OPERATION HELL DIVE
Day 22 Buckeye to Phoenix
miles today: 28 cumulative: 450
The same Mexican food restaurant has coffee and breakfast burritos for $1.50. A video game in the corner called Super Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive plays the same song over and over again, music designed to make you want to shoot down airplanes and bomb tanks and spray fire onto enemy camps. 4 high school seniors are sitting by the video game and when one of them pulls out a quarter they all smile. "51,13 ?" "Yep." Everyone starts to play air drums, my favorite song from 5th grade plays on full volume. "We built this city on Rock and Roll." The day couldn't have started with a better sound track. I found out last night that one of the Picore brothers, my best friends growing up, lives in the Phoenix area. We used to listen to this on a boom box while attempting bike tricks on dirt ramps. More nostalgia. Yellowstone Avenue, the canal, the tree house, bottle rocket fights. I will see Jared Picore tonight.
The day started out so well, but begins a downward spiral as I approach the city. Phoenix and its suburbs are 50 miles wide. My blisters are growing and all the athletic tape in the world won't make them stop hurting. Busy roads, feed lots and cow manure. An airport on the edge of the city, the noises and the smells. Cosmo and I sleep for an hour on the side of the road near the airport, then push into the city where there are no more fields, only industry and particle board houses that all look the same, except for one tan gray and another is brown gray and another is sand gray. The desert is still all around the developments, they have not gotten it filled with cement or more streets yet, but they do have fully functional golf courses already in these half finished neighborhoods of cookie cutter houses. Flat bed trucks loaded with wet sod to erase the desert. But is there enough water for all this grass and all these people? I think that is the question that is Phoenix.
More bad smells more suburbs. 35 Luxury homes opening soon, 12 vacancies left, hurry! Trend homes, Sutter homes, Traditional homes, wood bridge homes, all with golf courses, all some shade of grey'sand brown. Industry forever, Hobbled by blisters. I have not been checking my feet enough. When I reach Phoenix itself I have to stop, I literally can't walk now, the toes and the heels both have blisters. Stop at a gas station and wait for Jared to come save me. Today was Operation Hell Dive.
3 weeks into this journey. I have been afraid and I have felt defeated but I have not been sad yet. Today I am sad. Today I talked to Alissa. I have said before that I want to be a god, but today I just want to be a man in Santa Fe with a girl in my arms. But the journey has begun and I am stuck in between. Nothing hurts as much as love. I would give up the power of the ocean to be in her arms tonight. But I want more than tonight, I want forever, and for that there are no guarantees. In flow there is no grasping, no worrying about whether she will be there when I get back, in this grasping there is fear of being alone again, sadness. She could be in Los Angels when I get back, she could be gone next week. Selfish for me to wish her to stay, to try to stop her from evolving just to satisfy myself. I cannot ask her for guarantees even though I want to beg. I want to cry but not here, not at this intersection on a bench outside this gas station, not in this city. This city will get no water from me. I will cry in the mountains, and then I will see her in Socorro, and I will not beg, I will give her the most perfect love that I know how to give, that is the best I can do. No grasping. I will want to go home with her, but you cannot stop an object in motion, not me, not here, it is the only law of physics that I believe in. I hope that someday there will be a place for objects in motion to rest. Today there is not.
Today is hard, like most days I stop in a restaurant to pretend that I am a real person with my breakfast burrito and coffee, but I am not a real person. Real people leave this place in cars and go away to jobs and girlfriends and school. I lweave these places and walk 25 or 30miles to the next place I can pretend I am real. Then I sleep on the ground and do the whole thing over again.
It is hard to put into word how unfun today was, but I guess I knew that I wasn't doing this "for fun." As optimistic as I am, I have to know that there will be days like, 8 blister days, ice pick in the thigh days, broken cart days, broken foot days, rain soaked, windblown, mental brekdown. Black tornadoes spinning around in my mind. Afraid of failure afraid of pain afraind of losing. And the video game song plays on in my mind; Operation Hell Dive. Jared arrives. A beer at this home with his beautiful girlfrined makes me think of a beer at my home with my beautiful girlfriend. But atleast my feet are not on the ground, work is over for today. A bed instead of the ground. Operation Hell Dive completed.