Cafe Hitch-hike


Seeking the county road

Answer me this.

I got to see another side of John when we went hiking with his buddy Jim. Jim's a hippyish, environmental guy who lives in Detroit proper and owns a herd of buffalo in the thumb area of Michigan. He was talking a mile a minute, with John occassionally responding with his usual, "yeah" (which irked me when we first met).

I used to wonder of his "yeahs" and his silences meant he didn't care and he was ignoring me and what I had to say. It's like, "hey, what's going on in the space 'tween the ears?" John the silent. Was what I said sinking in? Was he listening? Did he even care?

Hmmm, I wondered about that, but then I got to see what it was all about with his buddy Jim.

Jim was talking-talking-talking. I was talking to him, too, but then stopped after the walk 'cause I got tired. As we were driving home, John then got animated. There was excitement in his voice, his expressions (even while he was driving, which is a scary thought 'cause he's an aggressive driver): "What did you think of Jim? Yeah, he's something, isn't he?... I've known him for 9 years... We hang out 2 or 3 times a week..." I sensed so much appreciation for his friend, even with the differences. That's his buddy, that's his good friend! He likes his time with him!

Answer: yes, John does take things in. Yes, he is paying attention. And yes, he is moved by what is around him. He's just a quiet person, that's all.

John may be quiet, but he's been pretty good about telling me how he feels about things. I guess that's what really matters... Well, he does talk after me, after I talk. Something I say gets his attention and he jumps in.

Catching Up.

I'm catching up with everything going on around me, mentally and psychically. Things are changing, my aspirations are changing.

The strange thing about this wave of underemployment and unemployment and economic uncertainty is this: it is forcing me to think about what it is I really want. My mind isn't riveted on job seeking. I decided I'm gonna chill out on that; it appears the two jobs I have will hold me fine, even with student loan payments in March (waaah:(.....)

So what do I really want? Since the job shit isn't turning out as I'd like, what would I rather do? I know, get back in touch with what I need... Think more about friendships, having a little fun, and spending quality time with others. And, do those things. Yes, cultivate those things. Instead of drowning myself in work, other things are on my mind.

It's anticlimatic for what I've been doing with graduate school and shit, but what am I gonna do? Stress myself out and add more gray hairs because I don't have the job I thought I was supposed to have? Beat myself up for it?

No, I'm going to attend to something I feel I've neglected for too long.

I still don't have a full grasp on these notions, though. I feel like all I have is a game plan, and I'm walking in the dark with it...

Just like that part of the hike of the other day. When we walked on the trials, the snow was 5 inches deep and we only had starlight. Everything was shades of gray and black. I couldn't tell how deep the snow was in some patches and couldn't distinguish the grading of the path we were walking. I felt like my sight was distorted, I felt like I was walking through my darkened house in the middle of the night in a half-dream, half-conscious state. Snow reflected the starlight in a strange way, that is, I thought I saw light beside me and behind of me, but when I turned around, it was dark like everything in front of me.

We all were so relieved when we walked on the county road. Jim went back to his car, but John and I got the chance to talk.

I can only hope I get to that soon.

downwind | upstream