Saturday, July 23, 2016


I was good... at least, I thought I was.
I was almost done with my jog, when I finally lost my composure, and ruined my streak of "Days Without Crying." The song's lyrics struck my heart... and I lost it.
If you go away, as I know you must
There'll be nothing left in the world to trust
Just an empty room, full of empty space
Like the empty look I see on your face
I'd have been the shadow of your dog
If I thought it might have kept me by your side
If you go away, if you go away
If you go away, please, don't go away

I ugly cried.
I sobbed... I almost toppled off the treadmill because my tears were blinding me.

My brain betrayed me, and flashed an image of Baby Tyson, wrapped in a towel after bathing him... I was holding him tight to keep him from shivering... he was impossibly cute and vulnerable and perfect...
... and the mental image fucking destroyed me.

I've been extremely absent minded these last few days... dreading today.
There has been nothing but bad news in my life-- again, not concerning ME or MY health, but damn near everyone in my life. Cancer is... fucking infiltrating my circle... and it has been so hard to keep hearing a new person tell me they've been diagnosed. Yesterday was just the latest diagnosis... and I couldn't even sleep from the sadness.

Please don't go away...

I guess it all just... became too much.

My abandonment issues are so bad right now... the thought of Tyson being gone for four years now gave me the final push needed to cry everything out.

... Not being able to hug him is the worst.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cliff Hanger

(Been working on this on and off since the first week of June. ...Life.)

Damn, this change in altitude beat my ass.
It's not that I had difficulty adjusting to the sudden spike in altitude, but coming back down has made my brain feel like it was left in the clouds.
However, I am back to 100, coherent enough to continue discussing this Peru adventure.

And in quite possibly the best segue ever, let's talk about health.

I was scared out of my mind as I prepared for this trip. I thought I'd be a nervous wreck in the airport, but there was so much bullshit to wade through once AT the airport, I barely made my gate in time to board.
Nerves once again began to enter my system upon arrival to Panama City. Everything up until that point had been a complete mess, I felt unwilling to test the boundaries of my luck, so I stuck around the airport... just shooting the shit with other passengers, listening to some very fucking shallow and ignorant conversations (little did I know I'd only hear more of this entitled bullshit throughout my trip).
I met up with my two travel buddies and all was well. I listened to these well-travelled, adventure nuts (I mean that positively, no shade)... hiking aficionadas... and they let me know that while the hike would be difficult, it would be manageable. They came to the conclusion that Bone would most likely be leading because she's speedy, Spence would be last because she felt so out of shape, and therefore, I'd be in the middle... because I'd just pick up on everyone else's cues.
And I was cool with that assessment... because the only "hiking preparation" I did was my weekly treadmill stroll where I'd walk as long as my CandyCrush lives permitted (usually about three miles. I'm a fucking Candy Crush savage).

This is where I kick myself in the ass for not following my personal TOP travel rule:
Travel with those of a similar fitness level.

I have observed, repeatedly, that travel SUCKS BALLS when I go about it with someone who is drastically below my fitness level. When I'm too fit for my companion, I spend my days frustrated as fuck because of the slow pace I'm forced to follow. I will be a fucking caged lion-- aggressive and resentful as shit towards EVERYONE.
For the most part, I'm fast paced, as much as EVERYONE cares to NOT believe this. I can take down the fittest little bastard out there... because I can go for extremely long periods of time without eating OR drinking thanks to my ghetto, anorexic start in life (from 6th grade up until college, I never ate breakfast OR lunch. I'd fast my way through school. Always. Elementary school I'd only have lunch, except for 4th grade, when I couldn't even do that because of those horrible girls who'd kick my ass every day. Good fucking times, growing up). I have a difficult time identifying my "hungry" signal... so I will plow through my day without having a bite to eat for an ungodly amount of time. This, I've noticed, will bring down even the most physically fit brute of my clan... because they're fucking normal and never starved themselves for a decade or so... also, the healthy, fit folk's energy will start to wane because their muscles will start to demand fuel. I have my fat storages all over my body... I'll be fuckin' goooood. It's like watching my biochem book come to life.

