As usual, I rolled into town, Sanford,NC, around sundown, after one of my lesser pleasant days on the saddle, though Jordan Lake and a certain train track presented some very nice photo opportunities. This getting into, or out of, town around sunset is typical for me of course. And then the searching on google maps for a green patch in the vicinity. In this case I didn’t see anything, but did find an interesting little store selling various, local, handcrafted goods, with a small cafe inside where I filled my water bottles and asked about a safe place to camp in town. I received very little useful information in answer to my question, and I don’t think the boy, and his mother?, understood what I was looking for, as he kept referring to a spot north of town (from where I had just come) that had camping facilities, whereas I just wanted an out of the way piece of earth where I wouldn’t be bothered. In the end I left, creeping another few miles south in the dark and the chill towards an area community college and high school where I found a pleasantly secluded spot to camp near some trees, and a sign warning that I was on private property and that all trespassers would be prosecuted.

After setting up camp and having dinner I wrote this in my journal: Lying in a cold tent, on a cold field, on a cold night, at a community college just outside of Sanford, NC I still don’t know what I’m doing—in life in general, on this trip specifically… There is a light shining in my face and I try to block it with this journal. I don’t really like writing on my back—my arms ache, my neck aches. Sometimes the tent smells of the weed Chad gave me as a parting gift. In the tent it just smells like weed—that general cannabis-y scent—but if you dip your nose into the bag there is a very pleasing aroma of pineapple and hops. It smells bright, and alive. Invigorating. I think that means it’s good, but I’m no expert on the subject.

A train in the distance: haunting; beautiful and melancholic. A text up close, tender and warm. This journal—the book itself—smells of roses. Everywhere a rose, if one stops to look and to think (or not think). The squeak of a small animal, outside in the brush somewhere. A bird or a mouse; probably not a bear or a lion. But, perhaps if one shrinks himself down enough that bird would be an eagle, the mouse a lion… The interior of this tent is a silvery white. It is like being shrouded in a cocoon. I am nothing right now, or very nearly nothing. I am pupa. I wonder, if anyone were to be around tomorrow morning when I burst forth from this tent if I would be taken for a butterfly. I wonder how being in this tent has, or will change me.

If there is someone out there who is a spotlight, I would like to be a floodlight.


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