Friday, February 27, 2009

Austin III.V: I Walk Alone

Kodiak and I split directions today, I'm not sure at this point whether I will move on from Austin or not. I was speaking with Kodiak the other morning about the loneliness of the road, how it goes, when it passes, how it was gone for me. This evening at the CS meet up, I met another surfer, a german who is traveling across the entire USA from NYC and back, seeing more of it in these four months than most Americans ever do. He was lonely sometimes too but felt that this might just be the beginning for him. With the freedom of the road come its consequences as well, I thought I was past them, but in just the last hour I've been proven wrong.

I'm toying with the idea that it's sympathy pains for my traveling brethren, but I don't think that's the case. I've learned to survive on a different level of human contact over my time traveling, meeting new people and connecting quickly and deeply in a way that makes them feel like old friends and makes me feel like I am not alone, not homeless and without friends and companionship of a more lasting kind. Here in Austin, a town that is so clearly amazing to me with fantastic hang outs and wild people, how could I have not found that here. I have found people to talk to on occasion, but I'm shy and need a way to start off, but the conversations have been fleeting or don't really connect with me, those that have have ended too quickly leaving me with nothing.

I do realize now that there are these times as well. When swinging from branch to branch in humanity occasionally you reach out your hand for the next vine and there's . . . nothing, except for a long fall to the earth that leaves the wind knocked out of you. It's not that I don't have some options, numbers to call, friends of friends, but everything until now has been so organic and easy, and I'm really surprisingly shy, though you might not know it even if you met me.

Part of it is that even though I have these incredible and intense short relationships, they are all friendships and I like being with someone in life. Though I like my life and am comfortable with it in most ways, all the travelers I meet are men, and just like I know I will never be happy locked into an office, I can't stay happy forever without a deep and meaningful relationship. I miss finding someone more beautiful than anyone else in the world, I miss morning kisses where you have to hold your breath because your breath stinks, the smell of a woman's wet hair while lying in bed. I miss a lot of those stupid things that all come back in a flood when a woman across a coffee shop catches your eye. I miss contact that is more than a handshake or a hug goodbye.

I think this is the main cause of my indecision in leaving tomorrow, I think this pain drives me to move on, I think if it weren't here I would want to stay. Part of me knows it's not time to leave yet, there are great people to meet, things to experience. Part of me wants to push on, closer to where all this ends, closer to where I can have true freedom. While in so many respects I have become free in choosing a path that I love, until the coast, I am bound to that path. True freedom will be at the end, when I can follow or abandon a path as I please, to return to a path when it suits me, or choose something else entirely. Don't get me wrong, I like this walk, but I am looking forward to a day where I can be somewhere for an entire week without getting an itch to move on, or maybe that's the way it'll be now, I don't know and can't, until I finish.

1500 miles. 1500 miles. It's not that far to an uncertain future. What will happen when I get to the pier? Probably nothing really, then I'll just be standing at the end of it all, confused and wondering what to do. When the right song comes on, something slow and with the right lyrics, I imagine that short walk down the pier as I'd film it. I imagine it with no one there, I imagine it with friends and family, I imagine it with a news crew, I imagine kneeling down in the surf and putting my face in it, I imagine it a thousand different ways. All of them bring tears to my eyes.

Sadness and joy, I finally understand crying because you are so happy. It's a joy that you can never have again, and while you love that moment, you are aware that something is changing, everything that was will now be slightly different, you lose that moment and the life you had forever. You can cry for a lost life while being happy for a new one, even if they are the same life to everyone else.

1 comment:

Coach J said...

You got me today, man. No more, I can't take it.