Hello, the name’s Miles. (1 Viewer)

ErrantPigeon

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Hello y’all! The name’s Miles. People who only know me from my tattooing call me Art (business pseudonym). I am a professional tattooist and life long artist with all the desire to travel and only an inkling of an idea how to make that happen. So I’m glad to be here, and glad this site exists.

I’ve been interested in the lives of travelers since I met one in college, who shared some stories and introduced me to the idea of freight hopping. I didn’t think I’d one day be interested in traveling myself, until I read Into The Wild, Pigeon Life (zine), and Evasion. I met other travelers, one of whom had biked across the country and taught me how to dumpster dive. I considered a bike tour for a time, passing my boring-ass days as a shipping coordinator for a foot-spa factory by daydreaming about traveling. That is, until I got an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop. Four years and one completed apprenticeship later and I’m still thinking about traveling.

Tattooing has opened many doors for me, including getting top surgery (I’m non-binary trans) which ended up being a mistake. Planning to write a zine about my experiences with that. Hoping to maybe write other zines in the future, and possibly a graphic novel that’s been floating around my brain for a while. But definitely want to be able to tattoo my own artwork on people, not just their ideas rendered to their liking. Hoping to be traveling to and working at tattoo conventions soon.

Tattooing has also allowed me to meet more anarchists and travelers—not many, but enough to reinvigorate my dreams and love of life—and they came at the right time in my life! For years I’ve wanted to hop trains, but didn’t know how I’d accomplish that. I’m kind of a rail fan but not in the nerdy way—I just really think trains are mesmerizing and enjoy experiencing them. I met a few riders, including one who’s become a real close friend of mine, and in the past month I finally got a chance to ride, with my friend and some other riders. I’ve ridden 4 trains so far, one of them solo. The rest of the trip was backpacking on foot, subway, bus, and hitchhiking, and I’ve never done anything like it before. I’ve barely even camped! The whole trip was difficult, frustrating, exhilarating, and incredible at the same time. Life changing—I NEEEEEED to do this more.

Now I’m back, stuck in the workday routine for the next 6 months, which is when I told my very supportive, family-like shop that I’d be independent and on the road. Since the trip’s ended, days seem so short, I feel more anxious and less competent, and everything’s a blur. Also using weed more again, which I mostly stopped for the trip, and want to cut out except for social use. I can’t live like this anymore, this daily 9-5. I have it really good at this shop with management, I make decent enough money, and it’s still not enough. I had a taste of what life can be like, and I want more. I crave the independence and adventure. I want to have more spans of time when I lose track of what day it is. Thankfully my job allows me to work anywhere. But I want to minimize my expenses and minimize work. I want to live more of my life with less sense of time.

Life’s been challenging but I’ve made it this far, and I’m starting to actually enjoy life finally. Never been really active growing up, but now I go to the gym with a trainer 2-3x a week. Most of my life I was just a quiet artist with poor social skills. Struggled with severe depression, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and lived with undiagnosed adhd, for many years. Thankfully I am off my meds these days, and doing a lot of difficult but rewarding work in therapy. Starting to practice socializing more with others. Stopped taking testosterone and am dealing with an awkward-feeling body and homelessness in gender. Over a year ago, I ended a 7 year relationship with my best friend of over 15 years, and I feel mostly good about it. I don’t enjoy being single, though it’s giving me a lot to reflect on, and I’m willing to listen to myself more now. And seek to be pursued, instead of being someone who pursues all the time. I want to find something balanced, healthy, and reciprocal. But I’m not in a hurry and I’m picky AF so I sometimes feel disheartened and lonely, but I know that traveling will open up more opportunities for me in that realm, as well. The main goal is learning to love myself, scars and all.

I really feel like I will enjoy traveling, even with the difficult parts. I am planning on living in my Prius for a while, until I save up for a van. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my beloved kitty for the time being, besides ask a friend to watch him. I don’t want to subject him to being in a cramped Prius. An insulated van with some cooling equipment would be better. In the long run I hope I can bring him with me, I love him so much. His name is Rollie, and he is so sweet and loves to cuddle.

On that note, I love animals. Been vegan for uhhh 7 years now? I think? Whatever it’s not a pissing contest. I’m not a dick about it unless you are. Politically I’m for anarchy; I lean more individualist. I feel critical toward civ/tech, but am resigning myself to learning to accept what likely can’t be stopped, for the sake of my own mental well-being. I think I’m gender nihilist because fuck all of this shit, I’m so done with it. After going through transition back and forth, I’m unconvinced gender is a concept that can be salvaged. I think we shouldn’t limit ourselves to identity. We are so much more than categories.

