Sponge Island – February 1, 2013
Part of me believes the trip is finished already. The last 600 miles are a formality, a ticker-tape parade, a victory lap. It started as a whisper when I crossed the Florida border. Now it rings in my head. Key West is in Florida. I’m in Florida. The trip is over.
I’m a fool.
Beaches. Exposed coasts. Huge ports. The Everglades. The Keys. They will not give me their miles. They won’t hand them over on a silver platter. I still have to work. To battle waves and outlast storms. To push against tides and wind. To shiver in the night.
I look at a map and tick off twenty-mile segments like I’m eating candy. I think about the future. I think about what’s next. Where I will go when I reach Key West. What I will do. I think about it like I flipped to the end of the book and read the last page.
But twenty miles on a map is always easy. It’s not waves and wind and water. It’s an inch. It’s a moments thought. It’s poison.
I’m unraveling with six-hundred miles in front of me, fraying at the edges, pulling apart because my mind’s in a place that doesn’t exist, living in the future and dying in the present.