Skip to main content

When Shit Hits The Van

By December 20 2016All stories

As I am sitting in one of Montreal’s beautiful parks (aka my backyards) and writing these words in a post-consumer-waste-recycled-pages notebook #conscious, I feel the sun’s warmth on my back, the mid september cool wind in my hair, I look around me and I reflect. I look at the sun through the leaves, I listen to the woman practicing her guitar a couple of meters away… and I smile. A smile so frank and complete, it fills my entire being. every little cell is smiling too. A shiver passes… DANG! I’M HAPPY!

You see, I’ve been living in a van for a little more than a year now, and 4 months ago an accident challenged that.

The kind of accident where some guy doesn’t see the stop sign nor my 16 feet long turquoise van either and slams it at around 70 km/h.

The kind of accident where everything is in slow motion, except for the car that’s coming towards me terribly fast.

The kind of accident where you are on two wheels and you’re thinking : “Oh yeah this is happening. I’m going to flip over now. Yup, it’s happening. IIIIIIIIIIII’m flipping over now.

Yes. This is not a movie. This is real. Close your eyes so the pieces of the windshield won’t pierce your wonderful eyes. Ok. Didn’t feel much. I’m alive. The van stops. Open the eyes. Ok…” Moby’s South Side keeps playing, the wheels of the van keep spinning, the sun is still shining, but everything is upside down. Floating in mid-air (THANKS TO MY SEATBELT), I James Bond my way out of the van through the window : people shouting, smoke, things cracking, scary car-that-might-explode sounds… and all I can think of is : “I’M SO FREAKIN ALIVE!!!” and also “DUDE! THAT WAS MY HOME!”

When the firemen came, I asked gently if they could only hose if absolutely necessary since everything I owned was in that van. Luckily, they didn’t need to and everything I had inside was ok. It looked like a tornado had passed inside the van, but nothing “important” was broken. Sure I didn’t have my tiny home any more, sure my brand new rooftop terrasse was destroyed, sure I had to leave in an ambulance and go through the emergency room… but I was alive and very well, I didn’t have anything, not even a scratch.

So I preferred to just laugh about it. What’s done is done, there’s nothing I could’ve done differently, the only thing I was responsible for is my attitude. Every 3 year or so the universe sends me events like that (not always as intense) to remind me of what’s important. Life is a wonderful gift. The friends that surround me, care for me, welcome me into their homes; my family who loves and supports me just by being present. That’s what’s important. That’s what matters.

And I’ve decided to buy another van because while living simply, it is easier to simply be, to simply remember what is important on a daily basis and enjoy every second of the day, good or bad, because being alive is so freaking amazing.

You breathe? Than it’s all good.