Chapter 39: Knoxville, TN



Chapter XXXIX: Knoxville, TN

The atmosphere of bus #1 was as perfect as a bus could be. I sat in the back, it was quiet, the seats were nice, and I utilized the electrical outlet to charge my batteries. This was nice because I was going to be travelling for over 20 hours and I needed to preserve all the life I could use. Furthermore, I made an excellent 18 hour playlist that would last the entire duration of the trip.

It dawned on me that I actually informed people that I would be moving to Asheville. Most of the people that I knew assumed that I would be moving to Portland. I am not positive if I made the right decision or not by choosing Asheville because I had big dreams and aspirations visualizing what my life would be like in Portland. Perhaps I could keep those same visions, but simply apply them to Asheville.

What made this a most curious decision was that family played an intricate role in me selecting Asheville over Portland. During this trip, this journey of attempted self-realization, I was to acknowledge my own problems with my own family. They have been the most important people in my life, and I feel that I had let them down. Unfortunately, any compatibility issues that may have caused any turmoil have never been successfully confronted. There were so many things that I wish were different; there were so many matters that I felt I could have resolved if I only knew how to express my proposals properly; there were so many uncertainties in which I had been the cause because I had chose to conceal all of the subversive aspects of nature; and then, there was the subversive side of my persona that I wished was never present.

There’s also the fact that the subversive side of my nature also has the most appeal to certain people, and I might be one of them. I can’t decide if I am happier engaging in dissident behavior or if I would be happier becoming a total conformist. On one side, my subversive nature does present the most lucrative opportunities. But then again, my subversive nature has also been the cause of most of my grief.

I figured that this exact point of my life, this bus ride, was halftime and I headed into the locker room facing an insurmountable deficit. Going into the match, some had considered me the favorite to triumph by a large margin; now I was being blown out of the water by halftime... the odds of a comeback were nearing impossible. There had been no definite game plan as I had attempted to utilize too many pages out of too many playbooks and poorly executed all of them. In order to achieve one of the greatest come-from-behind victories in history, it would require an entirely new schematic, a new design, and perhaps even a new team.

Or, I could accept defeat and simply play for pride the 2nd half. I could simply play it safe in order to avoid further humiliation. The opponents are simply too strong, too skilled, and the crowd is rooting against me.

Maybe, just maybe, I could forfeit the game and forget about it. Instead of starting the second half, I would begin an entirely new game. I would only be down in the series 1-0, and with today’s technology, this could be viewed as a best 2 out of 3 instead of halftime. That is a wonderful idea, but I have to make absolutely certain that I win game 2 else that will be imminent doom. But, since I cure so many ailments, perhaps I could stretch this out to a best of 7 series and therefore could take a couple more losses along the way before I finally prevail in the bottom of the 9th of The World Series. Unfortunately, I am not even sure what prevail even means.

Regardless, I had reached a point in my life where any decision that I made carried a huge risk. Not having a job, a driver’s license, bad credit, trouble with the IRS, outstanding warrants, unpaid fines, no definite home, lack of true friends, and quickly losing respect from my family made way for a very uncertain future. There was no certainty whatsoever and the possibility lingered that I was imminently facing sudden death; Cause of Death: Failure.

No definitive outcome for the future had even been remotely devised. At least halfway through a movie there is at least only a few possibilities of how it will ultimately end. I am not even positive any of the same characters will still remain in the film and the plot could be entirely different at any time. In fact, there could so many plot twists by the film’s finale that each member of the audience will be just as confused of a douche as the main character.

It was a scary position to be in, and honestly, it neutralized a number of my previous projections. Because there was absolutely no way to foretell what direction the course of my life was headed, I had to develop a number of separate plans to counter whatever consequences lied behind whatever risk I selected to take. More than likely, this could entail that I am carrying out my death sentence and I sadly developed a mission detailing a satisfactory alternative titled “When All Else Fails.”

