and i woke up

And I woke up, in a tent, next to a stranger, on a field pulsating with techno and breakbeats through the thorny weeds. The sun blanketed our group of nomadic siblings in its morning glow and drank up the rain from previous hours in a matter of minutes. As if performing some strange ritual to greet the new day, together we danced.

My feet were dirty and blistered, and nevertheless, and without a word, I repacked my baggage and walked out to the fields, trying to retrace and relocate the way out. How to exit from nowhere? Internally, I tried to justify my sudden departure, but words failed in the realm of feelings. The road was calling me.

My feet carried me several kilometers back, past endless fields of dried-up sunflowers; past the forks in the dusty dirt paths that pointed in various directions; past boundless nothingness. I kept on walking, without anything to ease my hunger or thirst, nor any certainty of anything, until I started to see the first traces of "civilization": mounds of litter; the outskirts of a small town of twenty houses or so.

I found the little road that led back to the bigger road. I put out my thumb again. It was a new day again. It was morning again. I was on the road again.

Let me start over: I encountered a group of about 14 or so camions and vans on the Bulgarian side of the Romanian border the night before. I asked one of them, "Who are you guys?" He replied, "We are Sound." I watched and waited, like a child on Christmas Eve who can hear Santa Claus in the next room but doesn't want to get out of bed for fear of scaring him off. The border was dead, but Sound was tempting and colorful, and before I could reconsider, Francesco decided to adopt me as his sister. And so, I was onboard, and we were off.

That other day had been a drudgingly painful recovery from the previous night, which is another story entirely. On the road, everything blends into one: one long nightdaynightdaynight and million different encounters. Thus, that "other day" was spent mostly in an air-conditioned mini-van whose driver took me in as a personal guest hitchhiker, even though his other passengers were all paying customers. He bought me coffee that would help to keep my eyes open for just long enough to continue walking another 20 kilometers after he'd let me out. And it did. I was broke and thirsty and agitated and guarded and hurt and confused and hungry, but nightfall found me at the border, where I met Sound and briefly escaped into an alternate tunnel of reality.

Back on the road again, I spoke in a mixture of languages and gestured in a variety of manners. I carried myself like a parcel: with clear start and end destinations, and a jumble of mystery in between. I had told my ex-boyfriend that I would stop hitchhiking to give him peace of mind; I had suggested it as a compromise of sorts, but I quickly took back that suggestion, knowing it could never work. The road loves me more than anyone else ever has. The road is long and winding and bumpy and continuous. The road is exhausting and exuberant; starved and fulfilling. How, then, can the destination ever be worthy of the journey?


rene's picture

beautifull did you went from


did you went from Ukraine to romania threw reni-giugiulesti-galati?

amylin's picture


yes, and that small slice of moldova, you must walk through, it's hard to find a car there for some reason....

but i walked a lot, a lot, a lot, on this trip, anyway.

viking-pet's picture


mmmmmmm, delicious

robino's picture

love the road, love you.

love the road, love you.