Public Key (xxxviii)

It was getting late in the day.

I walked back to the crossroads. I saw a few people, and smiled at them; they smiled back, often waving with both hands. They were free with their smiles. To tell the truth, it made me feel really good to see them.

I stopped at the crossroads and booted my laptop. I had a pretty good idea of where I was. My destination was about eight miles up ahead, seven as the crow flies. Worst case scenario, I’d have to walk it.

Guitar in one hand, suitcase handle in the other, I started walking. And swore to myself that the next time I go backpacking, I’d bring a backpack.

I walked for an hour. I came to another crossroads, and another little town. I desperately wanted to drop my baggage and rest. I waited another ten minutes, until I was past the town, then dropped my everything and got off my aching feet.

I considered straying from the main road. I thought it probably wasn’t a good idea. I wouldn’t do it if I was in America, I wasn’t going to do it here. Didn’t want to trespass. Didn’t want to piss anyone off. Or worse, shoot them, and get shot where nobody knew who I was.

I didn’t see a car of any sort. My life was nothing if not a mixed blessing.

I walked for another hour. The sun was about to dip behind a mountain. I crossed a bridge, then cut across a field to save myself having to trace the entirety of a doubleback. I passed a car going the other way. It didn’t matter. I was almost there.

I was dragging my feet. I was dragging my ass. My hands were burning and blistered. My feet had fallen off a few miles back.

I walked a mile. It was getting dark. I walked faster. I walked very, very fast.

I took a left. After about ten minutes I wondered when I’d get to where I was going. Another ten minutes and I realized I’d taken a wrong turn. I was tempted to just pass out in a pile by the side of the road. But I had enough of my mind left to realize that was probably a bad idea. Just maybe.

I stopped and checked my map. Thank God I’d bought the 9-cell battery! Yeah, there it was, I’d taken the first instead of the second left-going road. I was two miles worth of road from my destination – or half a mile as the crow flies.

I decided that the crow had a few things going for it. I departed the road and headed west. I slipped down a ravine. I came to a river. I walked across the river, suitcase on one shoulder, guitar on the other, water up to my chest. You know, mountain streams are some chilly shit. I made soggy track from there, hoping I was going in the right direction.

I saw a light. I went to it. Usually a good plan, that.


~ by davekov on 16 February 2011.

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