Day 148, Ausust 29, 2012

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 I woke up next to a transformer by a water district building in Flagstaff Arizona. The rocky dirt I slept on mixed with the lightening storms through the night did not allow me to rest well. In fact I hardly had any rest.
        I heard a truck pull around me. It was next to the building behind me and was filling up its water tank with an overhead water source. I'm not sure if the guy saw me or not but either way I was ready to get up and it didn't matter.
       I packed up and it was about 7:30. I walked down the street where there was a taco bell. I got there around 8 and they didn't open until 9. So I sat outside against the wall on the ground. I put my solar panel on the ground next to me to charge my electronic devices while I waited. I didn't really know what my plan was and decided I would figure it out when I woke up that morning. The night before I thought if I felt ok I would just keep walking and head out of town. But since I hardly slept I decided to at least rest for half the day and possibly do a half day of 10 miles or so in the late afternoon.
        When taco bell opened I went inside and sat next to an outlet. I ordered a $2 meal deal they have that gives you a burrito, chips, and a drink. It's a pretty good deal and I wanted to buy something since I was gonna sit there for a few hours at least.
         I sat there and wrote some journals while using the Internet also. I mainly wanted to just relax since I was beat. I can really feel pain in my body when I don't sleep much as opposed to when I have decent rest. When I actually sleep its amazing how much my body really recovers itself. But like I said, with no rest the soreness and aches don't seem to go away the same.
           I sat there all day and was planning to leave to walk 8 miles at about 4pm. That would take me to an exit just west of Flagstaff where I could sleep. But as the day went my plans ended up changing.
         At about 3:30 I had a visitor come to meet me. He had heard of my story online and wanted to come hangout and hook me up with some stuff too. So he came and we sat in taco bell talking for a little while. After about 20 minutes he left but before leaving he had some stuff in his car for me. He gave me a Tupperware with some veggies in it, a few granola bars, a bag of peanuts and another box of about 8 more granola bars. That really helped and leaving flagstaff I could use some stuff to pack. West Arizona is going to get pretty scarce. He also offered me a foam mat to sleep on but I didn't want to take it. I'm not sure why I didn't take that. I can pack it easily. But I think since it is such a luxury to have soft to sleep on it was almost too much to take. If that makes any sense.
          So after that I slowly packed my stuff up and organized my cart. I was outside going through it to find any trash and throw it away. I was just about to leave when another guy walked up and met me. He was on his way to Phoenix from I think Idaho (not sure). So he wanted to stop and meet me. He wanted to buy me lunch so we ended up going back into taco bell.
        Since I'm always pretty frugal I ordered 2 items that were less than $2 total. He ordered food too and we sat down. He was telling me he has read my journals and was really intrigued by what I'm doing. It was cool and he knew pretty much all of the things that happened along the way. So we were talking about different things and he was a really cool dude.
         We were talking a lot about how my perspective of this is hard for me to see what others see since I'm the one doing it. Sometimes I don't understand why people are inspired or interested in what I'm doing. To me, ultimately I'm just a homeless guy who walks all day. There are for sure times when I feel it has been incredible to make it this far only walking when I started with basically nothing to survive. No medical supplies, no money, no food, really no preparation at all either.
        We had a really cool conversation and it reminded me of times where me and my cousins can really go deep and break things down. Another thing I really enjoy out here is the clarity in my thoughts. It's really amazing how this journey has cleared my mind so much and made things that I questioned before so much, so evident now.
        We hung out for about an hour and it was a very refreshing conversation, definitely left me with a lot of good positivity and thoughts to ponder. I also talked about something that I havn't really thought about or talked about much since I started. I kind of opened up about my breakdown that led to becoming homeless and making the choice to leave everything behind. Which to me, wasn't really a choice. At the time I felt I only had this option. My breakdown was very bad and almost bad enough where I honestly didn't think I would ever be the same. It was a really scary experience and for a long time, I didn't want to remember any of it. Almost like by thinking about it, it would haunt me and consume me. Talking to him about that felt good though. I really felt like remembering the things that I went through and comparing them to now, shows how far I have come and how much I have grown as a person. It was a good thing for sure.
