01 May 2010

the ballad of hurricane terra

Day two was day two and it started with something that needs it own post. It is called:

The Ballad of Hurricane Terra.

Woke up this morning and decided not to start my day the way it ended, with a Denny's meal, and opted instead to go into Chico proper to see what was up. What was up was Hurricane Terra.

Got a coffee, found a smoothie place to get my daily F&V fix & wandered around taking a few pics. Was about to leave when I realized my coffee was out and I should probably get another for the road. Zigged instead of zagged to take a different route to the local cafe & happened upon a woman who appeared to be orating for some reason. She had a shirt that said VOTE for someone or other. I wasn't really interested until she asked me over.
I can't remember how, but I assume she said 'hey you come and take my picture!'
I said ok.
She said 'hey, come and take a picture with me & my friends.'
'Look, I'm in a hurry.'
'Where you going?'
'Home.' ( I could have said 'applesauce' for all the difference it made) 'I just gotta get a coffee and I'll...'
'Ok, hey come with me I know the best coffee shop!'
'I thought the best one was over there'
'No no! Has Beans is the best. I only do organic brother! From the earth. From the earth.'
'I'm sold. Where is it?'

And thus I was then swept up in Hurricane Terra. I was already in it's grasp, but hadn't realized it yet. Once I began to follow, there was no getting away. We first went to her group of friends who she told 'Hey, homeless people! Watch my stuff!' She decided that she wanted a picture of her and her friends. I asked if her friends wanted that. They hummed & hawed and didn't seem to care either way. She would have had it done regardless.
'C'mon you homeless people, it's for mother fuckin high times magazine!'
(I told them that 'mother fuckin high times magazine' was a new magazine by the good people at High Times Magazine but they were all just too baked to come up with a better title. No one laughed.)

Her stuff...

After the picture she picked up her stuff which consisted of a milk crate full of things (she claimed there to be eight thousand dollars in it), a square headed garden shovel and her guitar. I got to carry the shovel. Then it was of to Has Beans.

I describe her as a hurricane because being in her prescience is exactly how I imagine it to feel to be in one. She was an absolute force of nature. (She'd make some pot reference here in relation to the word nature.) We spun into Has Beans and she whirled about interacting with everyone & everything she saw. The manic way in which she engaged everything in her path indicated to me that she might have what some folks call 'a condition'. Not good or bad in my book as we all have varying degrees of 'condition', just some of us aren't able to carry it around with such magnetic wonderment. I wouldn't call it a childlike wonderment, but it had elements of it. Everything was so vital and vivid and exciting for her. It was like showing someone the stuff in your room for the first time. "oh and there's this, and there's this! and over here I have this...'

She claimed things to be hers.

I thought the coffee shop was hers the way she spun in and demanded a coffee for me. I said I'd pay for the both of us and the cashier gave me a friendly 'yes, you're going to have to' nod. Seems Terra was a regular. She brought me over to look at her art which hung on the wall. I thought it was fantastic but soon began to realize that there were a lot of things that were 'hers'. She gave me her business card. Several times. Each time it was something different.
A guitar pick.
A pen.
An un-inflated balloon.
A pencil (with different inscription from the pen).
A safe-sex package (one of those baggies with a condom and some info about STDs that they give to teens.)
A scrap of torn paper.

Maybe there were other things, it all happened so fast.

'Take my picture! Ok, and here! Here too! Ok the-this it my art. Hows about, wait a minute. ok now! take my picture.'

We were pulled into the street. I was genuinely behind schedule and kept trying to pull myself away. Y'ever try and pull yourself away from a hurricane? Yeah. Like that. We got going back into the park with snap after snap of my buzzing hyper model posing infront of buildings her grandfather built & other historical places. True or not, the history she spun was an interesting one.
'...and here's where I got married last week! And this is where I sing. and here is...'
I was getting closer to the car.
'Hey, HEY! Terra, ok, ok, look I really have to get - ok, one more, ok... now really-'

She wanted me to photograph her with trucks & buses that were driving by. She popped into a shop & pulled out the owner for a picture. She then ran into his store. He, like a lot of people we met, had a kind of sympathetic patience with Terra. Like everyone knew that she would twirl chaos occasionally but was harmless and so positive that there was no holding it against her. Can you really get mad at nature? Can you lay blame on a tidal wave? Can you guilt thunder?
When confronted with Hurricane Terra you just have to hold onto your socks & wait to be released.
I started to edge toward the car when she went into the shop. She came running out saying 'here is my card, hey billy, trout, here is my card!'
'I got it already Terra!' I held out a pencil.
'No here.'
She handed me a poster for the upcoming art festival in town. I thought 'oh yeah.' & noticed she has scrawled her info on the back. She has a website and everything. I got in the car and assessed the damage. Wonderful, wonderful damage and time well taken.

here are some of the many pictures.

hey homeless people!

'her' art.

'ok, now this one!'

a shot together.

scars and henna

senator terra

where she got married.

'one with the bus! ok go!'

shop owner

me in the wake.

great GREAT way to start day two.

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