Anyway I’m really good at writing too much, so, I’ll end this here. That’s enough about me for right now. I’m not for everyone, but the people who get close to me can’t say enough good things about me from what I’ve heard, so, take me as I am, world. I’m just me.

And I’m comin’ right at ya! Watch out! 😎

I can’t waaaaaaiiiiiitttttt

Fuck yeah, so glad we’re all out here doing this. Fuck yeah!!! This makes me happier than anything has lately. I am so looking forward to traveling.

Pleasure to meet all of you.

PS: photos are of me, my cat, and Molly Tov, a little T-shirt painting I did that I re-rendered digitally years ago, and who has spread across the interwebs—maybe you’ve seen them! If you wanna see my tattoo work, look up the insta @suddenlyabird (though it’s not got newer projects, and doesn’t really showcase what I want to tattoo, yet.)
 

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Eng JR Lupo RV323

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What an extraordinary introduction! This is what I always hope to see when I open up a new introduction, maybe I expect a lot idk. Not everyone is able to open up so well and some just don't have the lexicon. It was an absolute pleasure reading your intro though. Welcome, Miles! Hope to see ya around the site more.
 

ErrantPigeon

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What an extraordinary introduction! This is what I always hope to see when I open up a new introduction, maybe I expect a lot idk. Not everyone is able to open up so well and some just don't have the lexicon. It was an absolute pleasure reading your intro though. Welcome, Miles! Hope to see ya around the site more.
Thank you! I’m glad people actually read these haha. I thought perhaps I had written too much. But perhaps I’m used to the wrong crowd. I have a feeling there are more people who like to read here than my usual online spaces. Which are pretty limited, as I’ve been trying to stay off social media lately. But this is a different story!

I’m glad to be so well received. Soon as I have anything useful to say I’ll try to contribute more, haha. I’m mostly afraid of messing up somehow? I guess in the rules it was like, don’t just reply all short, so first I was like, maybe I shouldn’t even say anything to respond to you, I don’t want to just be like. “Thanks!” And that’s my response. But I guess I fixed that just now! Hahaha am I even capable of short responses? I guess I’ll probably be okay after all. 😂
 

Eng JR Lupo RV323

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Thank you! I’m glad people actually read these haha. I thought perhaps I had written too much. But perhaps I’m used to the wrong crowd. I have a feeling there are more people who like to read here than my usual online spaces. Which are pretty limited, as I’ve been trying to stay off social media lately. But this is a different story!

I’m glad to be so well received. Soon as I have anything useful to say I’ll try to contribute more, haha. I’m mostly afraid of messing up somehow? I guess in the rules it was like, don’t just reply all short, so first I was like, maybe I shouldn’t even say anything to respond to you, I don’t want to just be like. “Thanks!” And that’s my response. But I guess I fixed that just now! Hahaha am I even capable of short responses? I guess I’ll probably be okay after all. 😂

Hah, nah I think we're alike in that way. I have the hardest time keeping anything brief. I grew up in a house with a mom and sister who have BPD, not very high functioning either. So, a lot of times my words were misconstrued/taken the wrong way. Like everyone always had some hidden meaning behind their words. "What did he really mean when he said that?" Shit like that, yanno?

To me, the words I say are the words I mean, lol. There isn't any weird sideways shit. But yeah, I think just growing up with that.. it caused me to choose my words carefully, and also made me feel like I needed to be very detailed in anything I said to limit the chance of my words being taken the wrong way. So now I just write walls of text.

So when someone else writes a lot I'm always gonna dive in. Sometimes it isn't interesting at all, sometimes it's well worth the time. This was well worth the time. I hope you've gotten over the fear of messing up somehow, or will with each post that's well received. Those rules about short replies are only there because some people will literally leave a comment that says nothing at all, just "lol". That just feels kinda lazy and adds zero to the conversation.

It's really not that strict here though. Basic shit. Don't be a dick and leave something more than "cool" as a reply. People can say that just by using the likes and emojis right. We're just trying to keep the fat trimmed back a little bit so people don't have to wade through pages of one word replies to find something worthwhile.
 

croc

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Stoked to have met u on ur first adventure, Miles! It's also nice to read a lil backstory from u here since we only kinda touched on it in person.
Ur a lovely bean, a talented artist, and I'm excited for u to be finally living a fulfilling life
 

CasterWizard

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I read Evasion pretty recently! I picked it up while I was at a friend's house, they said that it was underrated and that I should take it. Loved the irreverent tone, someone that doesn't take themself too seriously. I passed it on to a friend about a month ago, hopefully it gives him some of the same ideas it's given us :)
 

ErrantPigeon

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Have you read Days of War, Nights of Love?
No but I am familiar with it having seen it on Crimethinc’s website. What’s the jist of it?

