The drips from the roof of my apartment – dulled, distant, metallic – sound nothing like the drumming of drips from the pine trees onto my tent, but they keep me awake anyway. I’ve been having a hard time sleeping, sheets feeling strange on my skin, my pillow alternately my favorite part of civilization and just another accoutrement that I don’t need. I’m either too cold or too hot, and while I control the climate now, changing it’s not a simple matter of zipping or unzipping my sleeping bag. So I lie in bed, uncomfortable with comfort, and listen to the persistent plunk of the outside trying to get in.
I’ve been home just under two weeks, and everything I experience is this strange same-not-same, similar in ways, but muted in others. It’s pretty much been town chores on steroids: I’m constantly working, writing, doing laundry, eating food. Too much food. More food than is tenable for this new, sedentary, hunched-over-a-computer-writing lifestyle I’m living. Still, for whatever reason, the real world – what we call the real world – seems much less real than the world I left behind, the world of moments defined by distance, miles, steps. Here, the days just blur, one right into another.
It’s been hard to keep up with a writing schedule – I’m doing a lot of writing for Backpacker still, and I’ve found that writing for myself is harder than I expected. I think the post-trail blues are settling in, and writing my daily entries means exposing myself to my feels. I miss it, miss the trail, miss hiking. Even my body’s conspiring against me in that regard: muscles have memory, too, and they miss being sore, being challenged, seeing new things as much as my mind does.
So I’m headed off to Rocky Mountain National Park to spend a couple of days out. Work all my muscles, jog my physical and emotional memory. Maybe deal with a little bit of snow, although it’s not supposed to be terrible. I’ll have Day 75 up for you folks on Monday – and maybe I’ll even post a schedule I can stick to.
Thanks for understanding.