If my body had a way of numbing chronic pain, then my mind did, too. Swaths of my consciousness had callused from the dissonance of war, and my mind willfully ignored these contradictions to preserve its sanity. But on the trail, I had time to unpack my baggage...
He propped up his hips and slid the pants over his thighs, then buttoned the waist and yanked up the zipper before he fell back down to the warm grass. I craned my neck around the corner of the building, making sure no one could see him.
The trail cut through hardwood stands, ranging in size from struggling saplings to stately matriarchs. The maples and Virginia creepers honored the first days of October in brilliant red hues.
“Ohhh,” she shrieked, clapping in excitement and raising up on tippy toes. “I’m so excited for you! Now you boys just go up to your rooms and enjoy your pizzas and that Yuengling. I’ll let your dad and uncle know where to find you,” the owner of the Doyle restaurant and hotel said.
Day 22: Rangeley, Maine - The public bench sat close to the curbside. A white brick grocery store blocked the sun at our back as we ate a deli dinner. “Yep, that’s your trail name,” he said, shaking his head: “Bear Bait.” He laughed at me.