(once upon a time I walked across America.
with no cell phone. and no media. and no support team. 3,349 miles in 154 days.)
Miles today: 34
Miles cumulative: 1,323
A long day on the panhandle plains, infinite recursion in and in and in and in. Looking for my DNA out here, hoping to find it on a long stretch of nothing, a stretch like today. I am always tripping now. No one to talk to, a few houses, a convenience store on the one big corner where I make a 90 degree right turn. This is the 502nd convenience store I have stopped at. A straightaway from here to Claude, a ranch or house every mile then empty, flat. Empty, flat. Empty, flat. Racing to get to my father’s, to food that is not freeze dried or bought in a Conoco.
Will the answers really come if I just keep going? I always ask the director and he always tells me the same thing, "Candy canes are measured by the pound, just keep walking."
What are the questions? Existence, practical how to's, like getting by, I take that back, I meant flying high, and getting out of debt and whether or not I really want to sell anything at all, fame and groupies, how do solar flares effect my gas mileage, will I ever own a car without a cracked windshield, no, will I ever read all those books on my shelf, will I still buy more, more, more, will I ever be able to order a water with my hamburger instead of Dr. Pepper? Will I ever find someone to love that wont go away, will I ever be satisfied enough to not go away myself, will I ever be hit by lightning, will I ever give up heavy whipping cream in my coffee, will I ever see the horse head nebula? Will these days ever feel easy?
At sunset I eat some zip-lock-freeze-dried-add-the-boiling-water, Jamaican Chicken and rice. I sit in a chair that I have been carrying from Santa Fe, because I deserve to sit in a chair on my breaks. Thinking of this luxury I have given myself, I am reminded of a conversation from last week where person told me I can’t complain. I can’t complain because In Tibet they make pilgrimages on their hands and knees around Mt. Kailash with heavy leather instead of Ultra Light Gore-Tex, but leather or no, it is still no easy feat, and I don’t have the easy formula to follow, the Buddhists do. They have a tradition to follow, passed down thousands of years, that tells them they are doing it right. Scraping along a rocky trail on their hands and knees, saying the assigned mantra. They have an instruction manual, they have thousands of years of instruction manuals. I am flying without a guide book, and to be quite honest, I don’t know how to land this thing. The Buddhist pilgrim’s mantra is Om Mani Padme Hum. Mine is Johnny Cash and Jim Morrison. I do feel a little dirty about the convenience stores though, like they are keeping me in the chain of consumption and corruption. But convenience stores are America, and that is one of the things I am out here looking for.
More candy, more soda, more burgers and fries. More bars, more cars, more teen pop stars. More Wal-Marts, more shopping carts, more credit cards, gimmie-gimmie more, more, more. And I am part of it, I am not a Buddhist monk in Western Tibet wearing heavy leather crawling on my hands and knees, I am an Ultra light Gore-Tex wearing Snickers bar eating Dr. Pepper junkie, walking 84,000 steps a day. No yak butter tea, but I’ll take a side order of enlightenment please. Jewel in the Lotus.
Where is my light saber when I need it? Hallucinations, common on these long straight-aways. I dance into the ditch and fall over. Laughing out loud. There is no question, I am done for the day. Lights of Claude ahead, 2 miles maybe. Cosmo rolls in the grass, I roll in the grass.