In the parking lot of Tower Records I confronted my dream yesterday. An old green Type 2 VW <1>, with the cargo space, visible through the windows, converted into a bedroom of equivalent size to a Japanese capsule hotel. The owner-occupant was in his command chair and pilot station, smoking a cigarette and sipping of the coffee he'd just bought. He was a wizened guy with white hair; walking past I almost asked him something like "What's it like living in your car?" but I restrained myself - a question that blunt could easily put him on the defensive, and would make me sound like a naïve yuppie rather than the vagabond I am (or could be, and have been). In my fantasy the vehicle's a little bigger, with more storage space. I'm leaning towards a an old Chinook/pickup combo, now.
Speaking of the nomadic lifestyle, just today, for the very first time, I saw the Chris Farley "...living in a van, down by the river" sketch. My reaction is mostly bafflement.
On my way back from the cafeteria, from a stand of nearby trees I caught a whiff of pine, which triggered a very early memory, of sitting on a big rock in the woods with my Dad, who was teaching me the difference between lichen and moss (examples of both were within reach). Just getting me to remember the strange word "lichen" was a struggle, for him. This happened when I was four or five.
Listening to the Who's "Quadrophenia", remembered the local cop we called "Handsome Jimmy" because of the song from this record, "Dr. Jimmy" (and Mr. Jim).
If I have to cut my hair?
I got to move with the fashion or be outcast"
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<1> True Volkswagen enthusiasts bristle
when you call this vehicle a "van" - "microbus" or "transporter" is
preferred - or Type 2,
if you're really cool (the beetle is the Type 1).