Grumble grumble mutter mutter

I am sick.

So maybe I have been hiding this from you for some time, because it is beneath my notice. So maybe I have had a mild form of sinusitis for two and a half months, until seven days ago, when it decided that it was ready to come out into the wider world and reach its full potential. We all aspire towards such grandeur.

For the featured photo on this letter to you, I have chosen an old Steinway grand piano that I previously found 0.4 miles off the trail, in a church, because I am grumpy and pianos always make me feel better about myself (and life). Let the record show that we did not get kicked off this one.


Like most people, I have a better self. I like to keep it stuffed underneath a pile of rocks in the back of my head. This makes it easier to hit with bricks when I hear its tiny voice saying inconvenient and probably very wise things, like, “You shouldn’t do that,” or, “This is a very bad idea,” or even stuff like, “Take this side trail,” and, “Go talk to that person.” Sometimes it gets a little stronger, but usually if I ignore it enough it will go away eventually.

Unfortunately for us all, ignoring wise tiny self often leads to dark and terrible circumstance, plagued with perils and missed opportunity, and rife with unsavory occurrences. As satisfying as it is to hit it with bricks, it is probably a good thing that it is still alive…

Here is a visual aid, meant to evoke dark and terrible circumstance. This is like the darkness in my soul.

I am currently zeroing* at my sister’s house, just off the Metro-North in Connecticut.

*”Zeroing” comes from “zero miles”. It is a reflection of my complete and utter lack of accomplishment in this regard, today; because the tiny lymphocytic minions in my body are busy swarming and fighting off the plague, and they are using up all my resources and there is very little energy left to do other, useful things. Like eating bacon. And climbing rocks. Hurrrrgh

A couple days ago, I was walking through the woods, as one does. Dusk was falling. Then, I reached a trail junction. …Who the heck puts a Metro-North schedule on a tree a mile from their town trailhead? Really, guys. So I stood there and stared at it for a few minutes, and then I did what any self-respecting individual would do when faced with such a decision in the middle of the Appalachian Trail….

I called the fam, and asked them if I was being a wimp. My mother said, “Obviously your body is not taking care of it**. Get it fixed. You could die from a brain infection***.” Thanks, Mom. My dad said, “I do have dissenting opinions. ……But this is not one of them.” Thanks, Dad. Then my older sister said, “I HAVE A BABY. Also I can make you longaniza**** and eggs for breakfast tomorrow!! I will nurse you. I am a nurse.” Thanks, sister.


***Not true.

****This is a Filipino sausage.

For the record, she has not nursed me at all. She did take me to get drugs, though, and picked me up when I came in on the train… so that’s all right. Tiny voice is telling me, “This is a good idea.” Lazy bum and hiker me is glad that I get to sit here and eat food. Motivated self is grumpy, ver grumpy, and waving around handfuls of brick… But for now, we’re listening to our better self, and sleeping a lot.

In other news, I got to sit underneath the largest oak tree on the Appalachian Trail, a few days ago. I wrote you part of a thing. There’s an entire pile of random things half written in my head, and on paper, but trees are more interesting than anything else. Maybe I’ll type it for you. Maybe not. Stop crying.

Oh, my people, happy trails! Enjoy the warm. Soon it will be cold again… Is it a good thing that I’m already plotting in my head for next winter?*****


Keep it real, kids. Keep it secret. Keep it safe. ….I will eat this muffin.



  1. Amber says:

    I am glad you are resting and recovering from the sick. You will be a better hiker and enjoy life more when you do not have an infection in your face. Enjoy your Filipino sausages! And it’s never too early to start planning for next winter.


  2. Grampa Jay says:

    Your dad has allergies. His mother has allergies. I think you have allergies. Avoid the things that give you a reaction, or suffer, or take meds and become half-zombie so your brain is unable to register allergies. Sorry, granddaughter, that is the dark side of what you inherited. And I couldn’t find the picture of the piano you promised us. I like pianos.
    Grampa Jay


  3. Marc says:

    Hey! Stay tough and keep working at it! If you need anything from NJ reach out!


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