I’m being followed. The outskirts of Montana are no different from Houston’s city limits. I can’t seem to shed this extra weight I unknowingly packed with the rest of my belongings. It is quite clear to me that I take life way too seriously, but there is comfort in my sadness. Stranded in the early days of July, I find myself reduced to sitting at the bar by myself sipping on a potent Long Island Iced Tea made by my favorite bartender waiting for the chance to raid the juke box. Lately, I have been trying too hard, and as I watch the rest of the world fall in love, find their way, and take faith in a dream, I drown myself deeper into a mental debt. I will keep hiking until the end of the trail comes into sight, but my habitual cleanliness has me slipping and falling on eroded, well-rounded river rocks. My multi-colored bruises are forcing me to slow down, but I think I’ll smoke another cigarette and try to make a dent in my $6 glass of soothing yet bitter medicine. One of the locals has played “Wild Horses” by the Stones, and I wonder if he noticed my mood or perhaps he has paid no mind. I have turned my back on the Bunk House and, trying to kill as much time as possible, I know that soon I must find a smile and present it like there is not a care to be had. I worry what may become of me in the future. Will I become another one of those bar maids who are too old to make a new start and too young to call it quits? The entourage has died down, and with only a month and a half left to come to a final decision, I know the answer will probably never surface.
July 2, 2001