Old Forge is the new Bethlehem


Old Forge sits tourist-ready in the young heart of the Adirondacks for any travelers headed East into the second oldest mountains in the world via New York 28. A night of thick mosquitos and cranky babies dominated our fire roasted perogies and Lake Placid IPAs, but even as the Lady begins, early on in the summer’s travels, to grow weary with the complications of babies in Buses, we’re learning how to live in full love with one another again. We’re made for the road, the both of us, and I particularly excel at ensuring we’re able to find whatever cures for whatever ails (such as a doctor who can do a baby checkup in the next few hours or surefire system for keeping things cold when we can’t plug in to get the fridge going…hint: it’s called ice and they sell it everywhere).

This particular day, as Lady strapped on Baby and went to tour the town and afford me a few hours of working time, I found myself connected to the Internet via my iPhone’s handy new MyWi app (Cydia store, invaluable for on the roaders who need a connection where free WiFi isn’t available; Jailbreak required). A young look man with fire red and untamed hair and similar beard, wearing a tunic and two different wooden clogs, one with his toes fully exposed, came peaking into the Bus, eyeing up it’s outsides, ups and downs, looking truly Moses like indeed. I gave a friendly enough “What’s up?” which sent him on his way and though he looked more than interesting enough, I was trying to get a few hours in before we got back on the road.

Fifteen minutes later he came up to knock on the window. I opened it up and provided some type of greeting, to which he replied (having seen our Colorado license plates), “My wife lives in Colorado, I haven’t seen in her in 20 months.” I assumed that was his intro to requesting a ride, to which I assured him we are neither headed west nor would we have room if we were, to which his reply was “Oh, no, I’m not looking for a ride, I have a Toyota Van of my own that’s ready to go. The only thing keeping me here is the cage that is my state of mind. I went to a Rainbox Gathering in Pennsylvania last year and got really into Yoga, and the Yogis there showed me that drinking your urine is really the secret to…well, everything. I’m convinced that we’ll all end up at the equator drinking urine here when the masses collide.”

This was the beginning of an hour long conversation I couldn’t find my way out of, even as I mentioned I needed to work, and moved my location from the Bus itself to a nearby coffee shop (Ozzies was the name of it, a great little place to get caffeine and sugar in Old Forge, by the way). He found me soon enough and continued, “I believe that I am the second coming of Jesus Christ. You know, how he was born a Jew and I was born a Jew. Though I’m left handed and red headed, which I suppose also makes me red handed and left headed…” “If a man in Africa eats a magic mushroom, five men after him, they can recycle that urine and still get the magic out of it.” “Circumcision, formula for babies and pasteurizing milk, they’re atrocities equal to rape. So if the known world can say these things are ok, why can’t I say I’m the second coming of Jesus and drink my own urine?” “The weight of the world, getting everyone to gather at the equator, you see it’s all on my shoulders.” Then, surprisingly, he pulled out his iPhone and asked me about mine, noting that it was slightly newer and had a different plug than his. There were coherent times during the conversation where he talked about normal things like a house his father had “prescribed” to him, as he kept saying, and how he used to love skiing and miniature gold and a few other short small talk pieces, somehow always finding a segue back into urine drinking. He stated clearly that he was afflicted by a Christ Complex, and that he knew, basically, that it was all bullshit, but he would also at times confirm his complete belief in it. I could tell he was an intelligent man, he claimed to have not done drugs in a long time, but now at 41 years old it was apparent that something was in control of at least parts of his mind, if not all of them.

Finally, I politely excused myself and told him we had to get back on the road. He shook my hand and offered me his number in case we got into any trouble and needed a place to stay. He was insane, but I hope nothing but the best for him.

We fired up the Bus, the rest of my family now in tow and Jeffrey Steven Cohen (aka, JC, II.) a few blocks down the street, and headed deeper into the Adirondacks.