I've had a very full day. It seems so complete that it almost seems a shame to normalize it with work, or even to booze it up for New Years. Rachel and I began by driving down the coast a ways, although not that far to be honest.
More and more this seems like the right place for it. Don't bother looking at flights yet, because unless you really “get” how to trick the travel system, you'll have a skewed idea of pricing — if this is what we decide, Rachel will put together a guide showing you how you can get here on the cheap.
Anyway, as we were ordering our food — veggie burgers (sorry, can't remember the term) con papas sin queso — the guy at the table next to us struck up a conversation. Although I am at this point over thirty, I've still got that “don't trust anyone over thirty” gut response so I imagine my initial responses were a little stilted. As it turns out, he was of the same mind on the matter.
"Where are you two from?"
"Do you know the book Modern Primitives?"
I told you a little while ago about the thrill of bumping into Patricia Morley at the post office, well, no offense Patricia, but this was much more exciting. He'd mentioned Modern Primitives because it had been published by friends of his; we were sitting across from Johnny Strike of the seminal punk band Crime (interview; check out Swami Records for the re-release). I realize that at this point about half of you have just had your jealousy glands erupt, and the other half are just going “huh…?”
Johnny told us about travelling through Tangiers, Southeast Asia, and the other adventures which are documented in his recently published novel Ports of Hell — in another interesting coincidence it is published by HeadPress who I've written for in the past — if I recall correctly they published a version of this interview with Ricki Lee King. I always hate linking those old interviews… Not that I'm a very good writer
now yet, but back them my writing absolutely sophomoric.
After eating we walked down Independencia and visited Rafael at his studio Symbiosis which is perhaps the only piercing-only studio (not including beach shacks in Cabo San Lucas) on the Baja.
It was super hot at his studio because he was just fixing the plumbing — unfortunately we couldn't stay long because Johnny had kindly offered a copy of his book — note to self, ask Ryan to send him a copy of the ModCon book — and we were meeting him at the “Pekin” Chinese hotel and restaurant. On the right is a picture of his book, and of us on the roof of the hotel.
You can get the book from Headpress here (if that link doesn't work for you, try this one). I'm enjoying it so far, but don't just take my word for it — here's what William S. Burroughs had to say about it:
Just got around to reading the pages you sent and was agreeably surprised These are real maps of real places. That is what marks the artist, he has been there and brought it back.
I've burned through far more time than I should have packed into the afternoon's bowl, but today's encounters have made me feel even more that this move was the right decision. I wonder though — every day out has brought something special… how long can that continue?