Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day Sixty-Five, Insomnia

I walked all of fifteen miles today but all my goals are met. Don't quit, don't die, don't collapse in a heap. Don't be defined by your blisters. Reed Point, Montana is within striking distance, just eight or nine miles away. I had not expected to do nearly as well. I was really in no mood for walking.

It was another hot day; I left my motel with two full gallons of water. It turned out I could have got by with less and refilled my jugs on the way. But you never know, do you. One likes to be safe. I could be undone by my thirst.

My stomach still pains me. I guess it's the heat. It is hard to eat anything. I still had a big breakfast; perhaps we'll call it lunch. A burger, if anyone's asking. And a coffee milkshake and I snacked a bit as I made my way down the road. Calories, Jack. That's the key, I tell you. They're all I've got to sustain me.

My toes hurt, thank you. And the heel on one foot. It takes all the fun out of walking. I cannot go back to those early days of wringing the blood from my socks. I was younger then and more optimistic. I was buoyed by positive thought. But now I have seen, I have learned, I know. Never, never again.

What pains I've got now are not nearly as bad. They have just caught me unprepared. I hate my new shoes. It takes some of the sting out of the fact that I am already seeing marked signs of wear. Curse the bare elves who invented footwear. I'd like to kick Thom McAn's ass.

Speaking of elves, I met a fellow banjo player today. He was riding a new Indian. He had his banjo strapped to the back. His true given name was Elvis. You have to wonder whether that is not a better way to see America, whether your name is Elvis or not.

Still, I see a certain attitude in most bikers out there, as if they're doing something heroic. Conquering the West on only two wheels, they have got a cowboy swagger. They don't wave or say hi; they're too cool for that. They keep their face looking grim. But the way I see it they are sitting on their fat ass all day--and yes, as often as not it is fat--on a thickly padded seat with a hundred-odd horsepower at their disposal. There are few old women in America who could not do the same thing.

"On Monday," said a real biker I met a few days back, "they go back to selling carpet."

And while I am ranting, one more thing. The next bicyclist who rides by me without so much as an acknowledging nod is going to get a stick in his spokes or a horse apple upside his head. Which is not to say I have abandoned my better nature, or given up on the Power of Positive Thought. It is just that sometimes you have to confront Evil.

I have pitched my tent in the worst of all spots. It is lumpy as all get out. I am wedged between a well-used rail line and a barbed wire fence. I don't know what I was thinking setting up here. I imagined it would be a pretty good situation. And when I learned it wasn't, rather than admitting my mistake I just plunged on. I am not the only person to so delude myself. I think it's why people get married.

It is raining and windy and the trains are quite loud. I expect to sleep rather well. I only got two hours last night. It is always that way in motels. The bed was so soft I did not dare go to sleep for fear of missing out on my comfort. Still this sleeplessness is making me cranky. Forgive me, I bid you goodnight.
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1 comment:

  1. James take care lack of sleep can make one most cranky, I hope you are able to get back in tune with "the positive" sounds like a rough road please take care

    Miss Polly