Ok, so with that preface, let's continue with the Peru trip.
Let's move on to Spence, the "out of shape girl" (in her own words)... but Jesus Christ, more like "the injured girl."
Before the hike, we had been walking around Cusco for a few days, becoming acclimated to the altitude. I was good... I wasn't even suffering from shortness of breath. The natives were surprised, constantly warning me that while I may have felt great the first and second day, the third day would be the real test-- they were correct.
I was feeling great! My companions? They were hammered with massive headaches, fainting, and barfing all over the place. We went out to purchase altitude sickness pills, and they started to take their dosages. I pranced around Cusco, pushing my lungs to see how much activity they could handle (I was slightly scared, because I've suffered from cardiac arrhythmia since birth... neither side of my family has a good ticker).
So I was the freak of nature, while my company was getting scared. Our last dinner before the hike (which was by far, hands down THE BEST meal of my trip, top five EVER in my life), Spence came clean with her health issue.
"So, I really didn't train for this trip... I came down with plantar fasciitis... so I found training nearly impossible," she said.
We were all silent.
"Well... I broke my foot like two years ago... and it still acts up once in a while, so I'm not too excited about how my feet may react to five days of hiking," I tried to commiserate with her.

We packed our  bags (good god, the drama on this subject. I'm a night packer, they are early-morning packers. This caused so much fucking discord among us, I still feel my intestines twist with rage), went to bed, and the following morning (5:30AM), we were picked up to start the first day of the hike.
Within the first five minutes of the hike, I realized my CamelBak had a leak-- my left side was slowly becoming wet with each step I took. Instead of getting upset, I laughed... because the water was acting as a coolant, since the heat was so intense, my shirt would never get beyond moist before it was dried by the sun. The ONLY downside was that the fucking CamelBak was heavy as shit.
Anyway, there I was, the newbie hiker, at the end of the line, waiting on Spence, who was dead last. I figured someone had to stay close to the girl, in case she injured herself or... suffered a medical emergency... it was the fucking morally correct thing to do, I tell you!
Bone moved ahead with the group (we were three groups, each group with no more than 15 people. My personal group had 13. At the end of the day, all three groups would rest at the same camp ground. In total, we were about 50 people), group which was growing increasingly frustrated with the incredibly slow pace of Spence (I was lumped with Spence because I was waiting for her... and since the group wasn't aware of HER injury, they automatically assumed I had something to do with it too. I mean, I'm no tiny lady... I am fucking enormous, and if I've learned anything in my life, it's that my body type is QUICKLY underestimated/dismissed as FAT, slow, and useless).
Each day, we'd have two breaks-- lunch time around noon, and resting time at camp at the end of our day, around 6PM. Our first day, due to the unprecedented SNAIL pace of Spence, EVERYONE took the lunch break for about an hour and a half. Upon our arrival (Spence, Bone, and I. YES, that's how far behind we were. I definitely do not blame those kids for being pissed at us), they picked up their shit and jetted for our camp site of the day. Spence, Bone, and I had TWO minutes of break time... a time I had been looking forward to because I REALLY needed to shit (TMI? Too bad).
I don't know if everyone is like this, but the moment you keep me from emptying my bowels, I will fucking resent you... and use every last bit of self-restraint to not choke you to death.
I was angry at Bone and Spence for dragging me back, angry at the group for being angry at us, and angry at the hiking guide for not allowing us to use the fucking toilet.
I was being considerate of my injured teammate, I felt it unfair to punish me in such a way. It's one thing to keep me from shitting after sitting around the house for hours, but hours of hiking... your goddamn bowels move... they move a lot.
So... at around 11AM, the group was moving towards our first campsite, my group of friends were busy taking selfies at the ass end of the group... and I was angrily stomping up the mountains (hiking boots, while being lifesavers, are HEAVY AS FUCK), wishing the worst on everyone for not allowing me time to shit like a civilized human being.
Angrily stoping through up this fucking beast.
So we keep hiking. Within five minutes of continuing with this hike (I believe I said this happened within the first half hour of the hike, but in reality, I meant first five minutes of "THE hike" aka, the rough, real part, away from civilization), I see a body drop like a fucking sack of potatoes. I believe I discussed this traumatic sequence of events in the previous post.
I saw a blue shirt plunge past the bushes and the group gasp. This is where I cry, as I speed up to join the group to see who the fuck just killed themselves.
