I am terrible at writing opening paragraphs.
Like the first step to any endeavor, I relate the process of writing a starting sentence to that of some engine in the state of horrible disrepair; the primary obstacle is knowing where to begin, quite frankly because there is a steadily increasing number of topics I would wish to address.
It is tempting to start every new entry with the words: “Fuck, my feet hurt.” This being relevant to each moment at present, it may be a fitting way to replace the introductory lines. At least it certainly drives the point across, along with my current physical welfare, which arguably is more important than my experiences alone. I can’t exactly write if I happen to be dead.
The point is I’m only just beginning to realize how this journey is about to near its end. From here on out, I would arrive in New York City, and beyond the spiritual context that it has throughout the course of this long adventure; during these past four months, I have come to terms with a great number of things, mostly from the intense combination of the stories which encompass and since enriched my life.
On a more direct note, I recall mostly the long periods of time spent on the open road, shuffling through the vast cities of the United States between the hours of sleep and waking. There is a magical feeling that accompanies the joy of exploration which after consideration, I believe it is what is referred to as ‘Travel Magic’.
It is the term used for the unexpected moments encountered on the road, from the deep conversations between random strangers to the unforeseen generosity of regular men and women, these trivial interactions compose of some of my fondest memories throughout this adventure.
Beyond the context of these things, it has led me to question and most of all conclude, with absolute certainty, that the human capacity for compassion and tolerance far surpasses the ever increasing fear and suspicion that harbors within our modern society. Funny how ironic it is that a self-admitted sadist should make such a statement.
I say this because I have experienced it firsthand, not only from fetishists who risk their livelihood and well being to include an outsider amongst their ranks, but rather for the average people that I have encountered beyond this one lifestyle. The sole difference between our ability to give to others, free from judgment, remains the very essence of human interaction; it is only by the notion of self-righteous judgment that we blur those lines, forget that simple minder, and inevitably create conflict with one another.
What has been most profound about my journey of self-discovery is merely realizing that capacity from within. It is stemmed from the appreciation and acceptance for strangers I never knew, for whom I remain uncertain I should ever meet again. It is that same selfless generosity and support for a fellow such as myself that has continually driven me towards my goal.
When all has been said and done, my jouney has not been for my own benefit, but for that of everyone else who would and still possess far less. It has been an incredible privilege, full of certain hardships, yet driven by that timeless awareness for it I have since learned to aspire further – after literally crossing an entire continent, visiting unfamiliar places, this is testament to that, no?
If one man should discover the strength and courage instilled by others, carrying their hopes and fears, all the way across an entire country, imagine for an instant what we could achieve as a society free from prejudice and scrutiny?
It is a seemingly impossible dream yet somehow I have my hopes for it. Above all else, I have felt it in the smallest of ways, which to this day I would never discard even for all the wealth in the world. Such acts of kindness, patience and rationality are exceedingly rare – one can only seek to preserve it, but when able to return it tenfold.
There has been periods of doubt and uncertainty, the most obvious fact is that there has never been any regrets. Given a chance to rediscover these moments of affection, that reignites my faith in my fellows, which strengthens my belief in the human spirit – I would repeat this journey again and again in a heartbeat, for as long as I live, till the end of days.
I wish only to have inspired you to feel the same. I take comfort in the hopes that somehow, somewhere, a person could follow this journey and say, “Because of you, I never gave up.”
Beneath the blistering heat of the asphalt roads, the cold chill of the evening breeze, and the torrent of rain storms; from the bustling cities of the west coast, the calm of the mid-west, and the edges of the east coast itself, I would repeat this journey – not for myself – but to spread that message until my very last breath.
I would again drag my feet, blitered and sore, in hunger and in thirst, all for the sake of reminding eveyone that such things still exist. It is a precious and vital part of our existence, for without it I can testify that it makes life miserable and unforgiving.
From the bottom of my heart, may you all learn to live with Honor, Integrity and Respect to your friends and family and the people that surround you.
For you, whomever you are, that you should learn to always live with the goodness of others in your heart, that you find the strength and courage and the capacity to share it, this flag still stands.