Gas For Chameleons

2014, Coast To Coast, Canada

I graduated University and I had dreams of becoming the next Jack Kerouac or Robert Frank. In my spare time I read voraciously, especially obsessed with the work of Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Joel Meyerowitz, Edward Hopper, Caspar David Friedrich, Ralph Gibson and John Max. I wasn't sure I could do it, but I loved the idea of travelling around and documenting spaces, though I probably would have called them exploits way back then.
I had a plan. I'd get my parent's old van, take out the back seats and put a single mattress in it. I'd buy an adapter for the cigarette plug in order to charge my camera batteries, computer and hot plate. I'd bring a big jug of water and install a hand pump. I'd get a decent gps and go coast to coast and that's what I did.
I packed a few t-shirts and a chunky sweater (which I still own) and shave my head in order to avoid being noticeably greasy if I ever went several days without showering.
I learnt to drive behind 18 wheelers so they'd take the hit if a deer came out at night. I learnt to ask politely and enthusiastically to shower at public pools. I learnt to fuel up at half tank and to park and sleep in Wal-Mart parking lots all around the country. I learnt how to be alone.
It took me time to slow down though. And I look back and wish I'd taken the time to talk to people more oft and wander around cities a little more at ease. I'd heard of dandies and loafers and I just felt like I had no time. Now I wish I'd made more of it...

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