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Cyber Cafe in Tigard Oregon.

April 23rd, 2001

I'm OK With That
Monday. Portland.

About ten in the morning after a good and long night's sleep, still half awake with a cup of Folger's instant crystal coffee beside me. My sister and brother in law are into teas and they have a lot of teas, very good teas, but they don't truck with none of this coffee stuff. That's OK. Sometimes it just has to be hot, drinkable and capable of injecting caffeine into my system. I am thinking of driving off later to find a second cup and breathe the outside air. Bring the digital and take a picture. Something more interesting than rocks and sand. My sister is teaching school, my nephew is at school and my brother in law is puttering around his office. And it's raining, but just the usual Pacific Northwest drizzle, the kind of drizzle that doesn't quite lay down enough water and you can drive along in it passing houses where people are watering their lawns. I grew up with this in Seattle. Not something you see in California. Some of life's less necessary information

My plan for ten days on the road stressed the idea of no plan, no stress, no objectives, no measurements of success whatsoever. I said I wanted to shoot pictures. I will shoot pictures, but the idea is not to shoot pictures. The idea is to get in the car and drive. Drive until I felt like stopping, check into a motel and send out for something and watch television. On my first evening with MSM she went out and picked up some bread and cheese and fruit and beer and that was perfect. Or writing, if the mind is clear enough. I am writing now, but the mind is just on the edge of clear enough. Perhaps this coffee here, this miracle blend of Folger's crystals, will push me over the edge.

Tonight I have dinner with my mother at her residence apartment house. She seems fine. A nice small apartment in a building of nice small apartments, everyone in their 70's and 80's, communal eating, communal exercise classes, busses to take anyone who wants to go to the local Fred Meyers. I am impressed with Fred Meyers. I don't think we have them in California, at least not with that name, but the store is huge, selling everything under the sun that is grown, fattened, freeze dried, canned or zipped up in a plastic bag. This suits my mother fine. The Safeway I go to in Oakland is large, but you could fit four of them into a Fred Meyers and still have room left over for the bakery.

Eleven o'clock now. It seems to be getting brighter out there, maybe not drizzling anymore. Time to get on my jacket, pack the camera and drive somewhere. I'll know where when I get there. Something more exotic, I hope, than a Jack in the Box.

Later. The picture at the top is where I had lunch. Very comfortable place. Had a beer and a sandwich, rented some time on a computer and read the journals on my list. What's this with Rien's waiting on a solicitor business?

One thought: I ordered the Neal Cassady Drive 1 CD from Intrepid Trips last month and Cassady CD played it at home and thought, well, that's good, that's good, I'm glad to have that. I played it in the car coming up and the experience is totally different, a background beat to the road where individual words and combinations of words bubble up into your cortex, little bubble pops and flashes as you drive. Ah, it was meant to be played as you drive. I understand Kesey better now when he says "I consider these tapes the most valuable artifacts that I possess - more than the old bus film or the bus or even the Cuckoo's Nest manuscript. Neal Cassady was a prophet of some sort - an avatar; a necessary link to something necessary. Everybody that knew him knows this." I'm OK with that.

The Cyber Cafe in Tigard, Oregon and the cover of Intrepid Trips Drive 1 Neal Cassady CD. The quote is by Jeanne Moreau.