           So after that we were both gonna leave there. Before he left he gave me $20. I told him no and I didn't need it. Then he said "I read the blog and know you always decline stuff. Take it." that was pretty funny to me actually since he knew I only take things when people insist.
      I left taco bell and it was about 6pm now. There was a couple that also heard about me over the Internet that lived downtown which was where I was headed next. They wanted to meet up and offered me dinner and a shower. I wasn't going to go for it but the girl said they would really appreciate if I did so they could ask me questions and hear some stories. So then I felt like they really wanted to have my company, rather than just offer to help. I know the way I think and justify things is different. But these are just my honest thoughts haha.
         So I walked through downtown and it was really nice! Flagstaff is a great place. I got to their street and met them outside. It was a couple who were both college students, and their dog. So they invited me in to their apartment.
      I went in and it was a small but very cool place. A typical looking student home. They showed me to the bathroom and said to go ahead and clean up an take my time. Man was I excited. The last time I bathed legitimately in a shower wasAamarillo TX about 50 days ago.
      The shower head was broken so I took a bath. Which felt amazing! Hot water soaking on my muscles. Wow. The only hot water I usually feel is the water I drink when the sun heats it up. I really enjoyed relaxing and cleaning up. I shampooed and conditioned my hair and beard. Again, I can't describe the feeling I had to be clean and fresh. Something that I have never appreciated so much in life. Things like this are really put into perspective. We are so lucky to have little things like this but a lot of the times are just so accustomed to them that we don't appreciate them. We have evolved past why we really do things. Sometime a long time ago, showers were few and far between and were something that was actually used for protecting your skin and body. But since they feel good and make you fresh, we indulge which is not wrong in any way, but by showering so much and routinely we lose the true appreciation of what it does.
          After I cleaned up I had a load of laundry started, including my sleeping bag and jacket with the clothes I just took off. Then we sat down in their dining room and had dinner. And wow! It was amazing. A hot homemade dinner. First time I've had that since Wichita falls TX a couple months ago. I sat with them and enjoyed rice with a spicy soup poured over it.
         We hung out and visited just talking about random different stuff. They were really nice and we had a great conversation. I'm not sure if I feel like everyone is so nice because I'm always alone? Or maybe I just have a new appreciation for people. I think I just take more time to talk and find out about people now and I find good in mostly everyone. It may be due to just being so alone all the time where I have that ability. Maybe joining society again someday will wear that off? I don't know. But I'm usually so thankful for all the people I meet and have great things to say about all those who help me. Not that this couple raised this thought. It's just because I realize I'm always glowing and saying such positive things about everyone. I'm not usually one to be so upbeat and positive this much. I'm usually competitive and more judgmental. But I enjoy being in this place mentally. So I don't want to over think that.
         After my laundry was done I took my time and packed my things up while talking to them. Once I was all packed up, I was gonna get down the road a little ways and get ready to get back on the road in the morning. It was late when I left there, about 12:30am. They had class in the morning and I just felt better staying elsewhere. They offered me to stay but there were some churches down the street that I could crash at. So we said goodbye and they sent me off with 3 or 4 cliff bars to pack also.
          I walked about 3 miles to a church just west of downtown. It was hidden from the street and a good spot. I went to a corner where there were two benches on a concrete pad. I made my bed on a bench there and I was exhausted. It was a good day of having people around me that we're so supportive. And I was stocked up with food a little more now and felt much better leaving there. A very refreshing day both with cleaning up, and having encouraging visits from supportive people.
        I fell asleep in the bench around 1:30am. I was a little worried I was gonna be a zombie the next day but just knew eventually I could catch up on sleep. I tossed and turned a lot that night. It was really cold and the metal bench put a lot of pressure on my knees and hips. I slept a little less than average that night. Pretty uncomfortable.


1 comment:

Alexander Medina said...

Wow, so much to this post. Love it.