Thursday, May 26, 2005

Mr. Humbug

10:15 a.m.

Tyler Street Coffee House, Port Townsend, WA

In a particularly bad mood this morning. An elderly policeman just came in and asked "who has the motorcycle outside?" Of course, few people heard him, so another fellow had to bellow it. He asked me to move it ten feet to a marked parking spot. (I had tried to avoid occupying an entire spot on the crowded street, instead taking one of those little triangles at the row's end.)

My cellphone wouldn't hold a charge, so I was forced to use a payphone. A $1 charge for mis-dialing (no refunds). Then another $1 call. Advised the Kampions not to come over just to have coffee. Drew, as usual, was full of helpful suggestions, but I cut him off. "I only have three minutes!" Just the essentials: "where's that great coffee shop in town?"

I'm thinking, "all the stress wouldn't exist if it weren't for the expectations of others. I wouldn't be carrying this crap phone, using outrageous phone booths, watching the time constantly, etc., etc." Or so it seems...

I know the underlying causes rest much deeper within.

Awoke around 7:30, having slept surprisingly well; little tossing and turning. Within an hour, I was packed up. No shower, though they were available; just a splash of water in the face. Stopped by the camp office to check out and pay my fee. Parking amidst a throng of young students, there was the opportunity to engage them and chat about my big adventure, but I didn't. I just haven't slipped into my world traveler persona yet. Right now, it's serious business.

Inside the park office, waiting to be helped, I impatiently watched as a clerk assisted the camper ahead of me. Four other bureaucrats stood looking on. Apparently only one was qualified to check campers out. When it was my turn, I stated incorrectly that I camped in the "Primitive Camp" versus the full hook-up site I actually occupied. Paid $10, rather than the $22 going rate for hook-ups. ("Washington has gotten enough out of me.")

The coffee shop is a great spot. Hugely popular, with a youthful staff and very mixed clientèle. Good coffee and pastries. If I lived here, it would be my A'Roma Roasters.

Miscellaneous notes:

I've noticed that I am starting to hear things! An alarm going off, a recording playing, strange knocks on the bike. It has me a bit off-balance.

It also feels lately that I've lost the sense that everything is proceeding according to a plan, a feeling that was palpable throughout the past year, as I moved inexorably toward this journey.

LATER:

Crossing to Whidbey Island on the ferry, I stood at the ship's bow, enjoying the wind, and then I noticed the "drumbeat" of its engines. Drew had spoken of this. It's wild! A beautiful landscape, this Puget Sound and Whidbey Island.

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