The Coyote Gets the Gold

My life seems to be more and more fictional all the time.  Here is another “travel story” that is also the continuation of the previous story.  Actually, I’m beginning to think that I am writing a whole novel as I see a rather lengthy plot unfolding ahead.  Perhaps I will serialize it upon these pages…

The Coyote Gets the Gold

The Winter Solstice (part 1); December 21, 2017.

I know it is going to happen before it happens. I shuffle the cards double… triple… Extra… to try to keep it from happening. It is the morning of the Winter Solstice. My ritual of indulgence will be later… at 11:21 am. At the moment, it is almost sunrise and I am heating water for herbal tea as I prepare to choose my medicine card. I attach special significance to today’s medicine card. In some respects, it is the card for the day, the card for the Winter season and the card for the whole year ahead. I shuffle the cards more and more but it makes no difference. Of course you know what card I turn over; the Coyote.

So, here I am, riding my bicycle over the mountain on the morning of the Winter Solstice. The temperature is hovering around 20 degrees and the wind is blowing but there is no snow.. Am I crazy; no, not exactly. Am I afraid of the coyote? Well, yes, maybe a little? Is that why I’m embarking upon such a foolish adventure? No, not really, but in a roundabout sort if way.., yes. My reasoning is, perhaps, convoluted, but my determination is profound. I am riding over the mountain in defiance of the coyote. Not because the coyote wants me to ride over the mountain but because the coyote is challenging me to ride over the mountain. I dare you he says… And so I do.

Honestly, the experience is rather thrilling. It is like a quest in an ancient epic. Frodo had to make it to Mount Doom in order to ditch the ring and I have to make it over Franklin Mountain in order to get the gold for the solstice celebration. I could have taken Ms. B.’s car. It was available. But I chose to ride. The first few miles were fairly flat and easy riding but I was passed by two big milk trucks that crowded me off the shoulder. Now I’m on the four mile long continuous uphill stretch that goes up and over the peak of the mountain. The other side is much steeper and shorter distance but harder to peddle up. This side is really not too bad. Like many things in this universe, the anticipatory thought is oppressive but the actual experience is mostly rather pleasant. The ache of exercise and the blood flow from heavy breathing excite the body. It’s more like a mid-range morning workout than some outrageous, crazy, impossible physical challenge. I’m dressed warm with long underwear and gloves so I am not uncomfortable. The cold air feels good on my lungs and the warm sweat starts to flow. The only real problem I have is with zooming cars and trucks that crowd me over to the shoulder. There seems to be lots of traffic on this road now; more than I ever remember. I guess it’s the morning rush hour. Peddle peddle push, up and over the top of the mountain. Continue reading

The Tarot Card Tragedy

I should have smoked some weed and drank some whiskey before I started.  But stupid me was trying to be professional.  The whole thing is a disaster from the get go.  My set-up is comparable to a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  I have no routine, plan or script to work with.  And I’m as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  Ms. B. lets me do a practice session on her but then she wishes me luck and scurries away to go stroll around the city.  I think she wants to be as far away from this train wreck as possible.  I am left alone to perform solo.  The jugular of my soul is exposed to the universe.  Here I am, Pat the Prognosticator, on the streets of New Orleans.

My sign says, “Not Your Average Tarot Reading.”  Ms. B. was kind enough to make it for me and it’s really quite nice.  As a matter of fact, it’s probably the single best feature of my skid row, low budget tarot display.  I don’t even have a table.  Just a plastic tub turned upside down with a sarong draped over the top and couple of camping chairs from the dollar store.  Compared to the impressive insta-theatres of the many maestros on tarot card row, my meager little venue is really quite pathetic.  But what can I do?  I had to work with the variables at hand and this is the best I could come up with under the circumstances.  Afraid of the competition, I also don’t set up on tarot card row.  I choose an out of the way spot in the same plaza but separate and distinct from the central tarot card area.  There are artists and a hoolah hooper over here but no other tarot readers.  Maybe I’ll get some spillover from the main readers or maybe no one will notice me at all.  But my little fish operation is definitely not ready to swim with the giant sharks yet.  If no customers come to me here, I guess it’s just not meant to be…

But the first customer arrives almost immediately. Continue reading