Note 4b: Where I mostly speak of stuff I don’t know anything about (Part 2)

 July 30, 2018 – Driving to Jackson, Wyoming


I woke up from a weird dark dream with a call from Leïla. I don’t really remember the dream, only that I was trying to shower but the towel was wet and the more I tried to squeeze it the more water was spilling out. Everything was full of garbage and rotten and dark and wet. Perhaps I just needed to pee, I don’t have enough details to think of something else, and I don’t interpret dreams anyway.

I remember the conversation with Leïla though, even though she was very energetic and I was still trying to leave REM phase. She didn’t say “I love you” back and said that perhaps we didn’t need to buy a tent. After all, she said, she and Auguste can sleep in their van and borrow us their tent.

Now, we’re on the straightest street I’ve ever seen in my life and I feel a bit like this meeting is going to be a Waterloo. That maybe she doesn’t love me and prefers Auguste and wouldn’t want to be my girlfriend anymore from now on and I’m just one out of many and he was first after all.

Indeed a very straight road it was

It is very painful and panicking and also very amazing. Since my historical girlfriend Vale broke up with me, I haven’t had this kind of silly thoughts. After her, I had a couple of years of mourning and then I just entered a careless period of my life, pretty much not giving a fuck about anything.

Being careless is kind of nice, it puts you in the state of mind in which you could do anything and be anyone. I went to Barcelona quitting a good job with no money and no perspectives to get one soon. Thereafter I moved to Lugano (which, trust me, is not cheap) with little more than 1000\euro{ }in my pocket. In both circumstances, I managed to get a job right before having to pay a rent I had no money for.

I wasn’t ever stressed or worried or in a rush. I finished the math book last year way later than I should have finished it and asked for an extra payment(that I obtained). Back then, I was living with two friends: Teodor and Catalina. They used to tell me they envy my Zen aptitude. I never overthought about a thing and was able to say “these are the best years of my life” without the feeling that I was wasting them.

Maybe I was actually dying inside closing myself to any emotional commitment. Still, I can say it felt great and I was really convinced I could have eaten the world anytime soon. Just by not caring, one can always make his moves assuming he’s going to make them. And that’s the best way to actually manage making any move.

Now a cute french girl is somehow changing this. For the first time ever I’m worried about not getting a PhD position (rather than just being worried about not wanting it). I just re-read a few of her emails and thought “ok on the 28th she still did love me, don’t panic”. I do care about her and so I’m worried and being worried about her makes me worry about other things as well.

I started this journey with no guarantee I am going to get an income to finish it. I’m still considering to drop everything I’ve done so far because a PhD looks me a bit like entering the cage. I’m still willing to go everywhere and be everything. But now I worry a bit about all those kind of things. I’m experiencing pain and stress that I hadn’t experienced in so long and I’m being silly and lame as I wasn’t being in so long.

All of this is amazing, and it hurts a lot and it’s amazing because it hurts a lot. Don’t get me wrong, Leïla also made me crazily happy. She’s smart and original and open-minded, similar to me and very different from me.

I am not going to start an overlong digression about her right now. Although perhaps it would be the right occasion. It is enough to say that she’s got a take on life similar to mine and fears the cage as well but is thinking of a very different strategy. Rather than going away and never coming back she wants to create a community independent from the cage and live there with other people. She wants to create a center of gravity far away from all this uneasiness and I must admit that I see a great value in that. Although I also see a shit ton of difficulties that wouldn’t subsist if you just go away and never come back.

Perhaps she will tame herself with this attitude because of practical difficulties and the comfort that the cage can offer. Perhaps I will tame myself and just come back somewhere at some point. Perhaps she will run away with me or I will settle down somewhere with her. Or maybe our paths will just diverge at some point, and I will survive that even if dying inside.

We discussed quite a lot of all those kinds of things. She was finding me stressful and cold in making my considerations and I was finding her a bit naïve and emotive and we were loving each other so much. Or at least I can say for sure that I was loving her desperately.

Now I’m joining her in Yellowstone with my best friend. Yesterday I could have eaten the world. Today one thing she said, together with one she didn’t say, are making me overthink and worry. Perhaps mine is just regular jealousy, I never really know what goes on in my subconscious. Still, consciously I feel like I’m fine with her having stories. I’m even fine with the fact that I feel that, subconsciously, for her is not the same. What I would not be fine with is losing her love and stop feeling I have a special place in her heart. I care about her and she makes me both happy and sad and I feel things and that’s amazing.

And terrible.

I hope you understood I love contradicting myself. What can I say? I am a complexity, there are many Is saying different things here.

We stopped at a Walmart to buy a tent and two sleeping bags. I ate just an apple and felt fine enough, which is weird. Yesterday I stopped writing just before entering a tavern. There I ate eggs with sausages. 12 hours have passed and now I feel that an apple is going to be enough. I surely didn’t finish processing those eggs.

This helps me understand the size of some people around here. We saw quite a few very fit Americans, don’t get me wrong, but some people look almost un-human to me. They can’t properly walk and occupy double the space I occupy. I think they couldn’t even perform basic physical activities like walking to a tobacco shop or take the stairs to the third floor at my parents’ place.

How could it be otherwise if they live in places designed for cars and eat for breakfast a meal that is enough for 12 hours?

Of course there are obese people in Europe, but they’re not even close to the size of this people nor remotely as many as in that tavern. Most probably the environment plays a central role in this, I thought. Just like, at least in part, my environment made me a smoker I’d assume that a lack of alternative food and being almost forced not to walk make them obese. Still, even if it’s a natural symptom of the environment, it’s surprising, at least to me.

Also I was surprised by the (very natural) structure of highways here. Just like cities aren’t dense, states aren’t as well. Therefore you don’t see an exit from the interstate every 5km as you do around Milan. As you leave big cities you have miles and miles of nothing. Yesterday we saw mostly desert and today cliffs in every direction until the horizon. It is an obvious consequence of the history of this country (the whole frontier thing back in the days) and I was expecting it. Still, I found it astonishing seeing it with my own eyes.

Wyoming's Martianesque Landscape

Wyoming’s Martianesque Landscape

I don’t expect this country to stop surprising me anytime soon. Also, I know many features I’m surprised about are not features of the whole USA. Can’t wait to see other strange stuff somewhere else.

But first I will spend some time with my beloved and everything is going to be fine. I am going to feel like she loves me and she wants to stay with me and only with me and she will make me promise again I will come back to her.

PS:

We also saw quite a lot of cool stuff and had a lot of fun going around and drinking beer and making fun of each other. It wasn’t only me overthinking all the time. If you care about pretty things I guess you can take a look at Andre’s pictures.

Tycho – Montana

I chose this song to accompany the photo gallery of this leg of the drive. As I was listening to this in my home, I was picturing in my mind the places we actually saw. Technically we didn’t pass through Montana, but I bet it would give me the exact same feeling.