes the RV, passes it to Mark, a mechanic acquaintance currently living in his jammed-full truck on 4th and Rose. He “needs more space”, promises he’ll move it on street cleaning days. I head off, his number becomes unreachable, i can only pray…..two moons later, i’m searching up the proverbial Rose,….. nothing on 4th, panic, loan, remember? On 5th i spot the white elephant, parked, looming, all wobbly-like, yes, i admit, a megalith of an eyesore in the neighborhood. A ventured knock is opened by two fine gentlemen, whom: a) make their dough recycling and b) happen to enjoy being typsy ALOT. Introducing Ron Garcia and Ezekiel. Ron i’ve seen plenty on the boardwalk waving giant old glory weaving dandy dance improv, Zeke’s a lion-like master of many trades…… PEACE!
Assuring me they love me they launch into the unknown whereabouts of Mark, on a bit of a lam, conveniently taking the one ignition key with him. Handing over a parking ticket, they swear it’s the only one. The smashed windshield and triangular side window are explained in more tales, involving bricks, and being chased and beat up by a big, scary skinhead with spiderweb tattoos. Don’t get me wrong, i already love these guys, immensely relieved and grateful the truck is even there, glad they’ve had shelter for a few, but it’s obviously gonna cost me……(and guys? why’d you send me on that wild goose chase?)
So follows a two-week long saga of repair, i call in Elisabeth, the owner of the truck, a sweetly angelic lady who doesn’t bite my head off, or the guys. Together we get a new key made, (TripleA), replace the dead battery, fix the broken starter motor, spend hours going downtown with my friend Rippley to find a $35 windshield at U-pick autoparts, climaxing in an exciting just-beating-the-rains-coming grande finale in the 99 Cent Store parking lot securing the fit of the lockbead seal.
Total value of my freak lesson in misguided divine providence? 300 bucks, a mere monetary output paling in comparison to the sum total of all our love and energy, the feeling of completing a herculean-like task with the true camraderie of total strangers, the jokes, the bible quotes, the cantankerous b.s., gads of useful? truck lore, our precious time and emotions turning to silly putty….. The CARING! the SHARING! meeting the homeless, limping, shot up in nam sarge-friend of the guys, who, between laudable john wayne impressions, relived the moment he brought home ALIVE! all seven men of his company to their families
waiting at the San Diego air force base, aaaiiiyyyeee! That was a tear jerker.
And who can forget the sound, Praise Jesus!, of the motor finally turning, and yes, adding yet another gas-guzzling stinkbomb on the road but now this one felt kinda sentient-like from its journey, like it grew a heart there on fifth and Rose, transforming itself into a heavenly metaphysical home for us angels/freaks. Then, suddenly like the wind, without getting too overly sentimental, the best ephemeral gypsies in town all got their groove on moving on.
Moral of the story? Everybody – HAVE SOME RESPECT! RV Dwellers – Keep circulatin’, park in less residential sites, above all DO NOT PISS on thy exorbitant rent/mortgage-paying “neighbor’s” daisies. The rest of you? Meditate on Compassion while driving. Me – I’m walking, (following the Pied Piper).