Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ferry AK->WA :: Wednesday Morning :: Solitude, Home-sick, and the Future

Normally I have a sheet between the lockers and chairs to make a fort.

A Cuban philosopher keeps visiting in my little sick corner of the ferry. Between sniffles we discuss God and I frigidly avoid the topic of love, adjusting my belonging when he mentions “missing something,” - acting occupied and distant. Later, he tries to bring me a glass of milk and I want to curl into a ball of invisibility as I tell him I can't drink it, dodging the offering of friendship.

“Baby Girl,” the lil’ tot, keeps escaping her mother to check on my bags. She requests access to my toothbrush and Vitamin E and I painfully deny her of them both. Still, we laugh together and I poke her bare belly as she gleefully giggles. I warn her I’m sick and, of course she doesn’t care.

Three year old Brecken relentlessly plays peek-a-boo with me behind chairs. When I change positions, he squeals for the entire cabin to hear and my let out a sputtering, snot-choked laugh.

In simplicity, I prefer solitude on this ferry trip. I want to be left to my own solo-devices as there is much to do. I spend hours laying on my Thermarest Z-Lite mat, wrapped in my qult and listening to Moth podcasts religiously. Since I got my cold-drugs, the mucus-fountain has slowed to a trickle and I’m delighted to only have to sit up three times an hour to clear out my nasal passages with blaring honks that rival the ferry's horns.

I’ve begun to tackle the letters but just a few postcards is enough to wipe me out for an hour. During the hour, I search for sleep, but feel to exhausted to let go of consciousness. I tear through thoughts and try and let them go, but some cling more harshly than others. Though I went to bed at 20:30 last night, it was 22:39 that I last checked my clock.  A certain unwanted, despised thought cycled through my mind and for the first time ever I typed the words, “FUCK YOU!” on my lap-top in a letter that will never be sent.

I awoke at midnight, shocked at the two hours of sleep I had acquired - success. I was on the right path. Baby girl was wailing away and I pitied her mother above all else. Likely exhausted and weary from sensing emotions beyond her own. I curled up in my sleeping bag and two hours later woke again to hear baby girl declaring her dissatisfaction with the expectations her mother had of her.

It’s 13:32 and Happy Feet II is playing for the fourth time in the recliner lounge, where I sleep. On the ferry ride up the Inside Passage back in October, I spent about 90% of my time outside in the Solarium. Now I’ve huddled up in the Recliner Lounge, a meager effort towards recovery. I’m nestled between some chairs and the lockers, three of them holding various belongings of mine. I have a food bag, writing bag, clothes bag, and technology bag.

The most surprising thing about this past hour is that I’ve begun to do something called, “Missing Haines.” It’s not a full ache, it’s just an uncomfortable twang of discomfort as I thumb my way through pictures of my Alaskan life in the year 2012. A video of my bike ride into town sets in a peculiar longing that I haven’t experienced in a while and I brush it away, picking it off like flicking away a mosquito before it bites to avoid the itch.



I overwhelmingly and excitedly pan through my upcoming plans for the next four months. Four months within a routine can whiz by with such agility that you rub your eyes, seeing if maybe you missed something when you blinked. However, four months in constant transition can turn into a novel as experiences stack up and each day becomes something unexpected.

For four months I will change beds at least once a week (‘cept for almost two weeks in Russia) and will learn to carry what I need on my back. A skill I’ve gotten pretty good at, but never for such a line of time.

It will be peculiar to come back to Seattle without having a home. Father expressed that he thought it would be a good idea if I didn’t come to my childhood-home upon my return and I didn’t protest. I still love him abundantly and he reciprocates. Yesterday, during my three hour walk in Sitka, he was the one person I talked to. We're close and love each other, I'm just not supposed to live there a bunch.

I did a request on Facebook for temporary housing and an a colourful array of friends popped up, offering couches, cottages, and closets (actually, no closets - I wish) for my use when in town. I’ll try and not stay in one place too long as to not overstay my welcome. Over the next months, I will rarely be able to let my guard down as I seek to sense the well-being of my hosts. I will try to be determining if I am, in any way, having a negative influence upon their routine and calculating if there is a way for me to make adjustments.

So I relish this ferry trip. Here, I can be settled for at least a few days. I will go to my childhood home for a bit to sort through belongings in a brave attempt to tackle getting rid of around 50% of my belongings.

I’m not scared to hitchhike across America or go to Russia solo, but fear not being able to let go of the mountains of crap I’ve acquired. Overwhelming. I feel like this is something that I really need to do. I have boxes of items I am not going to ever use again. I'm hoping to find friends to come over and talk me through getting rid of junk.

1 comment:

  1. I am totally up for coming over and helping you sort and discard things. I would love to do that - in fact I have major karma to pay back to the Universe for much awesome help I have received in that regard.

    Also we'll find some chunk of time for you to sleep like a starfish on in my guest room if you'd like.

    Can't wait to see you!!! <3 purple sock

    ReplyDelete

Your words make me grin.

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