How many more days of this can be taken? I’m on day three facing two more day with maybe another on top of that before I can even dream of leaving. Porterville, California. Exactly, so what? Stuck and stranded with a shot high-end charging system and here I wait for a used stock system to be delivered to where I find myself currently living, the Palm Tree Inn or as I call it the Palm Tree Out.
The last four or five days couldn’t have been better set up off the road three miles north of Kernville, California in the Sequoia National Forest. Lazy days of doing nothing in particular and Bike remaining just as stationary as myself outside under the tree where under we slept.
But now look at me, residing in a washed up motel waiting on a diode board for the motorcycle alternator to be delivered. From the looks of it one may question if it is still in operation. The pool is dry and there’s actually a tennis court on my end. It needs a mow. The sign is rather what I wouldn’t expect especially being ran by Indians as it’s in the style of graffiti. The room is just that, a room. The lamps are without bulbs but a solitary light hangs uncovered by the window that may or may not decide to dimly turn on and if I need to really see I have to use the bathroom lights. No base-boards, the thin walls are peeling up and hanging solitaire a stupid painting for motels only off set by the smoke stained pink paint. Water pressure that feels like I’m being pissed on. Yes, I’ve actually been using the tub. No bed bugs as this would be an ideal residency for such creatures but I guess they have as much right to be here as I do. It’s a big place, my guess 150 rooms with about five occupants including myself. Maybe I should say residents instead of occupants. Across the way a woman lives, she roams the parking lot talking to someone I can’t see and occasionally breaks her stride and we exchanged words.
“Can I have a dollar to buy Baby Darlene a donut.” she says in what I’m guessing to be third person. She has on mismatched socks topped off with worn out clothing and works her head back and forth maybe to the beat of the headphones in one ear. I look down and realize we dressed the same.
“Nah, I gotta buy me a cheeseburger.”
“Want a cigarette?”
“No thanks.” and I let myself walk away as I saw where the conversation was going, nowhere. Nowhere California.
Next door in room 112 a ghost of a woman who I’ve only seen twice avoids eye contact slips stealthily around and makes no sounds that I can hear of. This morning she was putting her mentally impaired boy on a school bus. Sigh.
My consumption is either a fast-food dollar menu or like what I’m doing right now, cooking dinner of elbow macaroni boiled with pieces of onion and creel seasoning in the bathroom on my camp stove. When I inquired on the room I asked for a bit of help on the price, the Indian woman wouldn’t budge or barter when I offered to clean rooms that went nowhere. She did give me a queen size bed at the price of a full-size since they were all occupied. I look out the door and the only vehicles in the parking-lot is a big rig and my motorcycle. I take it Baby Darlene doesn’t drive. I wonder if she pays?
Charles Bukowski would be proud me finding myself in this position. An excuse to drink and even feel sorry for yourself if you like. Porterville, California. A bland town of fifty thousand souls just big enough where people avoid eye contact and think their shoes are pretty impressive as they can’t stop looking at them when walking the streets. Outside of town citrus groves are plenty with a nice country setting but in town it’s just like all the rest; shopping plazas, car dealerships, fast-food, closed store-fronts and whatever else comes with prosperity of growth. There’s not even a good place to walk. I know. Things could be worse, at least I don’t have to show up for a job in the morning.
Here I am so I may as well write, sitting on the toilet for a chair typing in the bathroom. I made coffee this morning and I just watched as it boiled over, I made no attempt at turning the flame off. Took me an hour to get around to clean up the grounds just so I had something to do. I couldn’t imagine prison. Here at least I have TV which I feel like kicking in but there’s a sensation of confinement, restlessness and pity. Doing this day in day out living in motels, I’d rather go back to the pork-plant. Only concrete outside and nothing is worth the effort besides splitting’ town. That even feels like a chore to think about. In a large town, fuck me I want to be back out in the country where I feel like the king I truly am. Without a battery and charging capability, Bike sits outside my door. I look at her and feel just as stationary in a state of static just waiting to move. We’re not supposed to do this but we are and just have to make the most out it. The wacky whiskey Black Velvet seems to have an extra punch this evening attacking my sensations of restlessness. Bah!
What a hell of a time to stop smoking as that’s all I can think about just out of shear boredom. It would go well with the BV just because. I do take a guilty pleasure in cheap ass lodgings, all rooms are the same when you turn off the lights. I don’t need the swanky and most of all I can’t afford a high dollar room. You’re there to sleep and not hang. Unless you’re stuck in Porterville, California. A good one I used in Holbrook, Arizona, a $20 room that came with two meal tickets to the attached greasy spoon and the only vehicles in the parking lot was again Bike and a blown out mid-80′s Lincoln that may or may have not been on blocks. I not a purveyor of the so-called good things in the materialistic life but when the terrycloth towels are more like cheesecloth and the TV needs a kick or two it’s just another touch of class and character. This is out of the norm, spending more than one night in a hotel, that is when I opt for one. The weather has to be where I don’t feel like setting up camp but the weather has to be exceptionally horrible. When not necessary a hotel is a total splurge to pay for a bed but when pushing the boundaries closer and closer to destitution one can’t be so choosey and take what they can get. Just tickled that I have this roof while I wait and wait and wait and wait. Monotonous it is, where time is felt in the chest like puppy-love or bad heartburn at 2 AM after eating to many jalapenos too late in the evening. This only reinforces the need to get back out and about on my own accord.
Through the window the short-bus pulled in the parking-lot to drop off the poor kid at the door where him and his mother live and crashes me back down to Earth waking me up that there is absolutely nothing good about this place and I’m an asshole for trying to turn it into a creative endeavor for inspiration. Though there is inspiration, inspired to get the hell out and never return to Porterville, California or at least not to take up residency here. Now company has arrived and is tickling my legs and where else a touch can be felt, they may take a drink of the Black Velvet but it will only be for the sweetness not the buzz since the fly needs no help in that department. And just out of curiosity the mattress has questionable black and blue bruises and a stain that matches the one on the floor leading to the bathroom. I look around, the damn lamps with their warped shades tilted up like mouths of puppets hungry for lightbulbs but the maintenance guy never returned to feed them and the piece of section couch by the window may be the better bet for the bedbugs.
Postal System of the People, by the People for the People, please deliver me from this stagnation of mediocrity and give me a chance of one true great escape. And with that thought, Mr. Bukowski and his stint with the Post Office is brought to mind, him driving a Postal truck, saying ‘Fuck it.”, flips the bird to a guy waiting on his mail and decides to go elsewhere and away from the damn Postal Service truck to drink.