Somewhere in Indiana: 2002
The road seems never ending. It has been three hours going through the motions and I feel as if I’m nowhere near Indy. My legs have grown stiff, the pain is unbearable. Something told me this sixty mile ride was going to be a lot harder than I initially thought, but my god I had no idea my legs would fall off from it!
Mile thirty and the acid in my legs could have burnt a hole straight to China. I decided it was best to grab some food, but since my work ethic allows for only one day of work a week, it would have to come by way of five finger discount. I lean the bike, which was freshly assembled by my own hands by way of our friendly neighborhood bike project, on the side of the nearest supermarket and commence with one of the invaluable skills I picked up through my turbulent early years. Of course it was mainly candy I stole with the exception of a box of pop tarts. The whole load was consumed in a frenzy which gave my legs just enough time to completely lock up on themselves, a pain the magnitude of which had not been felt in years.
A little under an hour and about four self massages later, the trek resumed but only for about another hour or so. As soon as my front wheel crossed the city limits I called it some kind of victory and phone my mom to come get my sorry ass.
I am slowly leaving what I know to chase my sleepless nights away. Although this is the first real trek alone into that which I have no idea about, I have been running my entire life. I ride alone now because this is how it had to be done then, alone.
It was under my mother’s very roof that madness painted image after image into my fragile developing mind. He never truly knew what he was doing, never had a good example of a father and because of that, neither did I.
Upon arrival at my mom’s, I settled myself into the scalding waters of an Epsom salt bath, letting the salty sweat residue break from my skin. I had never felt water so cuddly. While falling asleep my mind wandered.
My life was mine, a fact never realized until a death tickled psyche kicked my teeth in the night. I decided to wake up and be ready for the next kick so as to not get surprised at the sight of blood. And so, my dreams set me off on a life I knew would be hard.
While drying off, the mirror stared me down. It doubted me. I collapsed under the weight of shame as I had been doing since my stepfather came into my life. At this point, with love and support, I am a mountain, alone, I’m just a sandcastle in the way of the rising tide but life cannot always be led completely surrounded, not physically at least. I now pack my friends and their effect on me tightly up in my mind and carry them with me wherever I go.
I toweled off, mom had dinner waiting with an I told you so grin for dessert. She told me originally that she would just come down and then drive me back up from Bloomington. My sheepish smile translated my cares, which were none, and we ate under the excitement of my new relationship with life.
I had found my way out of the caves, but I had yet to find their end. Before dinner I was decided to wander both ways, inside and out, until I fell from exhaustion. It was not known at that time that it would not stop even then. No, it would intensify with every fall because with every journey that likened death, stood another chamber to the caves and another sun to chase into the outside world.