Walking Time

location: still in Big Sur, CA
time: jan 29, 2007 2:15pm
~~ lba ~~ -prev

"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time."

Steven Wright, Comedian

The day after Mill creek was a tough one. My leg was in excrutiating pain. It was hard to get over. In addition to this, The twigs i slept on were non-other than Poison Oak. Brutally itchy stuff that. Worse than Blackflies. Well nothing is worse blackflies. They get inside your ears.

Onward and inward. The pain in my leg was making me stop every 1/2 mile or so. The breaks were pretty good though. I sat and watched the Grey whales migrating, and otters cracking shells on their bellies. Abs of steel those Otters have. Screw bow-flex. Crack Oysters. Its the new thing.

I asked a pleasant passer-by how far it was to Lucia. the next dot on my tourist map. She said it was about 5 minutes. Up the road. A mile at best. Good at my present rate i would have coffee in an hour. She stopped and picked me up a few minutes latter. I took the ride. Weak, weak, weak. So very weak. I had a coffee in my hand in 10 minutes. I sat in the morning glow. nursing my leg and wondering how i should deal with it. I had promised myself a break in San Fransico. that is in another 180 miles or so. There was no way i would make that goal. I blame my idiot ego for this unrealistic goal. That part of me that wants so desperately to kill off the body, and be free of it. So i bought a tin of beer and hoisted my pack.

Up the road i trudged. Feeling more and more like a hitch-hiker and less like a walker. I was in pain. My Ego was pushing me on as it likes to do. "its only pain, its only pain." I made it 2 miles before i set her down. To much. I was in a predicament. I needed an out. An excuse, to shut up the ego. I watched the ocean. Pelicans gliding over the surf. Kelp dancing in the waves. Some dolphins playing in the swaying kelp. The chattering mind almost shut up. It was close. then it started yelling "get up fool. Your failing!" So i trudged another mile. I began thinking about what some people have offered as advice. Use a tourniquet, put pressure on it. REST. I came to the conclusion that i should stop a while and smell the roses.

I have a habit of not being comfortable with place. Perhaps it is why i enjoy walking so much. I like to smell all the rose bushes. I find it difficult to stick with one. A constant shifting of place. Kind of like a car i suppose. Only useful when in motion. I was tempted to cross the road and be sure of a ride to some place where i could rest. My Ego wouldn't allow it. It kept me on the shoulder facing traffic. "Pain, Hah there you go body, put that in your nerve centre and smoke it!" A war inside my head.

I am pretty sure that there is a war inside the head of every driver right now. Especially the ones commuting. A war that is being fought by the two sides of the self. One side that says, "I hate you car, keeping me stuck in traffic, breathing your noxious fumes" and the other saying "Thank you car, for taking me where i want to go, and freeing up so much time for me." This is but one potential internal conversation. There could be numerous others.

One of the biggest reasons for people driving is not because they need to go somewhere, but that they need to get there fast. Speed is of the essence with our current culture. Time is precious. A commodity, not by trade, but by demand. The human race over the past 150 years has taken as sharp increase in speed. Expecting warp speed early 2100. We have become a society that is dependent on tomorrow's results today. Much of the world has apparently jumped on boat with this way of life. Do everything as quickly as possible. Computers and Digital Technologies are a great example of this. Every product that is produces is obsolete as quickly as it becomes new. It is evidence of a growth curve that is applying itself to everything. Exponential Growth. A graph where the growth line keeps curving ever steeper.

I am not much of a pessimist, I am not much of an optimist. The glass is both half-empty and half-full. Exponetial growth is both a good thing and a bad thing. Car use has been on the exponetial train for decades now. When China reaches its goal of being like the United States, and each person has a car. Think about the exponential cloud that would hover over the Pacific. It would be worse than the cloud of Los Angeles by a few million times. Now I don't want to stop china from its goal of challenging the American way of life. I would just like to question their method. People follow examples and ideas, always trying to improve and make things better. If China can do this by giving its population a clean alternative to gasoline I think they will crush the American Institution.

Something that I crave is time. I gave up a little more. After about 4 more hours of stumbling. I passed a postman delivering the mail. I talked to him briefly. A few pleasantries really. Not much. Later on when he was returning home he offered me a lift to Big Sur. It was 16 miles as posted by the last sign. the highway was awesome. Steep cliffs. Crashing waves. And some Condors. A true coastal experience. The ride was appreciated. He dropped me off at the Henry Miller Library. I was a little disgusted at the speed at which i had just travelled. Deep down I think the ego was happy to. It was allowed to shut up. which it needs time and again.

Taking rides has gotten me in a little trouble. I would like to talk about that now. Its rather funny and fits with the theme I am attempting at building. The main reason I got the PR in the first place is a result of The Joe. He is currently volunteering his time for the show which i was being interviewed on. A little cronyism is all right in my books, so long as you don't start abusing it. The Show, from my Understanding, is about alternative modes of transport. They dumped me for my next interview on Thursday. As a result of taking rides.

Perhaps taking rides is a little counter-productive to the cause. I am of the opinion that it is not. It is a conflict of interest more accurately. IF the focus of "Walk For The Cure From Cars" is to completely negate the use of cars, Then I failed when I got in the car in Malibu. If I thought I was failing I would've stopped then. I don't think I am failing. If I was failing then there wouldn't be emails in my box on a daily basis. I think There is something more to "the cure" than just cars.

It has been pointed out that perhaps I should change the name of this peice. Not by just one person. But by a couple. I have seriously thought of changing the name a few times. The name is nothing really. Perhaps this is just a travel log, with someone writing about the observations of a day spent walking. I don't think so though. The name is something that gets people everytime it is said. I have yet to experience a moment when someone has taken great offence to it. Everyone stops thinks for a moment then nods in sort of agreeance. That is why I have stuck with this name through thick and thin. The very first ride I have ever taken on the "Walk For The Cure From Cars." Was in a golf cart 4 years ago. An electric powered vehicle. Ironic don't you think. He took me a distance of 40 metres. Across his expansive parking lot. The ride was very short indeed hardly worth mentioning. It emphasizes the point of speed driven society though. The guy driving can be paraphrased as saying "Why walk when you've got wheels?" His nestled against the steering wheel said it more loudly. A very true statement if ever i heard one. I could've ran faster than the golf cart, but the ride was alot easier.

I have been in Big Sur for 2 days now. I am trolling it up under the bridge. The rest of the place seems pretty expensive. I have spent two afternoons in this bar called the Redwood Grill. Its the only place in town that caters to my kind. They have put extras on all the food that I have ordered. Yesterday the bar-tender bought me a beer. Its been nice to sit, enjoy the indoors, and poke at the keyboard. The taps have been an added bonus. I tried the cafe but it was way to upscale. Here most of the staff are keeping themselves entertained. It is the off-season after all. The bartender runs the store next door. The kid taking food orders is playing an out of tune piano. Everyone is relaxing. Including my Ego.

I should focus more. Try and prove that an indivdual can walk miles and miles without tiring. Prove to the world that MY ideals are greater than anyone elses. That cars are EVIL and need to be burned at the stake. HAH yeah right, like that will cure anything. I need to chill out and stop murdering my body by trying to be a hero. I need to expand my vision to see the problem as a whole rather than a boil on the skin of humanity. Speaking of boils. I must get a full gear cleaning in soon. This Posion Oak IS EXCRUTIATING, and its all over everything. I would take a pain in the leg over this anyday.

-prev A Californian Saunter next-