I was slumped over the wheel wrestling with a difficult piece from the catalogue of Gordon Lightfoot, something about his losing hope aboard a sinking fast ore carrier, or was it smoking dope behind a stinking gas whores derriere. Whatever. Southern Alberta prairie flashed past the windshield, blank as a salarymans stare. At eighty miles an hour I threw up into a Planters Peanuts can then hurled the contents out the window. Last nights t bone and sour cream baked potato spattered across an open convertible speeding in the opposite direction. Speed combined with nausea boggled my brain. Was I headed for a Brahma bull auction or a miniature golf tournament. I opened the glove compartment and pulled out a mickey of Hiram Walker. Several strong pulls and my head began to clear. It was neither the bull sale nor mini golf. I was going to a ten day meditation retreat, a spiritual happening I saw advertised on a Safeway bulletin board back in Calgary. My parents were very much New Testament good book Roman Catholics. If Id stuck with the Church I wouldnt have been here, roaring along sunburned grainfields, reaching inside a paper bag for a piece of Ukranian kobasa. But Fate plays strange tricks on the spiritually dissatisfied, forces us to roam about the earth, injest strange substances, engage in unusual practices. So I just chewed on my sausage, gunned the engine and pushed on across the great Canadian plains. Tokyo, Tuesday, 10/19/04