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January 18, 2017

Tierra Del Fuego

At 4:59, there's a mad rush of fatted calves for the door. "Does you watch say 5:00? Mine says 4:59." Its a miracle no one is trampled as they run bleating for the exits. At the elevators, exasperated, they rush into the stairwells, flowing down in waves of fat, smearing makeup on the walls as they crush down in undulating waves.

C17 cargo planes roar overhead for reasons on the The Donald knows. What is their mission? Who can say. But I promise you it wasn't like this last year.

At 6:00 p.m., I've done everything done the boss asked me to, and go tell that I'm done and ask for something else to work on.

Now, it's 7:00 at night, but I'm not leaving work. I'm waiting for my boss to leave first. I don't want to be let go because I didn't try hard enough. That's not going to happen. One day, they'll walk me out, but I don't want it to be because I was lazy.

I cross the cold parking lot to a gas station.

I don't like that my daughter went back to college. It isn't right. It's not fair. It shouldn't be allowed.

I think about that guy I used to work with at EDS. He and I rafted down the New River in Beckley, West Virginia. We worked together at some company in Virginia. The new CEO came in and fired all of the buyers because he thought they were making too much. And then the sellers refused to deal with the new buyers he hired, because they'd had such close connections to the buyers her fired. The company produced clothes, but now they're bankrupt because of this one idiot.

In any event, he told me for sure that he'd never have kids because him and his wife had talked about it. How could you possibly have a kid, raise them for 18 years, and then just wave goodbye as they leave you forever.

And, I think he has a point. I mean, I don't think that I'd trade my last 18 years with my daughter for a life of pure unadulterated hedonism, because a child is the best toy in the world. That's the God-Honest truth right there.

I think about that more than I care to admit, lately. I don't like that she had to go back to college. And now, I'm out here, and I don't know if I'm going back this weekend. I have a ticket to fly back tomorrow. (I just got here yesterday, as if that makes any sense. Flying to LA on Tuesday and back on Thursday. Like...seriously? What's the fucking point?

"When did you fly in?" I'd asked the girl sitting beside me at work.

"Tuesday morning," she stammered, trying to pretend like what we do matters. Like it makes sense.

"Yesterday," I offered. "Tuesday was yesterday."

"Yes...she continued."

"And you fly out tomorrow?"


"Tomorrow is Thursday," I continued. Like, I just think that it's so absurd, that we shouldn't overlook the insanity of what we're doing. Like...why did I come out here? What, really, is the point?

I'm thinking of not flying back to Denver in the morning. I think that I'll drive out into the deserts east of LA. There's a lot of stuff out there. Palm Desert. Palm Springs. Slab City. The Joshua Tree National Forest.

I just feel like, if I don't go now, then I never will go. Life just races past us so fast. Now is the time for me to see some of these spots I've never been before.

The only problem with Tierra Del Fuego is the timing. Now is the time to be at Tierra Del Fuego. If they don't let me go soon, then I won't be able to go for another year.

I think it's so sad that we all live lives of quiet desperation, working for others. Trading our hours for dollars as our lives slowly fade. Everyone dies, but not everyone lives.

It should be illegal to work for other people.

The problem with leaving for Tierra Del Fuego now is that, my memory, at this point, is so bad that it's really not safe for me to ride anymore. I find myself driving down the road, going into a turn, and not even watching the road. Not aware that I'm in a turn. Going triple digits. And, I can only assume that, as i'm driving, I forget that I'm driving. There's no real way to explain it otherwise. I just sort of forget to pay attention.

At lunch, John says, "I can't believe how green everything is. Those hills used to be brown" he offers. And I'm thinking...did they? Like...trust me I believe you, but no. I don't remember.

And don't say, "I told you once before." Like, when I hear that, I want to murder everyone in the room.

I don't think I've ever felt closer to my trip to Tierra Del Fuego than I do now. Like, something inside of me has been holding back. Planning on getting the house paid off and Jennifer's college all paid off, but tonight, as I sit alone on the KTM iat a gas station on the edge of the Los Angeles basin, I see that gas is $3.15 a gallon.

At first, I think..."that's outrageous," but then I settle down and I think...that's nothing. All it takes to get to Tierra Del Fuego is gas and a passport. The bike is running better than it has in a long time.

This time, though, I'll go through El Salvador. And in South America, the easiest fastest route would be to just hammer down through Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, swing through the deserts of Bolivia, and then Chile, then fly back from Argentina. And that might be the way I go,

But then, you've missed a lot of countries. Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, French Guiana, Venezuela. So, there is always the long way back.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 18, 2017 at 8:42 PM


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