This morning I woke up alone, or so I thought. Turning over in my sleeping bag, my eyes adjusted as they focused on the tree tops above. The sky beyond the green of redwood branches appeared white then quickly faded it into a bright saturated blue. I allowed myself a long few moments to breathe and take in the day. Today is the day is the day is the day… There is only today.
I didn’t discover that I wasn’t alone until I was nearly done packing my backpack. First, my green fleece liner; next the gray sleeping bag, tarp, raw honey (traded for at the farmer’s market), smushed white bread (that had been gifted to me the night before), peanut butter – and that’s when I noticed a bright yellow speck in my peripherals. To the left, inside of my beaver dam looking tree fort on the ground, lie a banana slug.
(This photo was donated by my friend because I didn’t have a photo of a banana slug)
Here I had been feeling a little alone, and there was a little friend nearby the whole time. I stopped everything to squat and enjoy the view of him or her; I’m really not sure at all how to tell the sex of a slug. Little dude peered out at the world with one eye extended, eventually to show his true face with both eyes and both of his tiny face feelers outstretched from their slimy body. Banana slugs have a soft, wet, loud, yellow “top”, their underneaths – the part that slimes and scoots along – are usually a brownish dirty dishwater color.
After watching them maneuver slowly forward, I finished packing. A cigarette butt was the only thing left. I didn’t leave it there. I grabbed the bit of trash because this bed of dirt and sticks was a sacred place to me. It wasn’t really the bed of dirt exactly, but nature altogether. The redwoods more specifically.
I haven’t written online in awhile, so as I walked down the trail I spoke to the trees instead. I gave them a verbal journal entry on waking up alone to find a banana slug. Much farther now, at the bottom of the hill, I turned right and faced a small incline to exit the woods. I’d navigated so that I could exit exactly here. My black leather boots hit the concrete and I looked up to view the UCSC Trailer Park sign. Yesterday, I made friends with some students studying at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC). Today I was returning to share matcha (a powdered green tea drink) and some pickle flavored probiotic Gut Shot (a fermented green cabbage drink).
Freckle Face, my new friend that introduced me to her student friends was in the trailer park too. She planned to catch a ride from San Jose to LA, and we planned to catch a city bus back to downtown from the university. We drank matcha with Shmeva and Speckle and their friends. The friends had brought a blunt which I was thankful for because the green tea drink had energized me with its caffeine. Coffee and weed are a favorite kind of morning cross-faded.
Freckle Face and I said goodbye to everyone after a communal morning of personal storytelling. We walked down to the closest bus stop. Pretending to be students, we caught the next blue metro headed downtown. Many of the metros are on a constant loop that includes UCSC. The bus driver responded to our lack of proper identifications with, “I don’t care.”
The bus was pretty full and I always slow down their perfect routine when I put my bike on the bike rack. Leaving the bus I slowed the process again, removing my transportation device. Freckle Face and I hugged, smiling our ‘I love you’s and ‘good bye’s. Her next bus to San Jose was coming any minute. We had only met 2 nights before but she and some of the trailer park students were the kinds of new friends that you connect instantly with. From the first day, you hope the friendship will be a long one.
I’ve had a rough week losing both my road dog/ lover and road pup (referring to a person and a puppy, who are now in Ashland, OR). Friends are medicine. Connection was oddly a repeated topic and theme throughout the discussions and morning stories. The conclusion at one point being that knowing and feeling connected to everything else is essential to feeling OK.
Foot (me) & Trash
I am not alone for I am composed of and connected to everything. This I suppose this is a lesson learned from existence, and I would say, from my life of travel. I’ve officially been traveling since September 2014. Today is April 11th 2017. I grieve the absence of my most recent lover and best friend. Today I mourn the death of and celebrate the birth of the first person to teach me “in love.” I travel alone today, but I know that I am not alone.
This was a journal entry about my morning.