Somewhere along the line, something in our trans-dimensional high-efficiency washing machine went horribly awry and ruined two of my favorite shirts. Though they were in the washer, I’ve Been to Duluth and Eden Prairie were gladly spared, but two other shirts emerged with horrible brown stains.
One was a cream-colored polyester shirt that I picked up at Ragstock many years ago, that went wonderfully with my Lucky Red Pants (note: pants have yet to be proven lucky). I remember that I wore ’em when a bunch of us camp counselors swarmed Valleyfair in ’02. The other shirt was a Hawaiian number featuring some cool Tiki gods, that I picked up at Pacific Sunwear during my Pamplemousse days back in ’98.
I suppose seven years out of one shirt isn’t a bad run, all things considered, but I’m still not happy. I’m a small guy. It’s tough finding clothes that fit. I get lost in the cushions.
I don’t know what’s up. I still haven’t gotten back in the groove since returning from Baja, and I’m still feeling pretty spaced out and miserable. I have no excuse for this. The place where I live is beautiful. I enjoy my job and love my co-workers, and I am in constant proximity with some of the coolest gear on the planet. I finished reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, and am close to finishing Brian Greene’s The Fabric of the Cosmos. To read again is nice. I should consider doing it again.
I am able to pay the bills without needing to eat Cup o’ Noodles and Spam. I’ve gone for a two-mile run every day for the past week, and even today’s rain failed to curb my enthusiasm. The airline found my case of CDs that I left on the airplane in Las Vegas and mailed them back, reuniting me with such favorites as Primus, Love Cars, My Morning Jacket, Guster, Modest Mouse and Weezer. My iPod Shuffle is supposed to ship within the week. Apple lowered the price on the iPod Mini. My parents mailed me a copy of Napoleon Dynamite for Valentine’s Day, and it’s every bit as genius as I remember it.
I am in the market for a new digital camera. I got around to disemboweling my old camera, and by the looks of things I am certain that it will not be going back together again. For those who have never seen the insides of a digital camera, there’s only one thing you need to know: there’s a lot of it.
I really don’t know what my deal is. I’m in a funk for no good reason. I feel that the walls in my 9′ by 11′ bedroom are closing in; that I’m being chewed away on all sides. On Saturday I crossed over into Washington and drove to the general store in Trout Lake to buy a Henry Weinhard’s Orange Cream Soda. It’s a wonderful drink that one can purchase in any gas station in Hood River, but I needed the excuse to get out and think.
And think I did. I’ll be in Hood River for two more months, and in May I pack it all up to move back to Minnesota. I’ll spend a week in Minneapolis for a wilderness lifeguarding class, and then it’s north to the BWCA for a week of wilderness first responder training, followed by a week of camp orientation mixed with a canoe expedition into the wilds. And then I begin my summer guiding canoe trips, followed by an autumn of ambiguity.
And it was on that ambiguity I pondered, while basking in the weak afternoon sun on the front porch of the Trout Lake general store. I would swirl my orange cream soda in its bottle while listening to a group of boys build a wooden bench, and think of the path ahead. There’s a decision I need to make, and it’s not an easy one. It carries with it many facets, decisions within decisions, each one harboring its own risks and concessions.
Whatever choice I make, it will be insane to most and sensible to few. Then again, that’s nothing new. Nothing new at all.