September 29, 2002
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
7:47pm When I start talking to myself aloud, I know itís time to do some writing. Iím introspective. Self-absorbed. I know what I want. I know what makes me happy. I am true to myself and not afraid to express myself. I live inside my head as much as the physical realm, but environmentally sensitive, easily influenced and inspired. I keep busy. I am sporadic, spontaneous and focused. I love surprises, the unknown, bristling with excitement to explore around corners and over the horizon. Most of all I value freedom. I donít like being told what to do, restricted or controlled. I must stay true to my soul purpose.
8:11pm. For the last five minutes Iíve been combing hands through my hair, now shoulder length and easily knotted into dreds. I have thoughts of shaving it off for monk-like low maintenance, yet vanity wins. This is the longest Iíve had it since being a child with curly locks mom could bare to cut.
I went scuba diving off Deer Island today with Amber, a marine biologist friend who works at a dive shop and hooked me up with all the gear. Water temperature is warmest this time of the year Iím told. We wore 3millameter wet suits with a ton of weights on the belt, because the suits cause us to float. Wearing the heavy tank and belt walking on the beach to the water is awkward, but once in the water, we become weightless like in outer spaceóor at least that is the desired effectówhat you want to achieve by regulating breathe and the amount of air in the vest. Diving down, the suit gets compressed, less buoyant, so you gotta put more air in the vest to keep off the bottom. When you take a big breathe you go up, and when you let it out you go down. The trick is to breathe in and out slow, not move around a lot exerting energy, so you do need more oxygen and use up your tank too fast.
My mask leaked on the first dive, continuously filling up obstructing vision, forcing me to clear it often by blowing air out my nose. The water was very clear for this area, allowing 20 feet visibility. We saw so muchÖ it was awesome. Youíd never guess looking at the water from above. The ocean bottom is teaming with all sorts of life: sculpin fish, lobsters, crabs, sea cucumbers, sea peaches, mollusksÖ and so much more I donít have words for. It was like finding buried treasure. Actually, I did find treasure; bunches of vacant mollusk shells on ledges deep down, and I scooped them up into the mesh bag for making necklaces and mobiles. The second dive I used a different mask that didnít leak and it was bliss. I thought I was capturing it on film, but when we got out I found that the guy who gave me the camera didnít put the film in right, so I didnít get a single shot.
This evening, in the golden hour at sunset, Tom and I worked on the tree house and shared last nightís crazy bar scene adventures. He had "rip-roaring good time" in F-Town, getting lucky, puking and passing out. I was stoked on a few brews too, looking for a freak show or any wild surprise, so I hunted for Cara, the funkiest freak I know in this city. Dave said she was stretching a canvas at Wrenís studio, but she wasnít, so I chatted on the couch with Wren for an hour, then went with her to "Bottoms Up" gay bar where the boys were prettier than girlsóa flip-side of this ultraconservative behind-the-times hick town that most folk never see. It was uncomfortably weird for me at first, but everyone was friendly and respectful. They go there cuz they donít want trouble, which would find them if they acted queer in another type of club. I knew several people, initiated a couple rounds of pool, helped burn a J and eventually I got my freak on with a whacked dance pretending to hold a bowling ball size sphere of energy that jiggled like a water balloon then morphed into a camera lens that I looked through and eye balled everyone as I spun around gyrating. So yes, I joined the freak show of careless abandonment. Life is whatever you want it to be. Seek and you shall find.
Stepping off the dance floor and out of character, straightening myself, I walked over to an older man with a bald head and thick glasses who looked out of place amongst the twenty-to-thirty-somethings, and I yelled in his ear that I was curious to hear his perspective on this place and the city in general. He hated it when he first moved here from Ontario, but has since grown fond and doesnít wish to go back.
After closing, I hooked up with Erica and Amy, who Iíd seen earlier in the night. Erica is a SoloMAX fan. She has read the whole journal and checks it weekly. Iím getting 2000 unique visitors on the site each week, and I have no idea who they are. It freaks me out a bit. Amy has not seen the site, but said my show made her cry when I did it at her school. Itís really strange to have strangers know so much about me. Thereís lots of people in the uptown scene and weíll exchange small talk, but Iíve never done anything with themÖ so I donít really know them. Thatís why community bonfires and FAR OUT field trips are so important to me. I want to have a tighter community, bonded, yet open, like a circus that we all have a part in. The merging of social circles and circus rings; it's something to think about.
Amy was teary with bloodshot eyes. Itís funny how love can make you cry. I cheered her up with a hug and a new pair of hemp sandalsóone of the dozens Iíve given out in the past week. They are made in Portland by Eco-Dragon, who gave several large boxes to Rippleffect, who gave two to me. They are comfy and funky, but the coolest thing is that the sandalís tag says when wore out, throw Ďem in the compost.
Erica wanted coffee, so we picked some up at Timís, then drank them on top Fort Howe listening to Jim Morrisonís haunting eccentrics blasting from the Spaceship. I had a vision then-- a large concert, a community gathering, a celebration of life, high on our city. I saw a stage, loud music, ruckus entertainment, Hollywood style flood lights pointed skyward and people coming from all directions. But then the cold wind blew, reminding me fall was upon us, and nothing like that would be happening anytime soon. We scurried back into the car, I dropped the ladies where I found them uptown, then I went home and ate burrito warps while checking email. It was well past 3am when I hit the hay.
The alarm went off at 7:50am, but I was too belligerent to get up. At 8:15am, mom came in and said, "Arenít you supposed to be at the dive shop at 8:30?" I got there at 8:35am and the rest is history. Iíve been exhausted all day. Some kids playing in the Gypsy Camp helped Tom and I hoist a large log with rope and pulleys and I lashed it in place to be the second main support floor beam.
Iím driving to Mexico this winter, starting in November and I got plenty to do to prepare. Building a tree house is not one, but I canít be inside when the weather is so inviting. However, even though high up hanging in treesÖ my mind is on a new web site design and the next step to getting sponsorship.