Its 1933 and the old ship is thrusting from side to side. Waves are pounding over onto the deck and hundreds of us hang onto the mast just to stop from sliding. It’s taken months to get here. We’re heading towards dreams and finally laying out the plans so long in the making.
Rocking into the setting horizon, we tell eachother stories of plenty, of days in youth. Tales past down to us, whispered in the darkness, painting pictures of light and laughter. When we arrive ashore the hours are long and hard, but we’re told, we’re sure we were told, it will get easier.
In the hot southern sun we bend our backs for cotton, sweat beading on our foreheads. In the distance the old steel machine whistles past and it’s not long before she takes us along with her. Piled in a boxcar, bodies shaking once more, we’re sped through the wheat fields in hope of a better life.
In my imagination it cannot have been easy to be a hobo. A real genuine hobo, old school, sailing from one land to another, the troubled Atlantic spanning the distance between. Now though, 70 years on, they havn’t made it any easier. An authentic traveler, a wandering vagabond, has no place in systems.
My principles didn’t allow room for choice. Flying halfway into yesterday, chemtrails polluting behind, was not an option. I’ve flown too many miles and we’ve screwed up too many times for there to be any room for movement.
Finding a crew proved easy enough, by March I would be setting sail and blowin’ in the wind. Fantasies coming to fruition, it would all be that easy, once I filled that little book known by nomads worldwide. A little shiny slip of paper and I’d be on my way. Passport, Visa, no hassle, no fuss.
250 Euro’s later (a fair fortune for any generation of hobo), several weeks and a heartbreak or two finds me no closer to that salty coastline. Different men in suits have assured me my dreams are futile, there are hobo’s enough in those pastures.
“But see here, said I, I am as rich a bum as ever there was. Feel the weight of these sliced trees, my named scrawled in all.”
Dollars or not, that golden ticket is designed for people with careers, responsibilities, children, they tell me. For summer vacationers taking leave from work, their busy busy work, snapping a few cliched shots, burning fuel all the way back home. There’s just no place for “people like you” he said.
Dreamers, Lovers, Sailors and Trainwrecks, steer clear, you’re not welcome here.
And I could see the beauty in his eyes, the humanity in his complexion, when his 9 to 5 tempts him to say “you’re just going to have to settle down somewhere”. Tears roll down my cheeks onto the wad of documents as I stare at him. And I wonder, how many visa’s has he been granted time and time again?