Waking up in the drive of the family in "FDL" I was determined to post about our day walking into town. Of the picnic on a wicker chair in the emergency lane with an old couple who brought me a salad while their white furry dog did his best to dominate Nice (the dog) while we relaxed by the speeding trucks and cars rolling past. Of the first person to stop and talk to me that morning, his wife and daughter of four years, their cozy driveway. I had logged on with the phone and was poking away with a snappy title and first line when I got a call from a reporter who wanted to get our story before he drove to Milwaukee. That is when the chain of events began to chink...
I had to get my clothes on, go inside and have breakfast with my hostess and soon the reporter. Gather my things for the day of walking. Pump a little air in the World rather than waiting for the warm sun to expand the atoms and molecules inside. After all , the man needed his pictures... After saying goodbye to our new friend we rambled on to the main road stopping to talk several times with the reporter snapping away in the distance. When I got to the store at the corner, there he was. I had to stop in the restroom for that moment of morning privacy I had rushed away from. My hostess had showered quickly as I spoke to the reporter outside but the moment had passed. As I walked my way West and stopped for a newspaper at McDonalds he was there. When I took a picture of some school aged girls with the dog in front of the world, he too was by my side. When I sent the picture to my Facebook account, he was looking over my shoulder. When I stored the newspaper in my pack, yes friends, he was there. When my hostess stopped by on her way to work for a more personal goodbye, you guessed it, he was there.
The sun was high, the morning had just begun when a television reporter called, he was on his way. They were quick and efficient with a few questions and a bit of footage as background, and were gone. Dozens of people stopped and talked as we walked on. I spoke with a family outside their home and met there young son who was diabetic. They gave me their number for the end of the day. A woman came by and loaded me up with nutrient shakes, mood enhancing dissolvable tabs and energy bars. Another news channel called and came to us. They followed us for awhile after the interview, far longer than Nice could bare thinking they were teasing him at a distance when they had just been there next to us. And why don't they give him a ride? The sun rose higher as they finally drove away and not just to the next farm driveway.
Until I patched the dozen tiny holes in the inner tube of the World this winter it was self regulating. The core would not be able to expand. Too much. I wasn't paying attention because of the reporters, the people, the cameras. I had a thought that I should pull the plug and let some air out so the canvas crust wouldn't tear. The sun had burned through the overcast skies. I heard a deep rumbling as the world jerked and lurched. A weak seam that had been patched many times ripped and another tore across the fabric.
It was soon obvious I needed help. I carry a small amount of canvas for a patch and a few ounces of glue with me but this was a five foot long tear. I got some help. I probably thanked the family who helped me too many times for saving the World. I couldn't stop. I can't blame anyone but myself for being distracted and not paying attention to the World at my fingertips. There is a metaphor in this somewhere.