"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Friday, March 21, 2008

3/21/08: Odessa, TX- Meet the Carnie

Odessa, Texas
Greyhound station

I haven't written in this [travel journal] in 16 months for pretty good reason. It's become something of a relic of this journey, one I don't want to fill with trivial bullshit. I left Santa Fe for the carnie job Tuesday (3/18) and came to Odessa with one idea how things were supposed to be: then the quick reality!

Laina took me to the Albuquerque Greyhound, and I found myself nervous; getting worse the closer to Albuquerque we got. Just as the bus began pulling away, Bob Seger's Roll Me Away came on my MP3 player. That seemed to tell me: "relax; now write your story." Look forward and live it. There was a huge moon, so I could see New Mexico all the way to El Paso and felt legitimately optimistic. Excitement about what was coming, and a shot at freedom. The landscape, moon... all tuning me in--in some ways.

We arrived in Odessa at 10:30 or so, and immediately after I got here with my bunkmate, Dan, it became obvious that either Mike or Charles was simply full of shit; likely both. After being on the bus for 13-hours, Charles put us right to work (doing next to nothing) for three hours. We then got an hour off before the carnival opened--then worked another nine. 13-hours every day--Monday through Friday--then 14 to 15 on Saturday and Sunday. For a base salary of $300 per week. Do the math. Plus there is no time to yourself except with the alcoholics, and druggies etc., who just live to get lit up then wonder why they are broke. Reality meets stereotype! It would have been great living here 15 or 20 years ago, but I'm not living in that spot anymore. Just annoyed the fuck out of me and made me uncomfortable as hell...

**Bus arrived**