IT AIN´T EASY DOING NOTHING
Trip Start Dec 01, 2002
24Trip End May 26, 2003
I´m a firm believer in that anybody in this world can do anything he wants at any time he wants. He only needs that his dreams and willpower be stronger than the obstacles in his way.
For example: if you want a hamburger, you get your butt to work and make the three dollars necessary to buy one.
Recently, I´ve been wanting to go to Chile. "Mañana, me voy a Chile," I would say. (Tomorrow, I´m going to Chile.) In order to do my hitchhiking the ninety miles from Bariloche to Chile, my willpower needed only to overcome waking up early and being happy enough to enjoy waiting for someone to pick me up. Simple.
Simple like constructing a four-wheel-drive vehicle out of cookies. I just can´t do it. I´ve probably said, "Mañana, me voy a Chile," to people nearly a hundred times. People are beginning to laugh when I say it.
"You´re not going to go to Chile tomorrow," they scoff at me. "Oh, and by the way, how´s that four-wheel-drive vehicle made out of cookies coming along? Ha, ha, you pathetic American loser!"
Yes, I´m a pathetic case these days. Three weeks ago, I didn´t go to Chile because my eyes hurt. Other days, I don´t go because I don´t wake up on time, or when I do wake up I´m too tired. Pathetic excuses they are, and, in stronger days past, these obstacles would´ve been stomped on by my willpower like a car - made out of cookies - being stomped on by a giant. Or a giant being stomped on by a bigger giant.
But - due to the fact that my favorable American dollars have provided me with the bourgesie luxury of not having to work here - my willpower has slothed and my strength has softened. If you poked me in the stomach, I would giggle like the Pillsbury Dough-man, fall on my back, and not get up until I slept for four hours. If I was frequently meeting the responsability of having to work for my survival, then my willpower would progressively grow accustomed to meeting its goals.
Success breeds success, as failure breeds failure. One time, I hitchhiked to within twenty miles of Chile, to a nice town called Villa la Angostura. There, I got sidetracked by the beautiful, white skin and rosy cheeks of a dark-haired friend named Carolina - who works there in a hotel. She enticed me into staying a few days to hang out.
I spent my days with the town´s Lake Correntoso. This flat-topped body of clear, green water pushed a black-sand beach to one round end. To the other side, it wandered and got lost behind some mountains. These climbing green mountains sprung straight up around this secluded lake so high you could barely see the tops.
By night, Carolina and I had a jolly time. As we joked around in a pizzeria, Carolina took note of the ridiculous boasts I made regarding accomplishments I´d made during stronger times. She said I was "mandando fruta" (sending fruit).
"Gracias," I said. (Thanks.) I assumed - in spite of her derogatory voice - that that meant a good thing. Who doesn´t like to be sent fruit?
She laughed. She said that "mandando fruta," on the contrary, meant that I was making up stories. I took offense. "Yo soy de Michigan!" (I´m from Michigan!) I pounded my fist on the table. "Michiganders no son mentirosos!" (Michiganders are not liars!)
Boy, I was steamed. But, I nevertheless accompanied Carolina back to Bariloche so we could hang out on her days off.
Carolina - who´s also twenty-three years old, and who´s travelled to many of the same places I have - became my first-ever hitchhiking companion. I was happy to be on the side of the road with her, but Carolina noticeably lacked the hitchhiker´s faith and optimistic spirit. She was more optimistic about leaving the road to buy cigarrettes.
We got one ride, by a very cheery maintenance guy in a truck, going only three miles. This guy asked during the ride why I was so quiet and didn´t talk more. I told him I wasn´t quiet, it was just that Carolina talked an awful lot. Perhaps that was why she was willing to pay for the next bus going to Bariloche, or why she pretty much ditched hanging out with me once we arrived?
So, pathetic, I patheticly sit in Bariloche. All my Chilean momentum undone.
Now, I´ve said, "Mañana, me voy a Chile," so many times it could be my mating call. Because I just can´t bring myself to achieve this one simple trip, I´ve been mired with a lack of motivation, a disconfidence in personal faith, and a sense of loss of freedom. My pride and willpower have gone to Chile.
I waste my days by sleeping, eating, reading the news, sleeping, eating the cookie supply I should be saving to construct my four-wheel-drive vehicle, saying over and over, "Mañana, me voy a Chile," and going out and drinking and possibly looking for girls. The whole thing just makes me so mad ...
Oh, no, you´ll have to pardon my language there. My boozing, womanizing ways are out of control! Even if I don´t go to Chile, I have to put my time to something more productive, like getting to know the world-class Argentinian rock music.
There´s a good, old band called "Soda Stereo." Its music is a mix between progressive rock and 80´s music. The tone of the album, "Dynamo," has a lunar feel to it like relaxing music you´d hear on the moon. The songs of the album progressively go together really well. So, it never loses its power to attract you with its subtle, growing changes, like a wise, chanted word or an accompanying guitar solo.
The other thing world-class about Argentina is its meat from its cows. With my friend, Jairo - also a door-man at the same discotech as my tango teacher - and some of the discotech waitresses, we ate the other day at a "parrilla" (Argentinian steak-house). The chewy strip steaks, grilled rectangular steaks, chunks of chicken, and meaty-full sausage links they brought us made for a delicious feast. Afterwards, we went out drinking until seven a.m.
I had said, "Mañana, me voy a Chile," all day long, but it became difficult to go the following day when I didn´t wake up until eight o´clock p.m. Which left me with only the option of going out and drinking again. It´s a vicious cycle. I need to be strong.
I need to control my fate. I called today to a friend who has witnessed my temporary slump. So as not to depress her, I summoned my spirits for a rallying speech.
"Te confesso, estoy un desastrito. No tengo verguenza. Cada una de nosotros tiene sus problemas. Pero, que es importante es que mañana va ser un dia bueno nuevo. Y despues esto, van venir otros dias buenos! Y yo voy seguir luchando! Y yo me voy a Chile! Me voy a Chile! Si yo tengo que esperar hasta yo tengo cien años, me voy a Chile!"
(I admit it, I´m a small disaster. I don´t have shame. Each one of us has his problems. But, what´s important is that tomorrow will be a new, great day. And after that, there will be more great days! And, I will continue fighting! And I will go to Chile! I will go to Chile! If I have to wait until I´m a hundred years old, I will go to Chile!)
There. And so, I say to you, "Mañana, me voy a Chile!" And I´m not just sending you fruit. Not even a rotten old pear. (Hopefully.)
The reconossaince mission for my pride and willpower will be a rousing success! The string of failures will be left with Argentinian customs officials at the border. And, the successes will multiply like a garden of wildflowers ...
Fate, I own you.
... in Chile.
See you there. Modern Oddyseus.
"Despues de todo andar, estas en el mismo lugar ... mismo lugar." - Soda Stereo, "Toma La Ruta" (After so much walking/travelling around, you´re in the same place ... the same place.)
"Nunca para de crescer." - Soda Stereo, "Claroscuro" (Never stop growing.)