W E M A D E I T . Christian’s banshee bike screeches up to the hotel. I hop off and wipe my sweaty palms on my shorts. Christian does a couple more wheelies out front. A family of Japanese tourists snaps photos of him from across the street. Christian gives them a thumbs up and a smile. They all return it enthusiastically. We take a seat in the hotel bar and order beers. Christian says he’s kinda sad about leaving Bali, but it’s his mom’s birthday in two days and he has to get back to San Clemente. Tomorrow he’ll be on a plane bound for America. Back to a different reality. We order a round of tequila shots with a bottle of Tabasco on the side. “A beautiful girl from Sulawesi taught me how to drink tequila like this,” he says. We toast to his mom’s birthday. And to living in the moment. It burns. Good.
You seem to really like living in Bali.
Down here I feel alive. In America I just exist. That’s what a lot of people do there. Like when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic and you look at all the people…
What’s next for you? Like, where do you see yourself in another five years?
Next month I see myself in Japan. That’s about as far ahead as I can give you. I’m not one of those people that really plans for the future. I live in the moment. In a lot of ways it sucks ‘cause you don’t think about the future. But what happens if there is no future? And I ain’t gonna live in the rear view mirror and dwell in the past. I’m fuckin’ here now and gonna have as much fun as possible. Simple. Live it up. That’s why I got a tattoo on my knuckles that says ‘LIVE.’ Everyone says, why don’t you get the other knuckles done? And I say, ‘cause livin’ is a hard enough job and I’m busy with that one. I don’t need nothin’ else.
There’s rush hour traffic here too. But you drive the motorcycle on the sidewalks and you fuckin’ ride around it. In America you’re just existing. There’s too many police. Too many rules. Nothin’ seems to work. Down here there’s not many rules, but everything kinda flows. A lot of shit doesn’t work here too.
Well, yeah, that’s if you’re trying to do business. But if you’re just livin’, it’s pretty simple. It’s a pretty easy life. It’s a hard life for a lot of the local people who live here ‘cause they don’t have nothin’. But the one thing about the people here, even if they don’t have nothin’, they still usually have a smile. You go back home, and they got all kinds of fancy things, but they don’t even got a smile.
That just goes to show you, you can’t buy a smile. Sad. They’re so worried about everything, you know? How do you think the world is gonna end?
How do I think the world’s gonna end? Ahh, I’d rather not say. There’s two things you’re not supposed to talk about at the dinner table: politics and religion. And those are both kinda how I think the world’s gonna end. Do you have any kind of religious philosophy?
Yeah. Don’t worry, be happy. My mom would consider herself Buddhist if she had to pick a denomination. My dad too – or Taoist. My wife’s Buddhist. Me, I believe in that philosophy. It’s pretty simple. When people ask me, I tell ‘em I’m happy. That’s the religion I am: I’m happy. I’m a happy person. I like to see people smile. I believe in karma, I believe in being a good person. And if there is a God and he can’t accept that, then fuck him, I wouldn’t want to hang out with him anyways.