@Lobostonto I am excited to start going to conventions (both tattoo and non tattoo/furry/nerdy/art) in the winter. Working on getting together the supplies I need. Do you have any recommendations on how to keep ink at a reasonable temperature during transportation? I plan on living out of my Prius for a while. Been pondering Matt’s Prius setup for a while since I have seen the post on it. Also do you have any recommendations for carrying cases? I want to bring a LOT of colors.

@croc ! Nice seeing you online here.

And hello to @CasterWizard @Crazy Hobo Johnny and @TheFreeman! Sorry it took me so long to respond. I keep forgetting about good ol fashioned forums. Been so long since I’ve been on one.

Daydreaming every day about travels! I did a quick trip for a little bit for my birthday the other day. Can’t wait for more. And trains, too. Uggghh I miss trains. I had one stop in front of me when it normally never does (in a spot I watch them frequently) and I was like fuck I should have crossed the string just to do it. But I missed the chance. Anyway…soooooon.
 

recklessray00

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Sooo jealous you've already been able to ride trains. So sick. That's the ultimate goal.
Don't stress about the identity frustrations too much. I once read in a book, "Be yourself, and let everyone else deal with the weight of your existence". Hope that helps. Welcome to StP!
 

ErrantPigeon

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Sooo jealous you've already been able to ride trains. So sick. That's the ultimate goal.
Don't stress about the identity frustrations too much. I once read in a book, "Be yourself, and let everyone else deal with the weight of your existence". Hope that helps. Welcome to StP!
Yeah I’m not so stressed about identity anymore, mostly just whether people will treat me like a human being, but honestly it doesn’t matter. I’m learning to treat myself so well that it’s irrelevant what others think of me unless I let it matter.

I definitely seek to be myself to the fullest extent possible, the question’s always been, who am I? In making the mistakes and doing the intrapersonal work, I’m beginning to figure out who that person is, and I’m really starting to like them. Just wanna get out beyond Wisconsin, there’s so much more out in this world than what this state has offered me so far. And I guess explore other parts of it than the south-eastern corner of it where I’ve lived almost my whole life. But I wanna see anything, everything.

Trains are cool. 😎 I love them. I’ve been around them and kinda entranced by them my whole life, but especially in adulthood. Probably has to do with my dad having worked the railroad in the UP, and his interest in model trains and rail museums when I was really young.

I remember too that my parents even did a themed dinner one night, “hobo night” where my mom served pork n beans in a pie tin with maybe something else idk. And my dad hooked the model train set sound board thing up to his big speakers in the basement and suddenly while my mom was readying dinner, a freight train horn blared up through the kitchen floor. My dad also showed me and my younger brother how trains could flatten coins on the rails. Late at night if I was ever still awake I’d hear an engine idling in a nearby township it passed through, and sometimes the horn.

I have fond associations with trains, even though some memories are not so good (been to some dark places a few times) but even fonder now that I’ve ridden them. When I hear the familiar horn in the distance it’s not just grounding, comforting due to familiarity. It also now represents the hopeful opportunities I have to make wherever I go my home. It reminds me of the time that I can reclaim for myself in this fast-paced, domesticated world. Traveling in general feels like breathing fresh air when I’ve been suffocating for so long.

I live in mild conflict with my enjoyment of the entire experience of trains (sights, sounds, almost mythical presence) because I guess it makes me a rail fan, even if Idgaf about model numbers or varieties, I don’t go on rail fan pages unless to look up info for riding. I just enjoy any locomotive as a thing that exists and is bigger and far more powerful than me. A faceless machine that the kid in me likes to pretend is sentient without human influence. Lurches forward and backward as a massive serpent but limited to its comparatively diminutive tracks.

Anyway I guess that makes me a foamer right? Can a rail fan ride trains or am I ruining train riding by doing so? Fuck categories. I do whatever I want. Haha. Living life. Loving life, finally. 😎 I’m greenhorn and “starry eyed” af, I know. But part of me is finally eyed about life, so I don’t even care how long it lasts.
 
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