Sunday, November 04, 2012

Iquitos, Peru: Cosas and Stuff--and Books

I am so easy to meet that I often wonder if I must be crazy to be so open about myself and my whereabouts at any given place and time. Sometimes I write about myself in ways the prudent man would never dream of, and I write of others in much fashion sameways. Just one man's opinion, I think so. Below is a piece I wrote a few months ago and am only now putting up for public view. It probably means nothing at all. One would really be better off sitting with me for an hour to find out if really I am such a man as I seem to some on paper, as it were. Yes, some things about the man are revealing even when written as humorous or self-mocking. I am, I swear, a lovely man and open to friendships with most. But there are those who mistake my loveliness for love, and they fall into strange ways and become what I can only describe as weird. Yes, I too can come across as weird; but come and sit with me and find out about me for yourself before rushing to judgments. Or not. 

Below I wrote as I mused about tourists buying stuff to take back home. I have no home to go to and don't seem to be making much success at finding a place in the world to call my own. Because I move so much I might be open to others defining me. I find it disturbing at times, sometimes finding others writing about me such weirdness that I am almost speechless from confusion. How can people be so outrageously wrong on the facts. But the world is filled with stranger folk than I. I must shrug and offer to buy you a cup of coffee and we can sit and talk about stuff and even cosas

I am not the president of the United States of America, and thus I am willing, I guess, to haul out my birth certificate and show the curious just what it says. I honestly don't have much in this life, but I do have a few things and for the most part I'm generous with them within reason. One thing I have much of is a curiousity about the world we share, and thus I am a writer of stuff. I am today pleased and proud to announce that I will soon, or as soon as I can get a decent Internet connection, publishing a new book, almost all of it about me. Then again, all about me isn't much about me at all. My new book is about stuff and folks, by D.W. Walker, Iquitos, Peru: Exilic Art from Selva to Plant.

Cover Graphic for D.W. Walker, Iquitos, Peru: From Selva to Plant
I'm following that up with what is now three volumes of travel writing on my travels in the Andes and the Grand Chaco, Andean Walker: Freak Show Profugo; Andean Walker: Making the Mariscal; and Andean Walker: La Vida Escorpion. With luck I expect to have all four volumes published early in 2013, followed by my five volume History of Ideas, A Genealogy of Left Dhimmi Fascism. I like to think it matters what kind of person a writer is. To know a bit about the real me one must sift through the things I write about myself, not all of them factual, and compare those writings to reality as one can sense it intelligently. And of course, one must consider my enemies' accounts of who and what I am, as well as the accounts of weirdos who write weirdness. Judge for yourself, if it matters, by joining me for coffee, or simply read away and decide for yourself just what kind of man I am who would write such things as below about the dream of home and happiness. Until my next book is out, please consider reading the current volume below:

A gentle reminder that my book, An Occasional Walker, is available at the link here:

And here are some reviews and comments on said book:

Dag Walker,
Iquitos, Peru
Nov. 2012

I'm within days of my first year in South America, and today I decided to organise my backpack, it being so filled with stuff that I can hardly lift it anymore. To my surprise I find there isn't much in my pack that I can ship away to my storage locker in Canada. The things I have, the cosas and stuff, are mostly clothes I've picked up on the road, shedding much of what I brought as I lost so much weight I couldn't wear my old clothes, and then picking up new things for the cold Andean mountains and now for the sweltering Amazon, an alpaca sweater, an alpaca poncho, a couple of Andean caps for the freezing times, and shorts for the jungles. I have some things I don't know what to do with, like a spring-loaded steel baton and a set of lovely brass knuckles I expect I will never use, and my bull whip, which I hope to be buried with. I have a razor-sharp hunting knife, a nice flashlight, and some small things like a guitar wire and treble hook for strangling my enemies on the sly. These are new things I'm going to keep if I can. Every tourist probably travels with-- other things, but this is my trip, and thus I am armed and ready to don my cool combat utility vest should need arise. In this land of peace and relative plenty I am set for death to my enemies, of whom I have not a one, though they would be seriously endangered had they existed here in my presence. I got killing stuff galore. I don't got much tourist junk. After nearly a year I have only some stickers and decals, some embroidered patches for uniforms, some maps, a couple of unsent postcards. I feel like a failure as a tourist. It made me nervous to see my neighbour at the market yesterday loaded down with so many bags of stuff he asked me to help him carry stuff to the mototaxi so he could drop off his packages with the mountain of other stuff he's bought in the past few days. I realised I too must buy some tourist things to decorate my home. I'm missing out on the tourist experience by ignoring the vendors shoving things at me. I should look at it and see it and maybe buy some stuff to keep and recall and enjoy in place when I finally settle and have a place to call more or less my own.

