After this blog entry I will not be disclosing my location because my evil skin head stalker has expressed his interest in stalking me once again. I do not feel flattered to say the least. So if you are reading this (you know who you are, you angry, sad little man) find someone else to stalk cause you are ruining my travel mojo and I am not above finding someone to put a voodoo curse on you.
That said, this is route 206 outside of Saint, Augustine. We were dropped off by a semi truck at 6:30am. The driver of the semi is in the National Guards where he de-activates bombs in Iraq. He had many awful stories to fill up the two day long ride to Florida. There will be more on him at a later date.
Rocky and I walked a very long time on this road before we were picked up by a yacht driver named Walter in a blue, mint condition, 1966 Chevy El Camino. I did not take a picture of the car because I was too busy running to it.
Here is one of the many many cars that passed us. I eventually got so frustrated with the situation that it became funny. I started joking with Rocky to ease the tension:
- "Whatever McDonald's worker, have fun living in fear!"
- " Hey Rocky, did you see that lady? She wanted to pick us up, but Jesus told her not to."
- "No, It's cool. No we're fine. We don't need a ride."
- "I love the way my hair looks blowing in the wind as you drive by really fast without stopping!"
Rocky has started to show his age. He gets tired a lot faster these days. So I ended up carrying his saddle bags shortly after this shot and I have not had the heart to make him carry them again. He does look good in red though.
Here is a bridge thingy in the town of Palatka which lies between Saint Augustine and Gainesville. There are lots of Pentecostal churches here. I got three rides through the town of Palatka. One was from a gross old pervert who immediately asked me if I wanted to give him head for 20 dollars. Are you fucking kidding me? 20 dollars? Maybe in your day (or in Palatka) this is an acceptable offer, but I was quite offended. I declined and told the man, that was old enough to be my grandfather, he could drop me off at the next block. He let me out of the car without an argument and told me I was a good girl for saying no. Ha! Thanks Gramps!
I arrived in Gainesville sometime around 11am. I have not been to Gainesville in 6 years because I have been terrified that I would use drugs again. Now that I have been clean from narcotics for 3 years, I felt that it was time to prove to myself that I could visit without the disease of addiction taking over my mind.
When I used to live here, I would often stop to admire this beautiful, giant oak tree. I was glad to see it still there. Many memories, mostly bad, began to surface as walked into town. These memories came as no surprise to me. I was expecting them. I was more than ready (eager even) to process them. After all, this was the place where I almost lost my soul to drugs and misery.
Rocky and I decided to make camp underneath this oak tree for the day while we waited for our Gainesville friends to call. Rocky chewed on sticks while I read "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant. The book is about a character from the Bible named Dinah who is the sister of Joseph and the daughter of Jacob. Call me naive, but I did not realize that "The Red Tent" refers to a period tent until I started to read it.
While we were lounging we were visited by many interesting people, including this punk rock gentleman named A.J. He has awesome brass ear plugs and told me about a group of travelers that he had just met.
Aside from A.J., while I was reading, I was visited by at least three drug addict homeless people with different requests. "Can you buy my man a forty ounce? They won't let him in the store," an exhausted, wide eyed woman asked me.
"No, I am sorry," I said.
"You straight?" another asked.
"As an arrow," I replied.
"You gotta cigarette?" yet another asked.
It was at that point that I decided I was not going to get any reading done if I did not take drastic measures. So I decided to read "The Red Tent" out loud to make it clear that I was busy. As I was rambling like a crazy person, my dear friend Lars Din arrived. We talked about surviving the past and how life was going presently for each of since our last encounter. It was cathartic to say the least.
Lars and I talked until my brother came to scoop me up and bring me to Sarasota in his sweet yellow 79 Chevy Nova. My brother is so tall. 6ft 4in to be specific. It's awesome. I haven't seen him since he came to visit me in Vermont a couple years ago. The only thing shitty about him coming to get me is that his awesome car, whose engine was just rebuilt, started making fucked up noises on the way back. I feel like a jinx kinda, but I'm glad the engine started messing up now instead of after his warranty expired.
Here is Rocky basking in the sunlight at my Mom's place.
My Mother and I have been hanging out, walking dogs, talking, crying, looking at old photos, and reminiscing about the past.
Here is Ginger, my Mom's cat, right before she turned into a Ninja on Rocky.
It was scary. Someone set off a fire work which made rocky panic. He, in turn, tried to crash through Mom's screen door and this put Ginger the cat on defense. She was a fucking ninja, seriously. She flew through the air like a tornado made of calico fur and sharp nails and teeth.
Poor Rocky. He always gets the shit end of the stick. No pun intended.
Here are some shots of Sarasota's Amish town. I had originally planned to photograph the ghetto and the historic areas of Sarasota, but I decided that this might be pushing my luck as far as staying away from drugs. So I have decided to photograph less intimidating subjects, like Amish people and birds.