Young Chronicles VIII: “Hey You!”

Cross Canada Hitchhiking Trip, Day Two: Montreal to Halifax (Mileage 344-1116)

Ride One: West to East end of Montreal; Brown bakery van. “You’ll get murdered.”

Ride Two: Across St. Lawrence River; early 70’s car. Spoke only French.

Ride Three: To Boucherville; 2-door escort. Man with crumbs on sides of mouth.

Ride Four: To Victoriaville; forgot make of car (too tired). Belgian chef who loves Canada.

Ride Five: To Quebec City turnoff; VW Rabbit. Saw a moose.

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Ride Six: To St. Jean Port Joli; large old car. The driver was a woman in her late 20s with her mother and grandmother, also another hitchhiker names Clairmont. No one spoke English, but all very loving and Catholic.

Ride Seven: To Riviere Du Loup; blue Chevy van. Told stories of his hitchhiking days including “being fucked by horny broads” and the tale of hitchers on bad acid in Wyoming who ate their ride.

Ride Eight: To Hwy 17; Camper van. WWII veteran who once drove border to border across Ontario in one day.

Ride Nine: To Truro, Nova Scotia; red Mack truck. All-night drive with non-unionized driver named Ed Haggerty. Married for 39 years to woman from England who “never said boo to anyone.”

Ed Haggerty

Harassed waitress at diner because she was new. Intentionally mumbled, pretended not to understand, changed his order, complained about the service and then gave her a 25-cent tip. I saw signposts turn into cyclists. I stayed in the sleeper of the truck. Ed prepared a full breakfast and then drove me into Halifax. I wandered around and then stayed at the hostel.

The Awful Writer at My Core

There is nothing so humbling as to read through one’s earliest attempts:

Hasn’t the thought occured (sic) to you that I am just an apparition, just a single brain cell in a network of billions? Of course it has, your’e (sic) only trying to ignore it, aren’t you? (From Vile Illuminations, May 1982)

Beyond the gate, the door, the way in/ Lies the jasmine sea/ Efferescing (sic) the pureness of vanity,/ An offering too great to deny or even fathom/ In the light of a persistent commonology. (sic) (From A Machine-like Collage of the Obscure, Ravenous and Divine, April 1984)imag3785Going into the watery eyes of humanity, the pitiless animal can only turn its scraggled back and wander in the tangled jungle. (From Notes on a Cross Country Journey, July 1983)

The moment as the last/Continually./Provided the cats remain cats,/For there are many other creatures,/ Such as horses that/ Most certainly,/ Would not fit through the window frame. (From Window Sill Sitting Cats, December 1984)