My last R/R began fairly concisely, indexed by a sequence of events that conveniently structured a ‘beginning’. But the beginning of this ride isn't as simple. It's perhaps even more convoluted than the ending of the last. I’m simply not quite sure where “Coast to Coast with an Italian Supermodel
” ends and where “Pacific Northwest with an Italian Supermodel” begins. But I know now that the original journey began long before I hit ‘ignite’ and it started a fire that has not (and will not) stop burning.
Anyone on this site clearly has some ember of a life-time-journey fuming inside, a particular, recurring call-to-adventure that’s been smoldering since youth. And I think somewhere deep inside our consciousness a very particular kind of internal development is locked into grips with external exploration, that transforming from who we are into who we want to be requires traveling from where we are to where we want to be; that we know in our bones our development will never be complete until we have finished our own particular journey.
The pragmatic, reasonable, rational, sensible mind we depend on so much in our day-to-day life often concludes that this private, internal ‘fantasy’ makes no sense at all. And even if we allow ourselves permission to indulge, in, say, a pilgrimage to Preston, Idaho or interning for 3 months at the National Mustard Museum in Wisconsin, there are plenty of others standing ready to openly mock such senseless acts. Nothing encourages more disdain than expressing the desire to abandon normal life, especially when it involves indulging a romantic longing that’s hard to describe and often impossible to understand.
But here’s what the naysayers don’t calculate: sometimes your normal life can abandon you. Dedicated employees get fired, houses burn, non-smokers get lung cancer, vegetarians get attacked by dogs (and sometimes choke on carrots); dreams turn into nightmares, 4 bedroom, 3 bath houses, to ashes. The possessions and relationships around us—no matter how ‘stable’ and ‘permanent’, are anything but. Yes, there are some who sleep well at night and wake up feeling fresh as rosebuds. Fate may smile on these people who rest content, on those who are satisfied, on those who will never fracture their skull dancing at a wedding or unintentionally fart during an interview or have a lotto machine crush their leg while helping an old lady buy a winning Powerball ticket. Despite the odds, there are cheerful assholes out there who may just live their entire life without experiencing unfairness. Or perhaps fate is merely lying in wait until one day, to all of our surprise, their world comes crashing down when they find out their daughter is a much adored internet porn star in Iceland, Greece and Cambodia—and has been since the 8th grade--thanks to the MacBook she got for Christmas and its built-in webcam.
What I’m trying to say is what we have and who we have can always be taken away. The ONLY thing we have that’s permanent (somewhat) is who we are. As long as we're alive and not insane, we are all we can be sure we have.
At the beginning of the first episode I said that my journey was a suicide of sorts and I’m beginning to understand the amplitude of that sentiment. I've ransacked my life to satisfy a strange craving for adventure, to test myself, to test the world. This isn't fiction. It’s real, it’s happening to me right now and I am the cause of it. Don't ask me how it ends, because I have no idea. And I sure as hell don’t have a fucking clue what’s comes in the middle. As for the beginning? Hell, I just spent a page talking about the beginning and the ‘beginning’ hasn't even begun, so clearly this is going to be a long ride indeed.
As Version 2 (or maybe just v1.2) commences, I have my doubts. I have fears, I have concerns. I’m not sure of anything except that this is my journey. And I know it’s the one I’m supposed to be on.
With the preface now out of the way, let's begin....