Thursday, December 22, 2011

the zen of endurance

I have managed to stay in San Jose, California for a lot longer than I ever wanted. I was literally carried here on the wings of life's flow. I did not contemplate staying for long. Perhaps for winter only, then so long. But it did not work out that way. Instead, I have had the depths of my endurance plumbed. And it is not a nice thing.

I had been here around two months when the first real tragedy struck. My habit from being so long on the road was to make my camps near the highways. Keeping to my usual ways I found a pretty descent spot below an exit ramp. It was close upon the ramp, but do to a judicious arraignment of the bushes and trees, I was entirely hidden from view. One night I awoke to see lights flashing off the nearby sound wall and was startled to hear state trooper giving a sobriety test to someone not more than ten yards from my spot. But in mid-December the Cal-Trans came along and cut down the grass and cleaned up the area including taking all my gear. That meant the loss of my road journal, my Carhartt coat, pack  and its contents. I had been washing clothes so I did not loose them, none-the-less the loss was hard on me.

Then I had a very strange relationship with a woman that just turned into one heart break after another. At one point I loaned her my trac-phone to use for an important
thing she was trying to do. And she promptly lost it. Along with all the numbers from the wonderful people I had met on the road. She never even said she was sorry.

An opportunity came to move my camp from the road side. I had rebuilt there because Cal-Trans would not be back for at least another year. But a street friend tipped me to a place by a local creek behind an industrial plant. It was nice and green with gurgling water to lull me to sleep. That is it was nice till some kids came through and raided a couple of squats, mine included. They just got some recyclables and my leatherman, but that feeling of being violated is palpable in such cases. They never came back, but you get cautious. Then some land clearing started and I had to move camp down closer to the creek. I found a place that is just above the flood line, and off the nearby properties. It is nice, but not quite as private as one would like. Still, except for loosing some more recyclables, I have been left alone. Shame is, if the perps would have asked I would have given them the stuff. But such is the way the world is today. Selfishness just permeates everything.

A second, more promising relationship seemed to be in the offing during this past spring. The young lady was very interested, or so it appeared. Just as I was getting used to her and comfortable with the situation, because I kind of move cautiously now-a-days, another person decided to get in between us. I had thought the fellow all right at first, but then when the lady was not around but I was close enough to hear he began saying things that were not proper and it started pissing me off. A woman is not a piece of meat or a trophy. At least for me. I appreciate their warmth and I usually can talk to them about things that I would otherwise keep bottled up inside. But no sooner do I quit having any thing to do with this low life character, then he manages to worm his self into her good graces. Then it ended up becoming a zero-sum game. And that is not good.

It is not just pride, but the fact that no one who really cares about you will ever put you in such a position. They will not set it up to be an either-or situation. As this guy was apparently popular with some other folks that she worked with the lady in question did not want to drop him, and instead escalated things by spending her breaks and lunches with this heart robber. Things did not feel right or look right. To make a long and sad story short, it ended badly and so I have to now heal from this crap as well.

Add to all this  a lot of minor things that have taken place lately and it just gets to be all too much. Some times I wonder if there really is a higher power. I am also amazed at just how much crap I have managed to take and still retain an attitude of gratitude through it all. But I can feel the rising desire to just get the rest of  my gear together and start walking and hitching toward some other destiny. I guess I am just a bit worn out. Such is the shame of it. I landed here so very happy and my hand reached out to help. After getting it bitten so much it still reaches out, but much much more slowly. A few months on the road and I know my trust in my fellow man will be restored. It has a much longer way to go with my fellow woman.

Travel in peace.

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