Rain rain go away, come back another day. No, scratch that, never come back again. In a way I’m thankful for the rain that drenched me today. Gave me a taste of the worst. Well, the worst could be the snow that may come early if I don’t get south enough in time. Or perhaps the worst will the beating sun in the desert. Or perhaps the worse will be when I get hit by a car or mugged or attacked by a wild animal. What a wild animal would want with my wallet is beyond me.
Did forty miles today. Left at 8:21AM from my friend’s apartment in Palmer, MA. The first two hours were ok. Made it through Wilbraham, MA into Somers, CT before it started raining. Cycled through East Windsor, CT into Broad Brook, CT and the rain really started coming down. I had stopped for a few moments under a tree to rest and to check my messages…but the blasted phone would not work! It would simply turn on and say “App error 532” and then restart, but continuing the error cycle. If I was the kind of person to that got angry I would have gotten angry. But as it stands, I do not get angry, I do not hate and I do not want. So I really didn’t care.
The directions I copied down the night before during commercials of The Departed were not helping at all. The rain was disintegrating the paper each time I took it out to look at it. Had to turn around twice second guessing myself, yet each time I realized that I was in fact going in the right direction. Never hesitate.
Put my phone away and was to turn right onto Church St. but I saw businesses just down the street, a happy welcome from the back roads of nothingness that I would normally welcome but when seeking shelter I wished to avoid it at all cost. I rode passed Church St. and stopped into a plaza. 11:47AM. Sam Buca’s Restaurant was a nice place to stop. Delicious hot chicken parmesan and a good place to change into dry socks. Should have put on the galoshes sooner. Stayed until the rain stopped…at least that was the plan. It didn’t stop raining.
Took out the laptop. "Do you folks have WiFi?" I asked the bartender. "No," was his simple reply." I had wanted to Skype my father to let him know what was going on. Since even before I left on this journey he had opposed it. I had forgotten to tell him about my plans, and before I could he read about it in the newspaper. That was an interesting phone conversation.
I like sending press releases to the media; it ensures that I do things that I want to do. So often we decide we're going to do this or decide we're going to do that but never actually act on our decisions. Telling others our plans adds a level of accountability. This same accountability is what gave me everything I've ever accomplished in my short life. By the age of twenty-four I had everything I had ever wanted with all of my heart and soul. And I got it because I had the burning passion to get them. I soon learned that even the achievement of my biggest most wildest dreams does not ensure happiness. For nothing ever stays the same; everything moves on. Everything changes; the good with the bad.
I was a pretty interesting site to say the least. Bright soaking wet yellow jacket with a metal hippie peace police badge, soaking wet orange sweatshirt with equally wet black sweatpants and drenched white Nike sneakers. Fiddling with the battery from my Blackberry and copying down directions from the laptop onto notebook paper, I must have been an interesting sight for the bartender. With no way to call my father to let him know that I can't call him, I knew I could have asked to use the restaurant's phone, but I wasn't quite at that point where I really cared too much.
Part of the reason for me leaving on this mission was to get away from everything and everyone. The past two years have been very stressful. Everyone wants something from me. All I want is to be. Not good, nor bad. Not okay nor great or sad or happy. But how does one embrace this "isness" with no time to just be? With so many doings how can one embrace being? From here to there, from there to everywhere. Everyone wants something. Small changes were not possible. Only a big wrip off from everything was able to bring about that which I needed to simply be. And only in being simple is what enables one to simply be. So losing phone access was a welcomed unfortunate happening. My debit card not working was not so welcomed.
After two hours of stalling I decided that I could not stay there all day so I paid for my $6.95 sandwich. Or I tried to that is. My debit card didn’t go through, which is total BS because there was at least $300 in the account. Thankfully my aunt had given me a Visa Gift Card which did go through. How is one to go on a cross country bicycle trip with no access to money? That is a good question. But as John Lennon said, there are no problems, only solutions.
Headed out in the pouring rain at 12:56PM. “I am exactly where God wants me to be,” I kept reminding myself. In honor of Steven Wright I almost wept openly but then realized no one was there to see it so why bother. I like going down the hills. It really feels like I’m flying. Sometimes I wish I was a bird, not so I could really fly, but I think it would be cool to have white shit. “Four months of this,” I thought. “This sucks.”
Over the past two years I've grown in my ability for symbolic sight. As such I'm always on the look out for "signs." On this fifth day of the Journeyride, what kept coming to me was "King." Whether it be a street name, a name on a mail box or a name on a passing gravestone, the word "king" kept showing up. That and the name Pease. What this means I don't know. But it's persistence is notable. Perhaps it referred to King James. I have a friend named James who lives in Longmeadow just off of Rt. 5. When I was a child my brother Steven used to call me the king. Perhaps it refers to how we are the kings, the rulers of our own lives. Or maybe it referred to the movie I watched the other night. Troy. The prince that challenged the king to a battle to the death for the woman that he loved; then just before he was about to be killed he cowardly ran off.
Made it to the junction of Rt. 191 and Rt. 5 in Scantic, CT. Looked to the right; then looked to the left. Looked north then south. “This is it,” I said. And off I went in the direction of my destiny.
I'm a mirror (and so are you).