Radio show. Souvenirs and mold

April 7, 2011

My hands were numb this morning, 800 lbs of stones will do that to you. I woke up sore, hungry, realizing I forgot to get dinner last night.

Last night I had this interview, Melodies In Mind at CJSF, it went well. I arrived late, I had spent too much time on the laptop then realized I was 30 minutes away from the interview and getting there takes close to an hour… I hopped on Beowulf and we made it there in 40 minutes, I got green lights almost all the way through. So it was time for me to get on, I had not warmed up much and the fatigue accumulated these last few days was showing in my voice. But I had a great time.

Julia Spitale was one of the performers

on the left Jack Mercer and on the right our host, Ryan Fletcher

Leo is getting in trouble with the station's dog

Me looking tired but happy with the Go Guitar

After the show I headed back out towards Richmond on Beowulf. It’s pretty cold. But it’s a quiet Tuesday night and the ride feels good. I am always amazed by the fact that riding always feels good. It pacified me. I was headed to the house I used to live in. The people who took it over when I left are musicians and good friends, they had offered me their couch. I had nowhere else to go so I went.

It was a strange moment indeed to drive down Bridge street and see the old neighborhood. Then, arrive at the house, I felt like I was completing the circle I started on June 6th last year. I was back on a motorcycle, not the same one, but the loop was completed. I walked in and was warmly greeted. I had tea and chatted for a while then just went to sleep. I didn’t even take my clothes off. I am turning into a complete road dog. My bed was the cot I used to own which I would pull out for my guests.

As I was falling asleep, the furnace roared into action and that sound just transported me back in a time that now seems to be ages and ages ago, when my life was here, when this was my home, when I had a dog named Kita, when I had a beautiful garden. A clock was ticking the seconds away. I fell asleep.

In the morning a hot bath helped with the soreness. I feel beat up. I am tired. I have to admit to this right now. I feel I do not possess the energy to move on. But the weather cooperates today and I must get something done… because when it pours it makes everything that much harder.

I had a pile of mail, there since November, that was the last time I went through my mail. I realized my French music union membership had expired and that I was not in good standing anymore… forgot about them… I should call them.. Other than that nothing of much importance.

I went outside and the sun was out, it’s still pretty cool, got to wear all the gear minus leggings. Thank God for the heated vest… as I was getting ready, birds were singing, the smell in the air brought back more memories. The giant trees in front of the house still magnificent. I feel vague pulls of memory and emotion, but I decide not to pay attention.

I packed up the bike and headed out. I decided to stop at this little Vietnamese restaurant, Mary works there. Mary had helped me back in May 2010. It was during the last days before June first, I was trying to get moved out of the house, a task I had been on since the end of April. A 3 storey house to empty up by myself and I was running out of steam. Mary had come on her only day off of the week to help with the kitchen cleaning and wash my cupboards. She is amazing. We hugged warmly. We will do dinner next Tuesday, on her day off. Lots of stories to tell…

Yesterday the stones were the first task of this mission. Today I started the second task.

The Van.

The van is a 1984 GMC Vandura. I had filled it up with art work, art tools and supplies, my favorite blankets, photos and tax papers and some clothes and knick knacks that would have allowed me to resume my life when I came back. I thought it was going to be a fine free storage space.

I made it to Surrey, I parked the bike and walked up to the large low profile, tarp covered van. I started pulling the tarp off. Opened the door. Oh My God.

What a mess.

There is mold and water EVERYWHERE. The steering wheel looks as if I had covered it with a velvet camouflage cover. The mold is thick, brown, green and beige. The roof is covered in condensation, big huge drops. Oh boy. It’s pretty bad.

the blue ghost of the van

moldy steering wheel

condensation on the ceiling inside the van

Where to start?

I look around. See two huge boxes : the computer monitors, two big old school Sony Trinitron monitors, my pride and joy. I decide to let them go. I have found two in San Dimas, one cost me $20 and the other $15. There is no point in shipping them. These things were worth hundreds of dollars at the time… Removing those created a big open space out of which I could work on the rest of this sorry cargo. I started surveying the contents and the damage. Two paintings completely warped and molded over, a motorcycle cover, head gasket for a Suzuki GS 750… History pours out, my history. I cry a bit when I see this beautiful art piece partly covered in mold. I think I can save that one. When I stoppped I had spent two hours and ended with three piles : keepers, garbage and giveaways.

Tomorrow I will be back and do more. I am starting to see now how this is going to be done. I need as much good weather as possible. I’ll get up early and get to work promptly. Mold or not.


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