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ACT II
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Journal 4
KICK-PLEAT PANT BREAKING SPEED
Day 57 Highway 84
Today: 32 miles cum: 1090

My god the world is new again, my self the world is new again, no longer a single cell alone in space afraid. This new landscape is still dripping paint, and this time I did not draw in the lines that make one place Uzbekistan and another New Mexico, San Miguel County, and the world looks like it does from space, a world without borders. But I see that I have drawn in the mile markers to torture myself, because I want to "succeed" and the world still marks "success' in miles and time and with measurements that are too easy to see, too obvious to be real markers for success. But still, if that is what you want to see, I am doing that too, amazing distance marked by miles in amazing time marked by days and hours and months to make a crowd cheer. but what they will not see as easily, because it has no such thing as mile marks, stopwatches, photofinish, instant replay for the gold medal. is the race I am winning in my mind. I continue this sprint. Kick-pleat pant breaking speed. If you could see me from that car that just drove by, you would think I was joking with this ridiculous pace, winging arms and legs melodrama. How long can he keep it up!?

And what about that other god, who's name I cannot write now? I still see her, an image burned into my retina from staring at the sun, and the burn will stay for sometime, but it will fade as these eyes open, as these pupils dilate. I dreamt of her last night, naked and sick I had to make clothes for her, and I cut apart my Buddha shirt for her, in shapes like lotus petals, and sewed them together to cover her. And then we were driving and she was not sick or naked, and we drove with no destination, she said it was just a journey, no destination, just a journey.

Today on the road though it is just me. I am the one. Kick-pleat, pant breaking speed. Sailing past small villages with no names, no faces, no sign of life, and hoping there is a place to stop in Dilia. And there is one place, a bar. Maestas Lounge. And it is happy hour, $1 beers, so I saddle up.

The same people sit here everyday under the one neon sign by the front door and they all have a different name when they are in the bar. One is the Chupa Cabra, one is the Turkey and he is already drunk and telling the others that they are all going to hell. Another is called Tusa, which means prairie dog, and the old man is Borrego, the lamb. A cowboy with a long moustache and a big belt buckle is just the cowboy, and the bartender is Happy Lou, short for Ludena, she is married to the Lamb. The only food for sale at the bar, are pickled eggs and beef jerky, so I order a Coors. The animals and the cowboys and the Chupa Cabra are all speaking in Spanish and I don't understand any of it, but sometimes they use an English word or a whole sentence in English and from what I understand, they are talking about religion and goats and sex and horses. I am not sure if they are combining all these things into one story, but I would like to believe they are.

The bartender has disappeared and I am alone at the bar listening to the locals and reading the names that are written on dollar bills taped to the wall. All small town bars have this wall of fame. Portraits of grandchildren, pool league trophies, an Elvis mug, and a sign that says No more than 2 beers per person at a time. When Happy Lou returns to the bar she has made me a burrito dinner from her own kitchen. The longer I stay the more these people have opened up. The Chupa Cabra wants me to stay with him, but I want to make more miles and there is no wind and the road calls me back out under a perfect ceiling of stars. These days since Santa Fe have been peaceful. Peaceful in my mind. I want to be alone tonight. I thank them all for their many offers of couches and places to camp but I want to go further than their aid can reach. "In 7 miles there is a gravel pit then", they tell me. "You can get off the road near there". But back on the road I walk with my head in the stars and I never see the gravel pit and 11 miles out of town I feel like I am done for the day. It is a warm night, I cannot see my breath. We camp by a barbed wire fence and I can't be bothered with setting up the tent. Just a sleeping bag on the ground and cosmo for a pillow..