April 25th, 2013
I wake up at a leisurely time. My dad comes by to see me off and patiently waits, chatting with me as I slowly and meticulously prepare the last few things. I take my time and am careful to not miss anything. I’m in a weird mood; I spent the last few days wrapping up my life in Whittier and although I am trying not to think about it, it finds a way to creep into my mind, putting me in an impartial and peaceful mood: the calm before the storm.
I finally finish, say my goodbyes and take off down my street. Loneliness hits me before I’m even a block away. I’ve just spent the last couple of years building relationships with old and new friends as well as regrowing a love for my hometown. It’s not that I’ll never see them again, but this chapter of my life is now a part of my past. When I see most of them again, it will be a meeting of old friends, but friends nonetheless. We will have had lived different unshared experiences and that will naturally create distance. Not for everyone, but for many. It is simply that way. It’s sad, but this is my choice in the end.
I get so caught up in my emotions that I head the wrong way for a while and have to turn back. As I enter the first on-ramp to the freeway I am already afraid; this is my first time on the freeway with the motorcycle fully loaded and I don’t want the trip to end already… I make frequent stops to double and triple check the baggage. Everything goes smoothly with the bike but my brain is racing, paranoid about crashing, breaking down, wondering if this trip is even the right choice in the first place. My thoughts go on as well as the bike.
Nothing but desert all day. Fear #1. I don’t know why but the desert gives me the creeps. It is the opposite feeling of alive; barren, dry and vast. Its effect seeps in and I feel lonely and small. After many small, long hours I finally find a place to call my home for the night. A hidden dirt area a quarter mile off the highway right along the Colorado river seems to be good enough. The nearby water puts me at ease a little. I set up the tent in silence and don’t know what to do next. This is it? This is what I’d been planning and anticipating for so long? I just lay in my tent for a couple hours, not even trying to sleep.
Out of nowhere a beautiful full moon rises in the east and it fills me with so much excitement that it immediately snaps me out of my mood and I go outside to watch it. Something as simple as the moon kept me sane and gave me enough strength for the next day.
Very cool Paraic ever thought about writing as a career?