Pay No Attention to the Help Behind the Curtain

Carlos is culturally shocked; Jodi rolls with it. Love and generosity brings them a truck, and Carlos demonstrates his superiority in a lecture on humility.

The era of Prague has officially come to an end and Jodi and I have embarked onto a surreal odyssey that will not see its conclusion until at least October of this year. Every day it seems our environment shifts in some unfamiliar way and we are pressed to relearn the normality of things as simple as ordering coffee (yes, there is culture-specific language for that) or not hyperventilating when facing the abundance of North American supermarkets. It’s an adjustment, to say the least, and while some manage their shock by verbally reasoning through it, I’m taking a page out of Jodi’s book and shutting my mouthhole. Next.

Don’t ever be discouraged by the ease in which people present their successes online

Late last year, we were unexpectedly met with good fortune when Jodi’s parents stumbled upon and purchased a busted down truck for $500. The 2008, Ford F-150 would have remained a very large and useless ornament had we independently found it, as Jodi and I are a couple of boobs in terms of auto mechanics, but Jodi’s father and crew of resourceful friends were able and willing to apply their benevolent sorcery to make roar a necessary beast of burden. We’re gushingly thankful for the help.

Don’t ever be discouraged by the ease in which people present their successes online. They had help. In some form or another, hands were extended and hands were eagerly accepted. Anyone who says otherwise is unequivocally full of shit. And that’s magnificent (help, not calculated distortion)! I don’t know how or when “help” became so unattractive that it needed to be routinely scooted behind the curtains of public representation. We’re grateful and indebted to those who have had the capacity and have cared enough to offer support towards a goal which, on the surface, appears wildly unrealistic. I only hope that such charity has been accepted with all due appreciation and humility.

Next steps. Jodi’s still in the Toronto area and I’ve been in Austin, Texas, further detaching myself from reality, for the past few days. When I return to Canada, we plan on trolling Kijiji (Canada’s Craigslist) for tools and equipment that we’ll need by the end of the year. There are nearly six million more people in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) than there are in the entire province of New Brunswick, so with luck, we will have covered the basics before making prisoners of the cats again and puttering east in our new, used pickup (Czech friends, bathe yourselves in the confounding wash of that which has not yet come to pass, the future perfect tense . . . for “My name is [Carlos], king of kings; Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”).

Austin 2018

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