After eight days, 15 rides and who knows how much peculiarity, John Waters has wrapped his cross-country, "Zen-like," hitchhiking journey and plans to recount his adventures in a book he'd like to call "Carsick."
The New York Times just spoke to Waters, who's coming down from his adventure in San Francisco, where he has an apartment. We learned yesterday that Waters reached his destination in no small part thanks to a 20-year-old Maryland councilman, who drove the filmmaker through several legs of the trip and for his troubles, earned a key to Waters' San Francisco pad and a personal tour of the city.
Waters told the reporter that in addition to book fodder, the hitchhiking was a chance to throw away his schedule and give himself up to chance. He said it was "Zen-like."
"My life is so over-scheduled, what will happen if I give up control?" Mr. Waters told the reporter, saying he ran into all sorts of characters along the way. "Pot smokers, cops, I got everybody. And everybody was lovely."
We reported that Waters met up with Indie band Here We Go Magic in Ohio. And a married Illinois couple in Kansas. Then there was the young councilman Brett Bidle who not only brought Waters from Maryland to Ohio, but reconnected with him in Denver and then drove him to Reno AND met up with Waters in San Francisco Wednesday for a tour and a peek inside his apartment.
"I thought, you know what, he wanted an adventure, too," Waters said of the young politician. "He's the first Republican I'd ever vote for."
Waters told The Times he'd like to call his book "Carsick" and that it will likely be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Before embarking on the trip, Waters started the book here in Baltimore. As he started to tell his friends what he planned to do, he began to notice distinct reations to the concept of hitchhiking, largely depending on the age of who he was telling.
"Everyone my age that I know was so horrified by this idea," he told The Times. "Every young person I know said, 'Can we come?'"
He said about a third of the people who picked him up had no idea who he was and thanked his signature mustache for convincing another third of the drivers to stop for him.