Rental insanity :
life on the road
"...after a few years of hopping from one cockroach-ridden bachelorís suite to the next, then moving into my van for a while, then selling it and buying a little Honda Civic and living out of it- which, frankly, is much more comfortable than it sounds, for the front seats in a Civic lay way down and one can get a very pleasant nightís sleep, and not suffer too much exertion during the night if one has to urinate, because, while lying down in the front seat of such a vehicle, one need only roll to the side, crack the door ajar slightly, and let the stream run out onto the road without ever opening oneís eyes, which is at least one advantage over sleeping on a king-sized bed in a carpeted palace.
Finally, however, I parted with the Civic as well, because I was intentionally paring down my material goods so as to have nothing except what would fit into a backpack, just in case I felt the need to up and quit the world in an instant, which could have come any time, and I wanted to have everything in order so as not to leave a trail behind. ...
It was for these reasons- that I began fantasizing that there had to be some system set up for vagrants like myself, some gentlemanís home or temporary residence which allowed a person to come and go as they pleased, and not be bound by the overburdening restrictions of rent or leases, nor to suffer the fate of living within another personís psychic bric-a-brac.
To be sure, Vancouver and its environs was already culturally centuries ahead of Toronto and the east, from where I had originally fled, and where the slumlords make you sign a full year lease, and the employers will only take you on at forty hours per week, and fifty weeks per year, and nothing less, or not at all. The bloody insanity of it all. These poltroons had sold out long ago and were intent on making sure that everyone else got caught in the same dreary march to death as them. They had lost their lives to the dollar and the locked door and if you wanted either of these you had to lose your life as well. And that was something I could not stomach. Take your idiotic ways, and your leases, and contracts, and take your two weeks of holiday a year, and your wavers and conventions and give me back my life.
Thankfully the culture of the coast was at least a little more civil than this; here one could find acceptable seasonal work, allowing for six to eight months off per year if you knew how to handle your sheckles. And here one could have an apartment with no more investment than a two-month rental agreement, so as to have a roof over your head at night that didnít bind you for an entire year. But even two months is an outrageous impossibility when youíre following your dreams, which I was, and which, on any given night might say- ďOK bud, time to get up and out of here and move on, onto another task, in another place, for reasons youíll never know until you get there.Ē There is no option when you live like this- you have to leave, instantly. And I left so often, on the turn of a dime, so to speak, that to return meant to return to an infrastructure that was becoming less and less welcoming, and less and less functional for my needs. Indeed the foxes have their lair, and the birds have their nest, but the free and reckless wanderer has no place in which to take his rest. Not, that is, until he discovers the Ivanhoe Hotel. ..."
What the critics have said about Jack Haas' books:
"...very strongly recommended reading..." Midwest Book Review
"The Kerouac of the new millennium." Frank Wolf (author of Blind Bay)
"...inspires us to rediscover the mystery of ourselves..." Judine Slaughter (Express Yourself Books)
"...Read in awe." Benjamin Tucker (author of Roadeye)
"...groundbreaking..." Joanne Turner (The Messenger)
"...an embarrassment of riches..." George Fisk (author of A New Sense of Destiny)
"...poetic and stunning..." Nancy Jackson (Dog-Eared Book Reviews)
Books by Jack Haas
to see more about the books, click on the image.