My friend (she's also my self-proclaimed “Goddaughter”) gave me a ride to it. I got to sit beside her beautiful little girl- That was the highlight of the ride! She said if I couldn't get a ride home, let her know.
I walked from where she dropped me off into the closed off street area. They were allowing motorcycle traffic, but no 4 wheeled vehicles. Motorcycles lined the street. Lines of shining chrome. The thunder-ish rumble of the engines as they rode to and fro was powerful music to my ears.
I took some naprosyn before I left home so the pain wouldn't be too bad and I had a really good time. The weather was perfect. There were some really good bands, beautiful motorcycles, and I saw SO MANY PEOPLE I hadn't seen in ages- from high school. If I gear myself up for this type of thing and encounter a few at a time I can handle a few hours of it.
But this is more about my trip back to home.
As darkness fell & the evening wore on, about 10 PM or so, I was fully ready to go home. I was also starving because I hadn't eaten since morning (which I was already beating myself up about) There was food, but it would cost money and I didn’t have enough to buy food. Anyway, because of that, I decided it was time to call it a night. I called my potential ride and she was unable to come and get me because her vehicle was in use/not there.
My brain (starved of nutrition and obviously on a trip of its own) thought, well, you can just walk. – It convinced me that I could, and this is all the fault of that state of mind, or lack of sanity at the time.
The crazy voices in my head cheered me on with:
“It’s no big deal.”
“You can do this.”
“YOU NEEEEEEEED TO do this.”
“It’ll be good for you!”
”You can enjoy the stars and the quiet.”
“Take the challenge!”
"Go! GO! Cheerio!!"
So, I allowed those crazy voices to persuade me to WALK the 3.9 miles (and I had already walked a few miles all over the place at the event) from old town Cottonwood all the way to Verde Santa Fe.
The jaunt entailed walking roughly 2 miles of street lights and sidewalk, to a bridge that crossed over the Verde River. From there, an additional approximate 2 miles of basic desolation.
The walk to the bridge was pretty much okay. I was only feeling some back pain, and for me, that’s normal and expected. BUT THEN the sidewalk ended & the street lights were all gone. I’d walked straight out of small town USA into a dark, relatively desolate area in one step. As if through a veil into another world (Cue Twilight Zone music and Rod Serling’s voice telling the audience what a dumb ass pilgrim I am).
Some vehicles were going to and fro, but they were few and far between. The darkness would have been fine, and my eyes adjusted, but just long enough for another vehicle to appear and blind me with lights. Then I’d have to get used to the dark again, and in no time flat, here would come more lights in my face. They seemed to all be parked at some evil mystery lot, laughing at this whole thing and timing it perfectly just to piss me off. I was cussing like I generally do when I am aggravated, becoming louder and worse each time the light/darkness issue happened. Over and over, and of course, as the pain worsened from a" little bit of back pain" to very unpleasant aching, plus knee pain. But BY GOLLY I WAS TRUDGING ONWARD (with the insane voices cheering me)!
Oh! And if I don't make it my [ungrateful] son can sue the county for not making the road walk-safe!
After the bridge, everything is uphill. As I was climbing the hill, my knee and back got worse and my feet began to hurt. Once I got to the top, I was sure that my right little toe was going to need an itty bitty ambulance really soon.
-I envisioned said ambulance zooming up with it’s little tin sounding siren and little flashing lights, being driven by other healthy toes, scattering like mad, running over and rescuing the boo-boo toe from my big bad foot and speeding off to the toe hospital with my damaged, screaming little toe for the little toe doctors and nurses to fix.
My phone battery was dying, so I was unable to use the "torch” app to help light the way or help myself be more visible to the vehicles (and mountain lions, coyotes, wolves, tigers, bears, snakes, mugwumps, WHAT-EVER was OUT THERE).
Needless to say, it was scary. Not the darkness, but what the darkness could assist in happening. I feared tripping and falling- Maybe I’d end up hitting my head and being in the road just enough to become a human speed bump. Funnnnnn.
I was freaked out that I would either not be seen, or be seen- but still get ran over by someone who wasn't able to control their “weapon of destruction” for whatever reason. And of course, there was the possibly being eaten by a freakin’ dinosaur, or something worse; even something that could possibly be ancient, have dull teeth and just gnaw me (or even gum me) to death was a concern. WHAT was out there in the vast darkness that I couldn't see? OR HEAR (cuz I’m DEAF, ya know!!)??
I was having balance issues- I was dizzy from not eating and I ALWAYS have balance issues- that just made it worse. I will NEVER again leave home for that long and not eat first, nor will I ever do this again and not have an iron clad way home. So this journey, if nothing else, taught me that tidbit of wisdom. I kinda already knew, but thwarted it. My demon possessed, pea sized, crazy, maniac brain voices were telling me that I was wonder woman (RAWR!) and I’d be just fine, thankyouverymuch.
About ¾ of the way, my side started to hurt. WAH!!!! I trudged on, determined to DO THIS thing!
The thing is, I know I could have probably asked someone else for a ride, but noooooooooo. I didn't wanna inconvenience anyone really, so I decided (based on the cheerleader voices from HELL) that I could walk it. I hadn't thought of the no-sidewalk-no-street-lights-low-phone-battery/inability-to-use-the-"torchlight" thing...or about the drunks on the road. Durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
I was just DETERMINED to make that walk!
But roughly halfway up that hill, the SANE voices killed the crazy ones in my head began to obstreperously reprimand me with things like:
“WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?”
“WERE you even thinking?”
“You DESERVE to be in pain right now because you’ve let yourself get so out of shape.”
“Hitchhiking isn’t such a bad thing, you should try it before you get ran over and killed.”
“Remember the mountain lions out here, and the coyotes? They’d dig munchin’ on you. There are probably one or two of them stalking your crazy ass right NOW.”
“Wonder woman, my arse.”
“You STUPID f*cktard.”
“I’m soooooo gonna kick your ass if you live through this."
"THE PAIN YOU FEEL NOW WON'T HOLD A CANDLE TO THE PAIN YOU WILL FEEL TOMORROW”
Also, I began to think about how pissed people would be if I got hit by a car and hadn't asked for a ride. I know that I, as a friend, I wouldn't have minded giving another friend a ride. I've got no clue as to WHY I don’t think I’m worthy of the same treatment I would give to someone else. It’s just how I am. Always feeling like a “bother”.
As I schlepped along in the dark/ blinding headlights in my face/ darkness again, I said this little prayer thing (I rarely do that, and not to God- cuz, well, you know, I’m not worthy- and my battle with THAT dewd is too extensive to write about here...) and asked (the higher power, universe, whatever heard me that wasn’t a creature waiting to eat me, if anything) that if I get hit, I please be killed instantly and not lay there in pain, and don't let the cars drag me all over Yavapai county, or let the beasts who may be saliviciously (My word- I guess I’m waaayyyyy ahead of that Webster guy) lurking, eat me.
I was SO HAPPY when I got off of the main road and into the peaceful subdivision. Yeah.
Bruised but not broken, Wonder woman and her aching back, knee, feet, & blistered, screaming little toe, and the SANE VOICES (that by now had snuffed out those crazy ones) all SURVIVED the daring adventure through, and hopefully out of the Twilight Zone.
BTW, I've been reprimanded for my actions by my friends and I just want to tell them THANK YOU. I'm truly BLESSED.
- The things we think about while walking alone in the dark...