But, I had to remain positive. That perfect partner of mine would either come to my rescue, or else I could utilize my own personal skills and extract my own brain tumor.

Next stop was Knoxville, TN. I once had a major predicament in Knoxville. Jen dragged me and her friend Paige here to see Ween in concert. Technically, having to see Ween in concert would be a disastrous enough ending to conclude this whole story. It could have ended with, we watched the entire Ween concert, and the story alone would be deemed a depressing tragedy.

However, after the concert, we forgot where we parked. Jen and Paige and I walked around downtown Knoxville for over 5 hours looking for the car. Even though we laughed about it for months, and even laughed all throughout the search, it was a bit frustrating. But, I feel the powers that be felt it was necessary to hide the car from us in order to forget the notion that we had just watched Ween in concert.

After what had happened at the bus depot in Asheville, I was paranoid about accidentally boarding the wrong bus. Therefore, I took extra precaution to ensure I would make no such mistake. Again, this bus was a tad late, but I was finally able to board.

Bus #2 was not nearly as nice as bus #1. Furthermore, it was completely full and I had to sit next to somebody; I was the last person to board, so I took the last available seat. Usually, the last available seat is next to somebody creepy… I’ve also noticed that the seat next to me is often the last available seat… because I’m obviously creepy. This time, the last seat was next to the best looking female on the bus, although not my dream woman. I was the only white person on the bus and was curious if the girl I was seated next to was happy to have me next to her or was thinking, “great, all these other people on the bus, and I get stuck next to the douchy fucking white guy.”

She and I did not speak one word to each other as both of us tried to take a snooze. Her leg migrated over into my territory and she rested it up against mine. I took that as a sign that I wasn’t that big of a douche.

The driver gave her announcement before the trip and I was delighted to know that I was on the right bus; I made certain not to put on my headphones until after the speech—which all pretty much sounded the same, but with a few alterations. This bus driver was a woman and she seemed vicious beforehand.

Prior to boarding the bus, there was more drama at the station. Some guy apparently had some issues with the bus for his other bus had issues—I don’t know what the fuck was going on. The next thing I knew, mother fucker was getting shitty with the bus driver as she was taking the tickets. She instantly put his bitch ass right in place—told the mother fucker he ain’t getting on the bus period if he doesn’t shut the fuck up. He didn’t shut the fuck up and angrily confronted the manager at the depot.

Once on the bus, she was extremely kind and pleasant. As a result, I assumed she was a Leo.

The entire trip to Nashville, I sat half asleep, never fully asleep, listening to music and visualizing images of going up and down the mountains. These images, actually a 3 hour long music video, could never be described with words or put on the big screen. We just kept climbing, soaring higher into the air, into an entirely different world, on a different road, on a different path, in an entirely different universe, every single second. If my mind never created these images, I would have minimal need for music. Somehow, the sounds and harmonies of the music induced imagery never before seen or heard. And if the technology could be implemented to actually create these images on a screen, that would be the day the world forever changed.

Index: Chapter List

Chapter 39 Soundtrack Listing:

1. Destroyer
"This Night" 5:58

This Night

2. The Nectarine No. 9
"Susan Identifier" 5:45

Received, Transgressed and Transmitted

3. The Dandy Warhols
"Big Indian" 3:34

Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia

4. Arcade Fire
"Wake Up" 5:35


5. Earl Brutus
"Don't Die Jim" 4:18

Tonight You Are the Special One

6. Helvetia
"Old, New Bycicle" 4:20

The Acrobats

7. Citay
"Fortunate Sun" 7:08

Dream Get Together

8. Popol Vuh
"Oh Wie Nah Ist Der Weg Hinab" 4:39

Letzte Tage- Letzte Nacht

9. Quickspace
"Winona" 7:29


10. Hawkwind
"You Shouldn't Do That" 15:42

In Search Of Space

All Sections Written, Designed, and Music Compiled by Tony J. Neal

Uncertainty Image shared from:  Internet Monk
Surreal Hills Image by Jade Fitton via Flickr


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