Journal 1
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Journal 3
A BALANCE BEAM ABOVE A POOL OF MOLTEN LAVA
Day 29 From Globe into the mountains
today: 25 cumulative: 560

Jerry’s restaurant has the same faces all 24 hour restaurants do. Breakfast does not fill up the empty place inside of me, but it helps me pretend. The manager is helping pour coffee, he moves quickly, he tells his customers that he is like a shark. Sharks have to keep moving to breathe, if they stop moving they can’t breathe and they will die, so he keeps moving, I keep moving. I’ve been like that for the past 8 years, I don’t want to be like that anymore, I want some peace in this manic mind. I want to stop this noise in my head. Sometimes a woman can stop the noise, stop the rotating earth, pause the expansion of the universe, and I can lay in that in between. Suspended. I don’t want movement to be my crutch. I don’t want to be a shark. When I stop this thing, this ridiculous walk, will I find a new way to breathe? That is my goal.

Cosmo is a girl. I forget that sometimes. Maybe she wants to be pretty again, she is dirty so I decide to give her a bath outside a gas station before we head into the mountains. And when she shakes off the water I have never seen her run so fast. Circles around the station, diving and rolling. She is a new dog. And she is cooled down for this hot day, 80 degrees again. The sun will only be up for 3 more hours, that means we will have to walk 5 or 6 hours in the dark. Good for Cosmo, bad for me. No more stalling.

Slow easy hills with good shoulders, then steep hard pulling hills in the dark.

There is a moon, and the shadows are crisp, it is behind my head and high in the sky, so when I look at the shadow of my head on the ground, the brightest part of the moonlight is a halo around it. Sometimes in the high mountains if you are above the clouds, and the sun is behind you, a rainbow is projected onto the cloud in a circle around your body, like you are the center of the universe. And, because we can see no other way than subjectively, the center of the universe is perceived to be within us, all space emanating from somewhere in our skulls, not only as an idea of potential and power, but in a very literal, physical way. Tonight I walk with the moon and I watch stars and satellites and I try not to think about things that hurt, but that is hard. Not my feet, I mean life.

Cosmo has fallen in love with the white line. I notice now that wherever we go she will seek out a white line and walk it like a balance beam. I think it may be because it is smooth and a guide in the dark, but I would like to think she is playing a game like humans do, a balance beam 500 feet off the ground, surrounded by molten lava, like children do. Like I still do sometimes.

Balance beam, headlights on hills, cold still air. 28 degrees. Hours of walking when you don’t want to walk. Watching mile markers like a clock. And at 25 I don’t care where we sleep, I just want to sleep. Luckily a side road, but everywhere there are thorn bushes. Stumbling through sharp places trying to find a clearing. Branches dragging behind me, stuck to my pants. A small clearing in a briar patch. I remember Brer Rabbit and the briar patch, a story from my childhood, read to me by my father. Watching the moon and thinking about time and monoliths in the fields of England.