The Great American Ride – Part Seven 11 June 2018

It was important to get back on time and at last sleep well, because the next day we had the first performance, and in the morning, at 9 a.m. – a rehearsal. We calculated that for these four days we’ve slept total about 9 hours. We had become the happy somnambulists. Our great American ride was coming to its end. We talked in the car how glad we were that everything turned this way. We didn’t expect such experiences at all. While we were revisiting all the good things in the last days that happened to us, we got into a hell of a traffic jam just on the way out of the city. All six or seven lanes were inaccessible, but the most left one was empty. This was very weird. We wondered and couldn’t understand why. From time to time cars passed by easily. Are those some wise guys? They may be Bulgarians, we always want to be wise guys and be the most cunning. It seemed they were not Bulgarians. Well, then why did some pass freely and the others – not? And in a few minutes Julian solved the puzzle. Only cars with more than two passengers passed in the left lane, and those waiting – had one person per car. The left lane is a bonus for those citizens who share and travel together in one car. A state measure to encourage people not to travel alone and to reduce cars in the city. There will be no traffic jams for those who ride with several people. And those who are alone – will wait. We were three people, so in the left lane and hit the gas. We came out of the highway and, of course, Julian was driving. Since he was driving already for hours, Zachary suggested he would drive, but Vergov didn’t agree. Such a proposal did not come out of me, because I was a young driver with a driving license of just a few months. I told them I would be solidary and would not fall asleep. I said it and the nap began to win over me. I was really struggling to fight it, but it was so damn stubborn. In my mind I was telling it, “Leave me, nasty nap, so I can support my friends on this last trip. I can’t drive but I won’t fall into your hands”. And as I was struggling with every means against the damn nap, I have moved, without realizing it, into a real battle of life and death. I was a warrior with armour, and the nap – an ugly woman with black hair and twice bigger than me. In a very deep voice I said to her: “Get lost, you, damn nap”, and she was laughing. Suddenly everything stopped and I opened my eyes. Jesus Christ, I had fallen asleep. I apologized to the driver and the navigator and said it would not happen again. Zachary admitted that even he had surrendered to the nap. I started saying something and cut myself off again. In an hour or so I woke up and saw Julian already struggling. In a few minutes Zachary took the wheel. Julian fell asleep in a second, but soon there were sounds of passing through something rough. Zachary was falling asleep on the wheel and stepping out of the traffic barrier. Yes, thank you Zachary, but this won’t work. Again, we switched places and this time permanently. I said that when we go to the hotel, we’ll carry Julian on our arms. I will carry his luggage, he will be the first to the shower and he’ll have the best bed. He deserved it. I said it and I fell asleep for the fourth time. And I was going to be solidary. It always happened this way. We arrived in Santa Barbara after hours of night driving.

We took the first motel, which looked like in the movies. Me and Zachary, we were guilty little flies, who made way and tried to relieve the hero of the night – Vergov the driver. Julian showered first and fell asleep like a corpse, we followed him. We hardly woke up and still didn’t feel rested. We were somewhat worried because in a bit we would have to meet the others. As far as we knew the director, she wouldn’t leave things just like that. But our time spent was so good that no one could spoil it. Whatever the sanctions against us, it was still worth it, and we wouldn’t be sorry at all. We returned the car and headed for the theatre. All others but the director were at the entrance. They all frowned as they saw us. In a few minutes we were introduced to the situation, which sounded a threat to us. The smile didn’t leave the faces of us three. They said they were all furious at us, there was a theatrical workshop that had been arranged for months, and we had to be the main characters. They said we wouldn’t get any travelling allowances because of this. And the woman of our foster house was angry at us, and the boss of the festival was furious, and so on. Well, is that all? For about ten minutes we told them what we did in those days. The rehearsal started. We, all three of us, were real professionals. The rehearsal went very well and the performance was a real blast. Bulgarians from all over America had come. The audience was fascinated. Nobody said a word about our absence. When you can and are able to be a real professional in your work, many things in life can be forgiven. We were really good on stage and that’s why no one could tell us anything. In the evening after the big success, we had to go to Sarah – the woman in whose house we would live in the next two days.

How would she meet us if she was angry at us? The door was opened by a great, spiritual old lady. First, she greeted us for the performance that night and shared that she liked us very much. From these words we were already calm. Then she invited us kindly to come in. We sat down and the conversation went on by itself. She started to praise us, to ask us where we had been. Then she was flashed with our stories. She listened with interest and enjoyed herself. After a while, we and Sarah were already friends. And who have doubted it anyway? In the house of an elderly woman there were three nice blokes and sex-Symbols, and what – she would frown at them? Sarah swallowed them like warm bread, these boys. This became clear at breakfast. We got up and there were all kinds of delicious things on the living room table. This woman had prepared for us buns, eggs, treats, and whatnot. Our Sarah was angry at us? If all the people could be angry this way, it would have been great. She had also taken the newspapers of the day especially for us, because each of them had a positive and praiseful review of our performance. We were the stars of the moment in this town.

Today was the last day for us in America and we were going sightseeing in Santa Barbara, in the evening we would have the second performance, and after that we would get properly drunk for the days well spent. We said goodbye to Sarah and we went on a tour. Santa Barbara is a picturesque seaside town where all major showbiz stars have summer residences. Naturally, we didn’t see these residences, but we walked around the centre and the coastal street. We caught a big discount in a sports shop. We all bought a pair of sneakers, and I couldn’t refrain myself. They were all very cheap and exactly the models I liked. That’s why I bought four pairs. When they are available, you take them. We bought souvenirs, visited other stores, drank coffee, ate something, and the day rolled out. The second performance was again very good. Again, praises and ovations. There was drinking too, we got properly hammered. The programme was 100% realized, we even had many bonuses. We couldn’t stay awake, but we can’t say we slept. Looking like shit, we bid farewell to our landlady. This time at the airport everything was all right. On the plane we all fell asleep right away. America remained behind us, and I was in the sky, and not just any sky, but the seventh heaven. Another dream of mine came true.

In his life, a person builds his own truth. Truth that changes. This was a little dream of mine that came true. I am already sure that if a person wants something very much, if he pursues it, if he constantly thinks about it, sooner or later it will happen. Now that I read all this (written 8 years ago, and the USA trip was 12 years ago), I see how I’ve changed. That emotion and curiosity I’ve experienced in such events are already in the past. Now I’m excited about other things. I remember that in recent years we’ve been repeatedly invited to America to perform, and the desire for it was zero. One can really change drastically, change his thoughts, his views, his aspirations.

Vlado in 2006 has nothing to do with Vlado in 2018. I accept that Vlado, but I look at him more like something fun and not like understanding him. This is a story of a boy who has changed, a story that shows this transformation, shows the changes that occur in each of us with the years passing. Is it good or bad? Neither good nor bad, it’s just what it is!



 Text – Vladimir Karamazov

Photographer – Vladimir Karamazov for #Karamazovfoto

11.06.2018                                                                                           Vladimir Karamazov ®