Today I bought another pair of shoes. I think it makes eight pairs of shoes so far on this trip, most of them ruined by hard travel, other than the lovely cowboy boots I bought in Bolivia, boots that nearly crippled me because, though they were the biggest size available in the nation, they were two sizes too small for my large feet. And now my $8.00 crocodile boots too are too small, and they cut my toes and my leg where they pinch so tight. It's meant a second pair of $1.00 plastic flip-flops to replace the runners I used to wear, two pairs destroyed by the terrain so far. I bought a pair of beautiful leather dress shoes today, and today I call myself a real tourist. But it's not tourist enough till I have a package of souvenirs to send to my friend to stash in storage for me in case I should ever return to claim all my things and start over as a man settled and content. I have a pair of flip-flops, a pair of boots, and a pair of shoes. I have so much because I travel much, if slowly. Now I can travel in style, and I can walk with purpose and dignity looking around looking for things to buy because I am a legitimate tourist, my killing gear hidden away in my pack, my public presence that of a well-dressed gentleman, i.e a Yanqui tourist in fine shoes.

Too true, I do have some tourist things from the previous year, a bit of paper and some textile stuff and things of prettiness and curiousity. Today I can add to that a couple of bloodwood bowls made of second-growth trees, me doing my part to destroy the Amazon rainforest, the lungs of the earth, our mother. I have a resin covered jar made into hideous faces and jungle nightmare figures that I suspect will arrive in splinters. I'm gonna bust my bank soon and I will buy a couple dollars worth of sticks with coloured cotton string wound round them, I think they supposedly should resemble Amazon Indian arrows of yore, which I will stick into a vase and call them lovely. To gaze upon them in all their cheap glory I will hang up three balsa wood swinging monkeys from my ceiling someday. And all men and women and children too, even art critics who might venture into my place by mistake, will 'ooh and ahh' the painting I will buy of Belen Market a la Renoir in Dayglo paint. I'm on my way to real tourism at last before I drop off the map of reason and return to the life of war and hatred stoked I love even more and cannot rid my life of. I'm going to buy some pretty things because I want to have a pretty place to sit in, what one might call my home. A serious lack of money prevents any accumulation of tasteful things, so tourist junk must suffice till I find my way in the world and can afford better junk and cosas. I probably would if only I could....

I don't know if ever I will have a home again, the last one not being so much what one would think as desirable, the home I grew up in where my parents lived and hated and screamed and beat and raged like wild and tormented beasts. But that's the only home I've ever had, and I miss it. If ever my happy home dream comes true, then I will have so much stuff and cosas that I will have again a chance to sit in a lovely chair and just be there in something akin to contentment, a place, a space, a shelter all of my own where I can think about murdering my enemies, torturing them with dull and rusty spoons and daubing their wounds with vinegar and salt, cauterizing them with a butane torch, picking out the sore spots on them with a pair of needle-nose pliers, and perhaps, if I am a real tourist at last, returning to the surgical supplies store in Lima for scalpels and pincers and instruments of terror that make me sick to think about. For now, I will buy some pretty things for storage and the hope of a future pleasing. Yes, I want a home, but what would I do with it if I had one? I fear I might never actually see it. And the rent on the storage locker to keep it safe would kill me. I might let that part go and just buy some things to add to the locker I have already. I can carry my home in my mind and there it will be forever mine, safe and warm and inviting. Home. The walls covered in paintings and tourist souvenirs, the floor sticky with blood, the drains clogged with hair and torn fingernails, the smell of burnt flesh deep in the plaster, scratch marks on the bed posts, tooth marks in the leather bits, and stains of all sorts on every surface. My home and my safe place to be at peace. It would be pretty, indeed. Home, sweet home, when my touring days are done.

A gentle reminder that my book, An Occasional Walker, is available at the link here:

And here are some reviews and comments on said book:

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