I saw the littlest of the group, T, was down at the bottom of the mountain, five meters below us, assuring us all she was ok. Her man, Dave, was pacing back and forth, clearly worried and saying "T, I told you not to walk so close to the edge."
(T fell because she took the outside edge of a cement barrier used to divert the brook we were following. Naturally, it made a cascade on the curve of the mountain. The rock T chose to jump over--instead of carefully climbing over the cement barriers, hugging the inside of the curve-- was wet and slick, resting on the outer edge of the barrier/moutain. She slipped and tumbled down the rocky mountain side, to the next cliff which was five meters below)
Our even tinier tour guide, Will (He was about five feet tall... no joke), scrambled to the bottom and helped push T to the top.
The group was urged to continue with the hike along the babbling brook we were to follow to our camping site. Will stayed with T and Dave, providing first aid to little T and her scratched left thumb, while the rest of us continued with our trek.
After about two hours of hiking quietly, the rain started to pour. This was where T and Dave caught up to us, then passed us. I looked behind me and hardly saw Spence in her hot-pink vest WAY THE FUCK behind us... and I threw my morals out the window.
Fuck this shit. I'm cold, everything's wet, my boots are sticking to the mud, everyone's impatiently waiting for us... and I REALLY need to take a shit. FUCK waiting on people.
I fucking gunned it and walked towards my goal-- the end of this fucking brook.
When I thought my hike was over, what appeared to be a flat trek toward a blue tin barn... I was met by rocky hills... rocky, muddy hills. This is where I almost cried of frustration.
At my absolute worst... most homicidal I have ever been,
and will probably ever be.
"WHEN IS THIS GOING TO END?!" I almost broke down.
This is where I see Will walking up to me, and he tells me I just have one more hill to climb, and that when I get to camp, I should tell Washington the cook to start serving dinner.
Exhausted, pissed off, and with tears building, I reached camp.
Bone and Spence had yet to show up, and the rest of the group glared at me as I entered the hut.
"Are the other two girls and Will close?" asked Veronica, the second tour guide.
"Yeah, told me to tell... Washington? that he could start serving dinner... that they were close enough," I said.
I took off my drenched back pack and tossed it towards the other bags. I grabbed my walking sticks (goddamn poles are life savers) and tossed those muddy bastards on top of my bag.
Like the disheveled asshole I was, I glared at the rest of the group, already having a great time with their personal discussions at the far end of the table.
The promised land.
It's gorgeous. And has a toilet.
I sat down at the other end of the table and tried to control my trembling legs... and tried even harder to keep from breaking into sobs. I realized I was hungry... but I also really wanted to go to the bathroom. Just as I was trying to make a choice between waiting for my food in the company of these hostile backpackers, or storming out of the shelter in the middle of the rainstorm, in search for a fucking toilet, in came Bone... this fucking... never-ending ray of sunshine... as though she had just stepped off a cruise ship.
The hostile group increased their negative vibes to an insufferable level, and I decided I had enough. I went in search for a toilet, and quit giving a damn about the rest of the group... let Bone take care of that shit.
After hauling ass through mud, I found the very clean toilets.
I almost cried from the relief I felt (obviously, I did a lot of "almost" crying. Even when I find myself completely alone, I still find it hard to release my tears because I know the moment I let them out, all hell is going to break loose and controlling me will be damn near impossible for a few hours).
Upon my return to the dinner table, I noticed everyone was in better spirits, siping on their coca tea and munching on some popcorn. I served myself a cup of coca tea... and all was well with the world.
I sat in a somewhat catatonic state... drinking my hot tea... not giving a shit to say a fucking word... and waited for my food.
After meal time, we were walked to our tents, were we each chose/settled (as was my case, because I was the last one to "choose" my tent, which obviously, doesn't involve much "choosing").
The group was to make a "quick" hike up to a lake, but considering the mental exhaustion, I chose not to participate. Spence was physically incapacitated, so she was unable to partake in the lake hike, and Bone had no desire to go "alone."

Considering it is now mid-July, I'll stop right here... clearly where I never intended to end when I began typing this... but if I don't post now, I probably never will.
There will probably be two more parts... because this fucking five day hike had so much bullshit to it, on all aspects, "Health" being only one of them... and I promise it has a somewhat redeeming end... and there will be less commentary on my bowel movements.