I've always had a connection with the number 2. It's always kind of been my lucky number. My Dad's too, it's his birthdate. Well, 22 but really it's just a 2 repeated and more powerful. And that's how it's always been for me. I think of 2's as sort of like bars on a cell phone. The more 2's the more powerful the path or the moment. It's kind of like a compass. When I see 2's I know I'm where I need to be. I never really shared this. I feel like some sacred shit should just be noted and you should move on. After a while it becomes routine and I'm like; "ok, good...I'm where I need to be."
Like alot of that kinda esoteric reinforcement I stopped listening at some point. This trip...this journey...this new life has tuned me back in to that hum.
The first time I looked at my phone after having my gear robbed it was 2:22AM. Hmm...a quick pause from the sorrow to acknowledge that this is probably where I need to be. Even though I didn't like admitting this one. It's like yoga or psychotherapy whereas the places that hurt the most are probably exactly the places you need to go to. It's like psychedelics. Sometimes it's wondrous and easy and sometimes you just want to shut it off. You don't wanna see your bullshit...thats what a bad trip is. There's no such thing as a bad trip, really. It's just that you're not ready to see where you're fuckin' up. Ok, a nicer way would be say you're not ready to see how you're not loving yourself enough. So for me the 2's arent always a sign of good things but a sign that there is meaning in this moment. For whatever its worth, good or bad. The more 2's, the more meaning. Like I said...I usually keep this stuff close to my chest. But what just happened to me bears repeating.
It's day 15 on Maui. It's hot. It's been two days since my gear got robbed. I had been sleeping on a picnic table for a day and a half. Because when you sleep on a picnic table you don't sleep. You kinda just lay there and contemplate the absurdity of the whole thing. I started to develop a fever and a killer headache. Body aches too. That night my good homies at The Velvet Lounge passed around a bucket and raised some funds for me. Around 9:00pm (3:00AM NY time) I got a message from my boy Ryan that said he had deposited the money into my account. Man, I'm a lucky dude.
Until now I had four bucks in my wallet, an increasing body throb, fever and a headache that wouldn't quit. I planned on sleeping on the playground tonight. (The ground is made of this super soft marshmallow type rubber for the kiddies. And it's a dream to sleep on.) I couldn't do it. I was paling out, done or 'pow' as they say here...I was pow. I needed a bed. I needed rest. If I was going to continue this journey I needed to be 100%. I'm googling hostels and nothing. The bed and breakfast opens at 8:00am. I thought maybe I'd tough it out there til then. Nah man...I was pow. I didn't wanna spend the cash from The Lounge show on a hotel room but this was definitely about wellness. I found the cheapest hotel I could find. A Days Inn about 2 miles up the road. I geared up and walked.
Seeing the emerging Days Inn sun logo over the horizon was like seeing the morning sun after 10 days of nights. Sweaty and breathless, I checked in, showered, flung my throbbing carcass on the bed and got the best 8 hours of sleep I'd ever had. I woke up rested and refreshed but the fever and headache were still there. Stay another night and rest? No way. Not worth it. Time to move on.
I needed food. Nothing around for miles but these resorts. Fine. "Coconut ahi please." And water...lots of water. I get to talking with the waitress. I tell her my story. Where I'm from, the robbing, etc. She gives me a tip on a secret beach a few miles up the road. "you can definitely put up your tent at sundown and no one will know you're there. She brings me my check - probably half of what it should've been. So cool. She wishes me luck and I gear up and bounce.
I walk to the edge of the highway and stick out my thumb. People are real good about that out here. Don't think I've waited more than 10 minutes for someone to stop for me. After about 6 minutes someone stops for me. A late model pick up with NRA stickers on the windows.
After some hunting we find the beach. The NRA boys wish me luck and I head down to the shore. Shit. The place is pretty raw. No facilities, no power and it looks like it gets pitch black at night. I realized I wasn't prepared to camp here. My headlamp and flashlights were in the bag that got ganked. I was so beat I just took off my shoes and walked the beach wondering. Wandering. There's about 4 more hours of sunlight and my phone is dying...I need a plan...but first a nap ; )
I'm laying on the beach with my sleeping bag as a pillow. "c'mon universe....what's next?" A friend hits me up on Facebook and says that his friend has a spot somewhere in Lahaina where I can kick it. So funny. I just left there. Im about an hour south. I muster up the energy, gear up, walk to the top of the highway and stick out my thumb.
I'm out there for like 3 minutes and a white Mercedes 550 SL whips across the lane and pulls over in front of me. If you don't know what a 550 SL looks like google it...I'll wait...now google me. Actually just look at my Facebook pictures. Googling "clarity" will just return a bunch of hippy art and eye JPEGS. This car is like a roller skate. And in keeping with that analogy I'm Yokozuna's foot. (google Yokozuna) At first I didn't even realize he was picking me up.
"Really?" is all I say to dude. "Get in, Haas!" he says and pops the trunk. This dude is maybe in his mid fifties. He's wearing a straw hat and a Hawaiian shirt turned inside out and unbuttoned completely. He's got a goatee and skin like brown leather. I remember all this because I immediately started taking notes as I got in the car.
Deep Purple is blaring "...smooooke on the waaaater..." we shake hands and he guns it. "Here, light this thing up!" He passes me a half smoked joint and a lighter but this fucking lunatic is doing 90 in a 55 with the windows down. "I just got this thing three days ago! Weeee hoooo!!"
So what do I do? What would you do? I finally get the joint lit, hit it and shout "weeeeee hoooooo!!" right along with him. "There's a hundred!" he screams over Tom Petty as we jerk and swerve into oncoming traffic to pass a Mustang that's already doing a precarious 70mph.
"ok...all right, so this is where I die. Seems legit. I'm going out with a bang."
"you're good, Haas! Don't worry about nothin'! I don't smoke meth no more."
hand to god. those were his words.
We're chatting as my knees press against my chest and the dash and my head scrapes the moonroof. "yea, I won the lottery a few years ago." he continues.
"oh yea? sick! what'd you collect?"
"probably shouldn't tell you that."
"... a hundred and thirty five million!"
"holy shit, dude...good for you, man. Is that when you stopped doing meth?"
"shit, no, that's when I started! bwahahaha! "
So we're talking and I'm telling him my story and how my shit got robbed and how I had real good people back home looking out for me. He's not going as far as I need to go so I tell him to drop me at a bus stop and I can swing it from there.
We get to the bus stop and shake hands...he wishes me luck and says something about seeing each other again and it being a small island. I tell him to be careful in that thing and I get out of the car...it was kinda like when you twist open one of those biscuit containers.
"hey, Haas...c'mere." He digs his sun soaked hand into his front pant pocket and pulls out some cash. "take this. and good luck to ya."
I grab my bags and shake his hand and thank him tremendously. I just shove the crumpled fiat into my pocket. He skids away, fishtailing from the bus stop. I situate myself, put my bags down and look at the cash he gave me...a single, a single, a twenty, a hundred, another hundred. $222.