8/10/11 Mineral to Glen Dale, VA
Took our sweet time on our 80 mile ride today. Met two ridiculous dudes who had already done east to west and are now headed to DC. Archetypal stoners. Like extras from Dogtown and Z Boys. One American and one Englishman, strangers before they met on the road. They could not be better suited for each other. They smoked a victory blunt when they got to the coast. We cannot relate to these guys.
We told them where we had stayed the previous night. "Oh, sweet. Yeah, Mineral. They didn't let you shower or stay inside?"
"No! They made us camp without showers. They said some skinny dirty dudes tore through the place and now no one is allowed to stay there anymore."
Insert foot directly into mouth. It was clearly these guys who "tore through the place". Sounds like their m.o.
We took pics, high fived, finished our iced coffe and carried on down the road. Todays stretch of land covers the Seven Days Battle and if you're interested in history, you should look that up.
We savored every minute of today. We are sucking the marrow out of these finals days. And we are doing so by buying forties and sleeping in a church.
Listened to white people butcher Baptist songs at choir practice while we chatted up a Dutch touring rider. Leave it to the Methodists to take a soulful gospel song and make it a dry waltz.
Ate fresh picked tomatoes and cookies. Slept in the church "quiet room" where kids go when they can't stop screaming through the homily. It's pretty cozy.
Here I am. Last sleep. I am sad. I stacked up all the business cards and return address stamps we have been given by people who have helped us along the way, thinking of the thank you cards I will write. I hold the stack tightly. A collection of people, a fat little treasure in my hand. I want a bigger stack. I want an endless collection, rooms full.
Just yesterday I finished reading "You Shall Know our Velocity". (A one point two pound book and the only luxury item in my bag.) Eggars says something squarely in the middle of the story that made me shut my fingers into the crease and clutch it to my chest, gasping. He says, "Love is implicit in every connection. It should be".
I am often keenly aware of my ability to become overly intimate with people too soon. I cannot help myself. I want to know everyone. Some people are uncomfortable or skeptical of this trait; worried that I want something from them. But I promise it is an ernest attempt to know you. And I know that I tend to smother or talk too much. But I want to listen. I want to know you, very honestly. I am excited for anything new. And though it appears I am consuming everything in my path at a fierce rate, I promise, I am loving you.
I have every intention of continuing on in this manner. I want to see it all. And if it seems gluttonous, perhaps you should cultivate a similar hunger in yourself. If a desire to know people isn't in your blood, well then, maybe it should be.