South? | Road to Recovery

A pitter patter of rain blankets the water around me, a soft murmur to accompany the blending of grey day into black night, the colors fading from the sky, and as I sit in my boat and contemplate the closing of the day I can’t help but wonder: Could I eat the raw bacon in my fridge?

I pop a General in and assume my perch on the bench seat of my boat, my computer propped up in front of me. In just a few minutes I’ll leave my boat and drive to Fred Meyer, a premier destination for foodstuffs. Everyday market sellers come there to deposit their freshest wares, leeks and onions and lettuce brought in on wagons carried by mules. Yes, only the freshest foodstuffs go to this Fred Meyer, located on 85th and Greenwood, all in the glory of this purveyor living up to its slogan: “You’ll find it at (eponymous).”

My haunches are warmed by the small machine buzzing at my feet, the air of the boat purified by the two plants I still have. The peace lily has been gifted to a dear friend to purify the airs of his house now that he has brought a swaddling babe into the fold. The babe that shall be named. The babe that shall rule the kingdom of Seward Park.

I haven’t decided if I’ll embark on my journey south tomorrow or not. My knee has been hurting more the last few days, and I’m not sure if this is because it hurt me to rip my boots off my feet yesterday or because this is a natural part of the healing process, this pain that one day increases, and the next day goes away. Oh, I wish there was some sort of imaging system that could look into the depths of my knee and tell me what is going on. And indeed there is such a system, but since I passed the nurse’s ligament test the other day, the insurance company will not approve it. I am stranded on an island in Lake Washington. My soul longs to wander but wonders whether it is healthy enough to do so.

I have a mind to leave tomorrow, taking no highway part of the interstate system. Airport Way to Military Road South, turning into the 161, taking me right past the illustrious Wal-Mart of Puyallup. This brings me to Highway 7, then Highway 12, then over toward Longview and into Oregon, through towns I would normally never traverse: Eatonville, Morton, Mossyrock, Olequa, St. Helens, and the enigmatic Scappoose. I could stay tomorrow night at the Best Western in St. Helens, I could stay the second night at the Crystal Crane Hot Springs, and I could prey that my knee gets better, that my meniscus gets better, that my LCL gets better, that whatever it is in my knee that needs to get better gets better before I get to Bishop, California, the best bouldering town on the planet. Or it could not get better. I could still not be able to climb. In which case I head further south, and further, and further…

Either way, right now, the rain continues. I must leave. I must trust. I must get wet.