“Thwack!” goes my head, pummeling the van door.

“Thwack!” goes my head, pummeling the van door.

See bright spots of light. Can’t balance no more.

Closed out my phone call, “I love you. Uh, bye.”

Stumbled to my knees, my head hanging high.

 

Called my chum Em’ly, the reason I’m here

Coordinated as if drunk on beer.

“I’ll call you in ten,” she said and hung up,

so I wondered whether I was wrung up. 

 

Am I concussed? I had seen stars. And my

neck mashed. From whacking it hard and uh, high.

Big ol’ thwackin’! A painful a-whackin’!

I pray the world fades not to, uh, black, and

 

but if it does, at least I’d’ve learned… Not

much of anything. An accident turned

me into a grave. A silly way to

die. In future, I’ll be A-More-Aware-of-Surroundings Guy.

 

Yo BTB! (Bearded Tomato Bisque) 

00
Ingredients:
  • 7 tins Yogurt, in any flavor (Note: individually-wrapped tins of cottage cheese are also acceptable, but only if they have fruit on the bottom. For this meal, I used 4 yogurt, 3 cottage cheese.)
  • 1 can Campbell’s® Tomato Bisque
Instructions:
  1. Grow a beard.
  2. Eat 6 Yogurts.
  3. Remove lid from the Campbell’s® Tomato Bisque.
  4. Sip half the Campbell’s® Tomato Bisque.
  5. Eat the final Yogurt.
  6. Sip the rest of the Bisque.
  7. Fall asleep in your van.
001

A Mattress.

For three months, You’ve driven around with a twin-sized mattress, originally acquired as a gift from a friend. You thought you might use it in your #VanLife #Van. After a week’s trial, however, you elect to use your previous queen-sized foam squishies instead. What to do with this large nuisance?

Option 1: Give it away.

  • You posted on facebook–one nibble but no bites.

Option 2: Donate it.

  • Goodwill doesn’t take mattresses. They’ll accept it for disposal, however… if you pay them $20.

Option 3: Discard it.

  • You can’t just put it in a dumpster. Grrrrrr.

Option 4: Ask that homeless man steering his bicycle up the hill, “Hey – would you like a twin-sized mattress?”

  • “Yeah!” he’ll say, and a huge weight will lift as you drive up to the gate of the forest where he lives.
  • His name is Pete. He has rough hands and a nice smile. You feel giddy that you made him smile.
  • You park your van on the street near his place.
  • As the rain begins to plink, you feel a kinship with the misfit.

Ode to Xfinity

Xfinity, you tease

In the unlikeliest of places

By stoking my hopes with the promise of bars

Then dashing them all with a “cannot connect!”

 

I must say I’d rather

Have no WiFi at all—

Be forced ‘pon my phone’s hotspot

Than hear your wispy false claims.

 

But sometimes, my dear,

You appease this old soul—

Like this ‘forenoon, when I video called

My boss from the street.

Though your robustness did waver

So we switched to “just audio,”

You did remain connected! Aye, you stood strong throughout,

Leaving boss none the wiser

That I’m a van-confined hobo.

 

Why do you toy so, dear Xfinity,

With me, of all people—loyal lover of your service

As I try to log in

With my dad’s friend’s account?

Time moves consistently, but mine doesn’t.

Time moves consistently, but mine doesn’t.

Subjective perception of time is altered by all sorts of stimuli. After a drink, it swims faster, blurrier. Right before lunch, it slows as I savor it more. “Time” is an objective measure about the world—a construct based on collective human experience. Each person’s time, however, is subjective. Experientially, there is such thing as a fast second or a long day.

At twelve years old, late at night in the hold of a sailboat, I wept at the realization that time only moves in one direction. Correct, precocious pre-pubescent philosopher young-Julian: correct, but incomplete.

I also recall, earlier, as a tyke of about seven, telling a friend, “we should have fun for the next hour so it passes faster.”

While I couldn’t yet articulate the difference between subjective and objective time, I already understood its implications: Subjective time is inconsistent. You can manipulate it, and thereby manipulate your experience.

So what?

So play with it. That’s as much as I’ve got. I’ve discovered a powerful tool and have little idea what to do with it, so let’s experiment and see what works. Try slowing subjective time by sensing the subsections of each second. Speed it up by losing yourself in thought. Objective time moves at a consistent rate in one direction. That’s our creative constraint. What we do within its bounds is up to us. If you discover something, tell me. 

Traveling around the U.S., with no nine-to-five, I revert to a pre-1800s sense of time, which I find brings greater focus and emotional depth.

How long have I been writing this? Wrong question.

Is it valuable? Better question.

Is it what I should be doing? Right question.