Having been so rudely awakened and conived my way out of a snow bank, I drive on to the big scary city. Little Amerikkka, some people call it, or a chunk of Seattle that just broke off and floated up here. It’s the most unAlaskan place in Alaska.
I stop before I get there and buy a bunch of fruit and yogurt and seaweed. I am going to visit my wholesome friends and I like to bring people good food. We have a feast and Bro runs around in their yard. D shows me how she’s now getting junk out of her scalp with oil (someday I’m gonna capture this on video for you guys), and I show them how to wash your hair with baking soda and vinegar, and we all try on the $200 Neiman Marcus dress that D got for $20 at the thrift store. It looks great on all three of us. D says that’s why this Neiman Marcus guy is so famous, his clothes look good on any woman. Who’da thunk it? 😀
J rides with me to get Hat-Ma from the airport, because I get soooo lost in big scary cities. J has lived all over the country and she loves Little Amerikkka. She says it’s kind of like San Francisco, and she takes the bus everywhere and never gets lost. We stash Hat-Ma at our other friends house for the night and J draws me a big simple map of Little Amerikkka which I will keep with me for always now, because suddenly I’m not lost anymore.
I sleep by the bookstore and for once I’m the only van dweller in this popular sleeping spot. Hat-Ma calls to wake me up at 11, which I realize is late for most people but I don’t normally get up till 3PM. I drag myself out of bed and get coffee. On the way out of the parking lot a man is standing with a sign, “Disabled Vet – Hungry – Anything Helps – God Bless,” in the bushes where I peed last night. He’s wearing brand new carharts, fancy jeans, and shoes more expensive than everything I’m wearing, and he has that too clean look that makes me not trust people. I know that last night while I was sleeping in the parking lot he was sleeping someplace warm, and it makes me giggle that we switch roles this way, vagrant and homed.
When I get to our friends house her little boy is out the door and waiting by the van before I finish parking. He launches himself at me and begs to throw the ball for Bro. Bro is happy to oblige, of course.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be with Hat-Ma, though. Doing anything with Hat-Ma is like stepping through a looking glass into a world where everything takes longer. A six hour drive can take three days in this world. So Hat-Ma and I head out of town, but it takes eight hours. There was Thai food in there somewhere, and a thrift store where I found the Julie of the Wolves trilogy in one book. Julie of the Wolves has practically been the inspiration for my whole life.
After an hour or two of frustration, I remember that time is just a social construct and that Hat-Ma is here to help me practice my Letting Go. So even though I reject all that Zen nothing’s real bullshit, I let go. It’s good for me.