Monday, February 28, 2011

...I Wake Up

I wake up and I know something is wrong. I’m on my back; the blankets are pulled securely to my neck and under my chin, and wrapped around my body like an Egyptian Pharaoh prepped for the afterlife. My head rests firmly in the pillow like it must have been all night, and even more bizarre I’m aligned correctly on the bed; my head near the head, my feet near the foot.

Something is not right. No naked leg draped over the side of the bed exposed to the winter chill of the midnight air in my frozen bedroom. No blankets and pillow piled on the floor where I normally toss them at night, immersed in a grand adventure of my nightly visits to Camelot, or the Rocky Mountains, or the Great Barrier Reef, or Mars… I am as I was when I retired 6 hours before, and that is not normal. I haven’t moved during the night.

My alarm goes off. I despise it. I hate it.… I would much more prefer the aroma of coffee accompanied by a woman’s gentle touch, and a voice telling me softly in my ear, “Wake-up baby, it’s time for work.” And when lids part my gaze is met with the eyes of the one I love. She is smiling, and on her face is love and in her eyes a sliver of guilt for pulling me from a dream…. That is the way to begin the day, looking into the eyes of an angel. And if all our days began that way, the world would be a better place.

Instead I am blasted into consciousness by the clock. It’s loud and in my face, like a Drill Sergeant, and if I had a hammer close by I would have mercifully ended its miserable existence on this earth. Instead I reach across my body to hit the snooze button, but I’m stopped half-way as the whole right side of my body is racked in pain.

I slowly make my way out of bed. It takes ten minutes. The pain is building and I know I won’t be going to work. I can barely sit up. I nearly fall over on the way to the bathroom, but the walls of the narrow hallway keep me up. It feels like someone has hammered a railroad stake into my back. The pain gets worse as I hobble around the house trying to get ready for the day, but I can’t. I stumble back into my bedroom and crawl into bed. I pass out.

I have to pee, but I can’t get up. Its noon and I’m hungry, but I can’t get up. My lower body throbs with a pain I haven’t felt before. My pelvis feels like it’s in a vice, slowly being crushed. When I try to roll over a power drill bores into my hips. When I try to straighten my legs, I’m halted by the seesawing of a hacksaw on my thighs. I call my family but no one is answering. I wish had some pain pills. I pass out.

It’s late in the afternoon and Luke comes home. He asks how I’m feeling. He suggests that I get up and walk around. I tell him I can’t, but am too proud to ask for help. He goes into his room. I guess he thinks I was exaggerating. Still no one answers the phone. There isn’t much to do when you can’t get out of bed. I’m worried about my Appalachian Trail trip. A month from now I plan on walking 2185 miles in 6 months, and now I can barely move. I’ve changed my whole life for this trip. I’ve sold some belongings, and I’ve given my notice to my managers that I’ll be moving out at the end of February. How will I move, when I can’t even move?

The next morning is Tuesday and I think a day of rest has to have done me some good. I really have to pee, and I still haven’t eaten. I try to get out of bed, but I can’t even sit up. I can hear Romi walking around the house, making breakfast, taking a shower, talking on the phone. He knows I’m in a bad way, but he doesn’t check on me, and I’m too proud to ask for his help… I think it must be nice to have someone… Someone to love you, and care about you, and worry about you. Someone to take care of you when you’re sick. Someone to be there for you. I wonder how many people have someone like that, and foolishly take them for granted. I pass out.

…Finally my mom answers. She comes over with my Grandma and my Uncle Kevin. They are here for me. That’s what family is for. Family loves you no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you don’t drive a nice car, or if you don’t wear the latest fashions, or if you don’t make the most money. It doesn’t matter if you screw up and say or do the wrong thing, because your family will forgive you. Family will love you just as much when you’re down and out as they did the day you were born, and will stay by your side even when everyone else has forsaken you… I need there help getting to the doctor, but they can’t even get me up. The pain is just too much. My back refuses to comply. My mom calls 911…

…to be continued.

Saturday, February 12, 2011



On bended knee is no way to be free

lifting up an empty cup I ask silently

that all my destinations will accept the one that's me

so I can breath

Circles they grow and they swallow people whole

half their lives they say goodnight to wive's they'll never know

got a mind full of questions and a teacher in my soul

so it goes...

Don't come closer or I'll have to go

Holding me like gravity are places that pull

If ever there was someone to keep me at home

It would be you...

Everyone I come across in cages they bought

they think of me and my wandering

but I'm never what they thought

got my indignation but I'm pure in all my thoughts

I'm alive...

Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere

underneath my being is a road that disappeared

late at night I hear the trees

they're singing with the dead


Leave it to me as I find a way to be

consider me a satelite for ever orbiting

I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me


Really been digging this album lately. if you've never heard it I would suggest running out and buying it right now. The song writing is brilliant. I had to share this one... It's my favorite... Probably because its me.

Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back on Track

So my gear buying is officially over. Last week I purchased the last few big items on my list, including trekking poles, a sleeping bag liner, and a pack. With the trekking poles I just bought some lower end Black Diamonds. They are fairly light and telescopic so they should work just fine. For a pack I ended up buying the Flash 50 from REI, mainly due to the fact that I could go to the store and try it on. It's not as light as some, but at 2 lbs 10 oz its still saving me over three pounds from my Gregory.

There are so many opinions out there on packs and I was looking at ULA, Gossamer Gear, Granite Gear, and Six Moons, and the truth is that, while all of them had packs that I was interested in, I couldn't try any of them on. Obviously a lot of people buy packs online so it's not that big of deal, but for me it was just too hard. One week I wanted the ULA Ohm and the next it was the Granite Gear Vapor Trail. I just couldn't pull the trigger on anything...

Turns out that It was a good thing I went in to REI. You see when I bought my last pack, my torso was measured at 20", and of course I ended up buying a "Large" sized pack. The Gregory that Ive been using, while heavy, has always been fairly comfortable, but never really seemed to fit me quite right. Last night at REI I had the salesman measure me three times, and every time my torso came out at 18". Which means that Ive been lugging around a pack thats too large for my torso size for the last year because when I was originally fitted the person at REI who measured me screwed up.

Now, I'm not the type of person who negatively takes advantage of REI's return policy. I stand by my buying choices and almost never return items. Well, I paid $250.0 for that Gregory and it kind of pisses me off that it doesn't fit. So yeah, I'll be taking that one back, even though I bought it over a year ago.