Angle to Key West: Trudge (9/20)

Seven Island Camp, Mississippi River – September 20, 2012

Today should have been different. It should have been about the bright smile on a man’s face that I met in Little Falls. He saw the boat on his lunch break and stopped to say hi.

It should have been about the bakery he told me to eat at when I portaged around the town’s dam.

“Just walk until you get to the only stoplight and take a left,” he said.

It should have been about the little old lady who stepped to the very edge of the sidewalk and eyed me as I passed through downtown with the boat and a chocolate mint brownie.

“Hi,” I said. “Beautiful day, huh?”

It should have been, anyway, but some days you just don’t see the world right. You go through the motions–the routine of packing the boat, paddling, portaging around two dams, unpacking–without being there for any of them. Everything feels detached, distant and hazy, like you’re watching someone else play out your life on a tv screen.

You want to reach through and grab yourself, to shake your mind awake, but you can’t. Some days are just trudges. You just get through them because you know that tomorrow the sun will rise and give you another chance to see the world as beautiful again.

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