Wow. This here was one hell of a day.
I woke up in the town of Vesuvius, where Miss Gertie herself fixed me breakfast while we chatted. I got on the road in the wrong direction, and put in a definite ten miles to nowhere. I thought I fixed my course, but 25 miles later I found out that I was at least 30 miles from where I wanted to be. My plan for the day was a quick 18 miles total, and disappointing doesn't quite sell how this felt. All this occurred in a driving rain with sore muscles and lots of climbing. I was not a happy camper.
I made it to a main road that went straight to my destination, and stuck out my thumb. This was supposed to be an easy day, and I was keen to glean any residual rest I could manage. An old blue pickup pulled to the shoulder, and don't let anyone ever tell you hitchhiking isn't easy. So far - in my experience, anyway - it's always worked just fine.
An old guy named Marion pulled over his truck, and I chucked my bicycle and my sopping wet gear into the muddy bed. It sure simplified the final 25 miles, and Marion even treated me to McDonalds. He was a big talker, and clearly an all-around good guy. Lived in the area all his life and never much reckoned he'd care to travel. I do. He dropped me off at Wal-Mart outside of town and wished me luck. We shook on it to seal the deal.
I had a place set up to stay, and I was looking forward to drying out some gear. And the girl I'm staying with looked pretty good on the internet. I was thinking it would be much nicer to be there instead of riding a bicycle in cold rain with my directions turning to pulp. My situation was drastically improved in the early afternoon hours.
Within an hour I was showered and wearing some clothes that were passably dry. I was also drinking a shot of proffered vodka, and that gave me a big smile. I put on my party socks to celebrate. The shot was a pre-game to going out to one of the two bars in town for a couple pitchers. We got back to the house where I played iPod DJ amidst several more shots. Back out to the other bar this time for some lessons in townie culture, and that could be a whole different post. Then home; soon sex. Anyone who's been reading my words for a long time will know it's not for nothing. I'm relieved that I can be a normal dude without the crippling sexual hangups that I suffed for those desperate years in my earlier twenties.
(A note about writing every fucking thing that happens in my life: sometimes it's not easy. Sometimes I take the challenge when I should shut my fucking mouth. Yes, I do miss Tara. I agree with her that it doesn't feel 100% like we're broken up, but we are. Emotional inertia doesn't stop like hitting a brick wall. Has force; takes time. At least I'm not a squirrelly liar of a guy. I say this defensively; without need.)
As I walked to the Waffle House this morning, I played the Discovery EP in some headphones and reflected on the day, and my trip, and my life in general. I'm going to be ok.