This wasn’t your garden variety massage. It was a “chakra massage”, something that was supposed to realign the spiritual energy centers up and down my body and allow my brain and nervous system to realize full awareness and joy.
It was like the Dalai Lama version of a chiropractic adjustment.
“I’m pulling out all this black stuff”, Jessica said, the chakra massage specialist. “There’s just so much of it in you.”
I laid there on the table, on my back, imagining old film footage of Filipino witch doctors pushing their fingers through someone’s belly and pulling out slimy black tissues of flesh.
Except Jessica wasn’t pulling out anything tangible.
This all happened back in 2012. I wouldn’t normally have bothered with getting my mojo metaphysically manipulated except that it was a “gift”. Well actually, it wasn’t a gift. I had built her a website for her spiritual energy business, and in return I was to get a free chakra cleaning. It certainly wasn’t any kind of consideration I would have normally agreed to, except Jessica was a good friend of Sash’s, and that’s what happens to a husband when two women put their heads together.
Fast forward to 2017.
I guess when I found out I could get a toy hauler painted all black, it just sounded like what I wanted. I mean, my motorcycle is all black. Most of the shirts I wear are black. My pickup truck is black. It just made sense to me.
I mean, I totally understand the idea that white painted RVs reflect the sun’s light, and thereby help keep things cool inside. But I hate the idea of being so visible. I hate looking like a rectangular block of Styrofoam sitting on a green forest meadow. Somehow, the black feels more comforting and at the same time ominous, or even uninviting. Maybe Jessica just wasn’t able to clean it all out of me.
Time has a way of redefining things.
If something continues to go on existing, whether it’s right or wrong, intended or unintended, people come to accept it as the norm. Maybe from a clinical standpoint, my chakras are not working like they’re supposed to. Yet, they’ve been working this way for as long as I can remember, and despite my ups and downs, victories and defeats, I’ve managed to do well for myself, and hence I consider my chakral congestion to be normal, and well, this is how I am defined.
Yet, people still insist on recommending a solution. And I’ve heard a lot of them, and from people who should already know me better. Whether I should see a therapist, attend a 12-step program, smoke some weed, or just pull my head out of my ass, a lot of people think I have a problem that needs fixing.
For one, they believe I have something wrong with me because I live in an RV and wander aimlessly around the country living on federal lands. They wonder why I don’t want to commit to a stationary structure, put down roots into a community, and hang out for karaoke.
And, I certainly recognize I’m quiet, intense, brooding, and have a resting (male) bitch face. But I’m really not an angry guy. I’ve just always have had this black stuff gunking up my chakral pathways and have managed to feel content despite the contrasting exterior. I do get frustrated however. But it’s mostly because people have a difficult time relating to me, and often it feels as if I’m analyzed, judged, and categorized.
There’s a good reason why so many motorcycle riders decorate their bikes and gear with skulls. And it’s not because they want to be “bad ass” or make people fear them. It’s because fatalities are a fact of motorcycling, so much so, that riders who make riding a significant part of their lives, respect it, pay homage to it, and recognize that one day it will take their lives too. Those who can accept that, eventually realize that wearing so much protective gear becomes a pointless endeavor. When death decides it wants you, death will come for you.
I guess that’s why I’ve been making everything black. Somehow, it’s become an external expression of how I feel inside. It’s an acknowledgement of who I am. The dark is comforting. And yes, I can often be in a dark mood. But, I’ve grown to accept it and I’m OK with who I am. And in that sense, most of the time I’m still happy to hear from you.
But from a nomadic perspective, and one who vagabonds full time across the country without ever feeling connected to any place or group, it’s also good to know that I can just pack up and leave on a whim, without having to say goodbye to anyone, and just be gone and solitary. That’s part of what the black does, and it’s a big reason why I now live in an RV.
Many other full time RVers cite the desire to travel, see new places, and meet new people, as the impetus for throwing out all their stuff and downsizing into a tiny home on wheels. But that’s not quite my reason. I mean, I do enjoy those reasons too, but I feel anxious staying in the same place for more than a couple of months. The longer I stay in the same place and the longer I see the same people, the more I feel transparent and vulnerable. I don’t need to completely avoid seeing the same person ever again. I just need that breather, that extra time to get away and simmer down a bit.
That’s why for me it’s less about traveling, and more about vagabonding.
Some of its genetic too. My mom and dad went through some really tough years in their lives, and spent a lot of time moving around. I can totally see how I have characteristics in common with them. But the rest of it stems from my life’s experiences after birth.
And I did spend quite a bit of time in my teens, 20s, 30s, and 40s, trying to be a guy more in line with mainstream society. In the end, it helped me a little by landing some good job opportunities. But I had to live a lie. I had to be talkative, I had to be high energy, and I had to laugh at jokes that I thought were dumb. I was just doing what I had to do climb the corporate ladder and make my parents proud of me.
I’m not ready, however, to pull a full Johnny Cash. That’s probably more black and more commitment than I’m ready to take on. Besides, that guy did it for different reasons. I’m just doing it because I’m tired of lying to myself.
I guess I have Sash to thank. I’ve watched her rediscover a woman who refuses to change her behavior one bit for anyone, and only inspire other women to do the same.
I’ve given up a lot to get this far too. I’ve walked away from a lot of people over the years, walked away from a lot of friendships and hurt a lot of feelings. And I am sorry that I had been lying all this time.
If anyone else out there has some black goo nerfing up their chakras and choking their lines of spiritual energy, definitely drop me a line. We could hang out. We could go black together