It is meant to be fairly cold tonight, thirty-seven or so. But I am not intimidated. Our brave Pilgrims suffered worse. As will I in a couple of days. Again it will drop below freezing. Winter. Just when I thought I was free, it pulls me back in.
I should be forgiven for thinking I had it beat. It was nearly eighty out there. And seemed every bit like a summer day. I saw a chameleon. Or some kind of lizard. I wasn't alarmed. I'm sure the snakes are still all abed. They don't have hands to rub together when the weather turns cold.
The sky was blue when I left my motel. I was there until check-out time. Wondering if the holiday would excuse another day off. I was still not well rested. I'd had two sleepless nights, nursing my little computer. It really ought to be euthanised. Or put up for vivisection.
But I had to move. It was too nice a day. I did get a few things done. I had a professional tidy my hair and invested in new underpants. My earlier shorts have quite worn through, either from friction or stink. And they're all that preserves my modesty on the rainier days. Still it is a regretable expense. I wish I could do without. In the future when I'm really rich I'm not going to spend a dime on underpants.
I didn't spend much. I got them at a discount underwear boutique. That's the beauty of these larger town. You can save if you've got time to shop. I was less fortunate with my haircut. That was done at the Walmart salon. Behind glass so the waddling hoards could stop by and gawk at me. I felt like a puppy in a pet store window, having his glands sqeezed.
A haircut is an intimate act. I have a neurosis or two. I'm shy around waiters. I can't buy toilet paper. I am afraid of vending machines. And it takes some courage to get my hair cut, even when people aren't watching. She wanted nine extra dollars to prune my beard. I decided to let that grow.
Today was Thanksgiving as you no doubt suspect. That's why they fed you so well. I could not spend the day with my family. Some have you have been sorry for me. But I'm fine. What is cloud and what's silver lining is not always perfectly clear.
There was a holiday mood on the streets. There were few people about. Even at Walmart when I went to buy cheese. Everywhere else was closed. So I did feel some small self-pity. I would not get properly fed. But I would be nourished on martyrdom. That's how I got so big.
I guess I do look like a hobo. People looked out from passing cars. As I stumbled down the edge of the road. It was the same sad condescension. I did my best to look forlorn so someone would give me pie.
I tell you, though, it's a slippery slope. You can choose what mood to be in. I just so happen to know what it's like to be in a months long depression. There's a Beauty in sadness, don't get me wrong. I value the education. But better you should pretend to be happy, whether you are or not.
So it was in high spirits that I hiked out of town. Higher still minutes later. I had come across an open Waffle House, my new favorite restaurant. They've got eight kinds of hash browns. Eight. And they serve breakfast all day long. And pie. And their coffee has a vaguely maply flavour.
So does their syrup. And everyone's friendly. And you get to watch them cook. I'm going to have my wedding breakfast in a Waffle House. I'll have them cater the reception. All I am lacking is the bride. I hope she likes waffles.
I didn't have any waffles myself. I ordered my usual. Which is, in review, biscuits and gravy, two eggs, sausage and hash browns. Which turned out to be an awful lot. I had not walked much the day before. I hadn't earned my appetite. I still finished up with pie. It is Thanksgiving after all. Think of those suffering Pilgrims.
It was all uphill from there. I had quite overstuffed of myself. But up I went for ten or twelve miles on Highway 145. Which is the old road. 45 is the new. They are more or less braided together. Crossing each other several times. I moved to 45 at the end. It looked like it offered more places to camp. The old road has too many houses. Find me now in a private wood, eight miles north of Quitman, Mississippi.
A bit deeper in the woods than I like to be. Remind me to wear my hat. It is usually the last thing I put on, right before I ship out. But it is a four-day weekend in hunting season. I believe I will break protocol.
QUITMAN. Quitman. Quit, man. It could mean anything. I'm going to need my Message From God to be something less obscure.
MY MOTHER, a trained zoologist and veterinary physician, says that if I am attacked by a gator I should thumb him in the eyes and kick him in the groin. Gators though were never her specialty.
THANKSGIVING. I am thankful. For all manner of things. But I won't mention them. It would be too much like bragging. I am thankful to be on this trip.
"Chicks dig me because I rarely wear underwear, and when I do it's usually something unusual."